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Assignment 1
Instructions: Please answer all questions using information presented in your textbook and class
lecture. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. All answers must be in your own words.
1. Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research (10 points)
a. If the main point of a research is to describe personal experiences and perceptions,
which method is most appropriate to use – quantitative or qualitative research?
Briefly explain why. (5 points)
b. If the main point of a research is to determine residents’ level of fear of crime in a
small community, which method is most appropriate to use – quantitative or
qualitative research? Briefly explain why. (5 points)
2. In the following hypotheses, clearly identify both the independent variable and dependent
variable. (10 points)
a. As the amount of noise made by viewers in a courtroom increases, the
concentration jurors give to the case decreases. (2 points)
IV:
DV:
b. Individuals with lower levels of self-control will engage in more delinquent
activities than those who have higher levels of self-control. (2 points)
IV:
DV:
c. Candidates who use more negative political campaigning strategies will increase
the percentage of the vote they receive from non-party affiliated voters. (2 points)
IV:
DV:
Name:
d. When dealing with rape victims, male and female officers will exhibit different
levels of empathy. (2 points)
IV:
DV:
e. Inmates who have more disciplinary infractions in prison commit more crimes
upon release than inmates who have fewer disciplinary infractions. (2 points)
IV:
DV:
Please use the following slides to guide you through the
reading. These slides are also meant to help you organize
your notes.
THE PROCESS AND PROBLEMS OF
CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH
CRIMINOLOGICAL
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• Identifying Research Questions
•
Begin with your research topic and decide specifically what
you want to study
• Refining Research Questions
• Evaluating Research Questions
•
•
•
Feasibility
Social Importance
Scientific Relevance
THE ROLE OF THEORY
• Theory offers plausible explanation of reality
•
•
•
Help organize & make sense of empirical findings
Help guide future research
Help guide public policy
• What should we do to reduce the level of domestic
violence?
• What do you remember from your theory class?
THEORIES
• Deterrence theory
•
What do you remember about this
theory?
THEORIES
• Deterrence theory
•
•
•
Humans are responsive to costs and
benefits of their actions
Committing a crime has certain
benefits and costs
Deterrence theory says that the
benefits outweigh the costs
THEORIES
• Labeling theory
•
What do you remember
about this theory?
THEORIES
• Labeling theory
•
•
•
Distinguishes between
primary and secondary
deviance
Offender who arrested
commits primary deviance
When offender commits
another act of deviance,
he/she is labeled ‘deviant’ –
secondary deviance
LINK BETWEEN
THEORY AND DATA
• Effort to connect theory and empirical data
• How would you go about testing your prediction?
DEDUCTIVE VS. INDUCTIVE
RESEARCH
DEDUCTIVE
RESEARCH
• Goes from theorizing to data collection and then
back to theorizing (from general to specific)
•
•
•
Hypothesis
Variables (IVs and DVs)
Constant (characteristic or property that cannot vary)
RESEARCH CIRCLE
DEDUCTIVE
RESEARCH
Examples of RQs:
•
“Does being arrested while attending college increase the
probability of a later adult conviction?
•
Can perhaps follow up with: “Is the relationship between
college arrest and post-college conviction moderated by
dropping out, gender, or year in school?
•
“Does perceived crime and disorder influence trust among
long-time residents and new residents living in Durham,
NC?
•
“How do citizen characteristics, prior criminal victimization,
and personal safety influence residents’ general fear of
crime?”
Please use the following three slides to practice identifying
independent and dependent variables for each hypothesis.
INDUCTIVE
RESEARCH
• Begins with data collection and then work
toward developing (inducing) a general
explanation or theory (from specific to general)
•
•
Motives: exploration
Inductive research tested subsequently with deductive
research
• à replication!
RESEARCH CIRCLE
INDUCTIVE
RESEARCH
Examples of RQs:
•
•
•
•
“What is going on here?”
“How do people interpret these experiences?”
“Why do people do what they do?”
“What influences women’s decisions to seek help after abuse
experiences?”
