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Issue in research design. Steps in research. Idea Review of the literature Use of journal articles Using the internet Data bases: psychinfo, proquest (scholarly journals), NCJRS, Lexus-Nexis. Steps. Re-evaluation of the original idea Conceptualization, specification of terms

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steps in research
Steps in research
  • Idea
  • Review of the literature

Use of journal articles

Using the internet

Data bases: psychinfo, proquest (scholarly journals), NCJRS, Lexus-Nexis

  • Re-evaluation of the original idea
  • Conceptualization, specification of terms

Gun control


Violence in prisons

Operationalization—how will concepts be measured? Examples

  • Population and sample
  • Research method(s)
  • Experiments, surveys, observation, record analysis, evaluation
  • Data processing
  • Statistical analysis, descriptive and inferential
  • Discussion, theoretical and practical applications
  • APA style
research proposals grants
Research proposals & grants
  • Granting agencies
  • i.e., MO Department of Public Safety, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), National Institute of Corrections (NIC), Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
  • Open grants
  • Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
components of a proposal
Components of a proposal
  • Abstract or Executive Summary
  • Introduction: problem, literature review
  • Method: subjects section, instruments section, procedure (data collection)
  • Schedule
  • Budget
  • Bibliography and appendices
research article
Research article
  • Abstract, Introduction, Method section with 3 possible subsections (subjects, instruments, procedure), Results, Discussion, Bibliography, Appendices
  • Research article in the past tense, includes results and discussion
  • Proposal in the future tense, no results and discussion, but has schedule & budget
  • Specify what is meant by a particular term
  • Dimension: specifiable aspect of a concept
  • Liberal vs. conservative
  • What are some aspects of this concept?
  • Gun control
operational definition
Operational definition
  • How a concept will be measured
  • Prison violence—how will we “count” it?
  • Incidents
  • Perceptions
  • Morale in an agency
  • Citizen satisfaction/dissatisfaction of police
  • Trait of aggression
characteristics of measurement
Characteristics of measurement
  • 1. Levels of measurement
  • Nominal
  • Ordinal
  • Interval/ratio
  • Must be constructed
  • Statistical analyses dependent on level of measument
characteristics of measurement12
Characteristics of measurement
  • 2. Reliability: test-retest, inter-rater reliability, split-half
  • 3. Validity: face, content, criterion-related, construct
  • Convergent and discriminant validity
some forms of measurement
Some forms of measurement
  • Scales and indices
  • Use of multiple questions, added together to create measurement
  • MMPI—your responses compared to that of known psychiatric groups. Responses for a particular scale are added together
forms of measurement
Forms of measurement
  • Typologies
  • Criminal behavior systems.
measuring crime
Measuring crime
  • UCR
  • Victimization surveys, NCVS, National Crime Victimization Survey
  • Self-report
  • Major problems
  • Unreported crime—misinterpretation of crime rates
  • Dark Figure
  • Citizens do not report, and sometimes police do not (can be political, use of discretion)
  • Hierarchy rule
incident based measures
Incident based measures
  • Supplementary homicide reports (SHR)
  • Collects information about victims, offenders age gender and race, relationship between victim & offender, weapon, location, circumstances
  • National incident-based reporting system (NIBRS): broader in terms of offenses, information about offenders and victims
  • Also includes victimless crimes, attempted and completed, drug related offenses, computer crimes
  • Requires more time, police may selectively report
  • Voluntary
  • Conducted by Census Bureau since 1972
  • Interview survey technique, face-face
  • Tends to miss business crimes, victimless crimes, status offenses
  • Does not include murder
  • Recall errors-can’t remember, telescoping, acquaintance crimes
other surveys
Other surveys
  • Community surveys
  • Monitoring the future: annual surveys of high school seniors
  • Self report studies
  • Use in combination with arrests as a measure of criminal behavior
other cj records
Other CJ records
  • Arrests
  • Convictions
  • Recidivism
  • All are affect by discretion and by changes in policies
  • Juvenile statistics are particularly vulnerable to these problems