Or more specifically…
•
•
•
“How doe people who witness domestic violence understand
how it affects their current relationships?”
“What is the experience of identifying as LGBTQ in the foster
care system?”
“What are the experiences of homeless individuals who seek
help for mental health concerns?”
SOCIAL RESEARCH
STRATEGIES
Deductive vs. Inductive Reasoning:
•
Deductive:
•
• Premise 1: All NCCU students are hard working students.
• Premise 2: Jane Doe is a NCCU student.
• Conclusion: Jane Doe is a hard-working student.
Inductive:
•
•
•
•
Evidence 1: Jane Doe, an NCCU student, studied a lot.
Evidence 2: John Doe, an NCCU student, studied a lot.
Evidence 3: Bob, a non NCCU student, rarely studied.
Conclusion: All NCCU student studies a lot.
SOCIAL RESEARCH
STANDARDS
3 aspects of validity (establishing the validity of our results):
•
1. Measurement validity
•
•
Are you measuring what you think you are measuring?
How would you define physical assault?
• This term has previously been defined as ”behaviors
that threaten, attempt, or actually inflict physical harm”
(Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000)
SOCIAL RESEARCH
STANDARDS
3 aspects of validity (establishing the validity of our results):
•
2. Generalizability
•
•
Sample generalizability: ability to generalize from subset of
population to larger population
Cross-population generalizability: ability to generalize from
one group to another
SOCIAL RESEARCH
STANDARDS
3 aspects of validity (establishing the validity of our results):
•
3. Causal validity (or internal validity)
•
Truthfulness of assertion that A causes B
SOCIAL RESEARCH
STANDARDS
•
Goal of Authenticity: our understanding of a social process
or social setting fairly reflects various perspectives of
participant setting
ADDITIONAL
RESOURCES
•
Population vs sample:

PAUSE…
Questions?
The following slides will provide you with examples on how
theory can be used to make predictions. This will be
important because you will need to come up with a theory
and hypothesis for your research proposal.
EXAMPLE OF THE ROLE OF THEORY
IN YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Topic: college drop out
RQ: what factors contribute to college students’ decision to drop
out of college? (i.e. why do college students drop out of college?)
Theories?:
EXAMPLE OF THE ROLE OF THEORY
IN YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Topic: college drop out
RQ: what factors contribute to college students’ decision to drop
out of college? (i.e. why do college students drop out of college?)
Theories?:
•
General strain theory:
•
General theory of crime (self-control theory):
•
Social learning theory:
EXAMPLE OF THE ROLE OF THEORY
IN YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Topic: college drop out
RQ: what factors contribute to college students’ decision to drop
out of college? (i.e. why do college students drop out of college?)
Theories?:
•
General strain theory: college students who experience high
pressure to succeed will be more likely to drop out of college
than students who experience less pressure
•
General theory of crime (self-control theory):
•
Social learning theory:
EXAMPLE OF THE ROLE OF THEORY
IN YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Topic: college drop out
RQ: what factors contribute to college students’ decision to drop
out of college? (i.e. why do college students drop out of college?)
Theories?:
•
General strain theory: college students who experiences high
pressure to succeed will be more likely to drop out of college
than students who experience less pressure
•
General theory of crime (self-control theory): college students
with low levels of self-control will have an increased likelihood
of dropping out of college than college students with higher
levels of self-control
•
Social learning theory:
EXAMPLE OF THE ROLE OF THEORY
IN YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Topic: college drop out
RQ: what factors contribute to college students’ decision to drop out
of college? (i.e. why do college students drop out of college?)
Theories?:
•
General strain theory: college students who experiences high
pressure to succeed will be more likely to drop out of college than
students who experience less pressure
•
General theory of crime (self-control theory): college students with
low levels of self-control will have an increased likelihood of
dropping out of college than college students with higher levels of
self-control
•
Social learning theory: college students who socialize with friends
or family who have dropped out of college will have an increased
likelihood of dropping out of college

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