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Exam 1 Review Guide

by: Janaki Padmakumar

Exam 1 Review Guide CCJ3701

Janaki Padmakumar

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About this Document

This is a completed review guide for the first exam based on material presented in class, as well as from the readings on canvas. Now finished with material from class included
Research Methods in Criminology
Chris Gibson
Study Guide
criminology, research methods, measurement, validity
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Janaki Padmakumar on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to CCJ3701 at University of Florida taught by Chris Gibson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 66 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in Criminology in CRIMINOLOGY at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 09/18/16
Exam 1 Study Guide Research Methods 1. What i s positivism? Positivism: objective reality set apart from our perceptions of an event Provides less bias when conducting research 2. Who is Lombroso and what is he known for in criminology? a. Lombroso is known as the “father of positivism” Theory of innate criminality and criminal anthropology Evolutionary theory saying innate/born criminals have certain body features; trained eye can show that they "specialize" in a certain form of crime Has some merit since criminality does have genetic component; lacks merit bc physical features can't be attributed to crime 3. Difference between a constant and a variable a. Constant- a characteristic or a property that cannot vary b. Variable- characteristic or property that can vary i. Constants stay the same, variables are subject to change 4. Difference between independent and dependent variables, and ID given examples a. An independent variable is a variable hypothesized to cause variation in the dependent variable- influencing factor b. Dependent variables are the variables being measured- effect or consequence of independent variable 5. Know what a unit of analysis is, identify a unit of analysis given an example, and know what the ecological fallacy is Unit of analysis- major entity that you are analyzing in your study; the level of social life on which the research question is focused. Includes units such as Individuals, Groups, Towns, Neighborhoods, Cities, Social interactions, Artifacts (books, photos, newspapers) Ecological fallacy: interpreting statistical data from a group and trying to generalize to an individual within the sample population; e.g. if a sample population has an IQ lower than average, it is inaccurate to say a randomly selected person from that sample would also have below average IQ. 6. Difference between inductive and deductive reasoning as it applies to criminological research a. Deductive reasoning moves from general ideas, like theories, to specific reality (data). b. Inductive reasoning moves in the opposite direction, from specific items to general ideas. c. Application- ideas in criminology cannot be tested fairly or accurately unless researchers utilize the deductive method. Theories that remain untested can only be seen as tentative and lack legitimacy in a research setting. 7. Know the types of validity in research (measurement validity, generalizability, etc.) Measurement validity: measure utilized measures the item of interest  Have measures included that are as accurate as possible Generalizability  Conclusions are supported across different groups, settings and events Causal validity  A results in B  E.g. does victimization cause people to be fearful of crime? I.e. does victimization cause people to be afraid of crime?  Ruling out alternate explanations for fear of crime is challenging- need to do alternate testing or design another experiment 8. Difference between measurement reliability and validity- if given an example of a specific type of reliability and/or validity, be able to ID what kind it is (face validity, construct validity, test retest reliability, etc.) a. Reliability: measure consistently measures a factor; yields consistent scores when the item being measured remains constant i. Consistency of measurement b. Validity: measure what its intended to measure; match between conceptual and operational definition i. Accuracy of measurement Types of reliability Inter-rater reliability o Observation in neighborhoods checklist for physical disorder in neighborhood- abandoned buildings, graffiti, damage, bars on windows etc. o Ask surveyor to go into neighborhood and record area- return to lab and see if developed checklist can reliably measure disorder in neighborhood o Give systematic checklist to two different people and separate them- let them watch the same video o Each mark what they see in video about disorder o If checklist is reliable, person 1 and person 2 should have very similar results (high correlation means developed instrument is reliable) o If low correlation between raters, instrument is unreliable  Wording in checklist, definitions, instruction confusing all can contribute to lack of correlation Test-retest reliability - One person measured twice- test and subsequent retest - E.g. IQ testing- Wechler's test for verbal intelligence- administer to a person at time 1, and administer to same person at time 2 - If measure is reliable, then very similar scores should be obtained if taken within a short time difference - Requires financial resources Parallel forms reliability - Apply randomly to two groups- should be a correlation if measuring the same thing - Less commonly used Internal consistency reliability - Most commonly used in criminology and psychology - Multiple item scales- narcissistic personality inventory- has multiple statements participants respond to; using statistics, responses to each attributes are formed into a composite score - Score represents responses to all items on that measure concept - Need to assess how multiple responses remain consistent - Coefficient should be close to 1- increase in reliability; if closer to 0 then unreliable; R>.8 to claim reliable measure 9. Four different types of levels of measurement, characteristics of each, how they are different from one another, and identify the type of measurement a variable is when given examples.  Nominal (weakest)- attributes are only named  Categorical or qualitative  Values do not have mathematical interpretation  Vary in kind or quality, but not amount  Attributes, not values  Does not represent more or less than  States if groups are same or different e.g. male or female (0 or 1)  Types of nominal measures: race, gender, sex, occupation, hair color, political affiliations, etc.  Ordinal- attributes can be ordered  Categories that can be ranked- more than or less than classifications  Specifies order of cases and how they are classified  Discrete categories with >/< distinctions  Likert scale- strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree  Not a problem, problem, big problem  Educational levels o Continuous/ quantitative measurements (Numerical level of measurement)  Interval- distance is meaningful  Different from one another  More than or less than  How much more/less than  No fixed zero point  Can add and subtract, equal interval distances  Ratios are not meaningful  *think temperature- this can extend into the negatives, which is ok with interval, but not ratio  Ratio- absolute zero (zero means zero)  Fixed zero point  Multiply or divide  Can create ratios (how many times greater)  Age, number of arrests, number of church burnings, length of residence, number or times married o Collect at the highest complexity possible so that it can be collapsed down 10.What is the difference between a mutually exclusive and exhaustive variable? Are measures required to have these properties? Each variable being addressed should be both mutually exclusive and exhaustive. Exhaustive- variable includes any and all possible responses- one example can be religion- simply stating Muslim, Christian and Jewish does not accommodate- trying to list all religions is too lengthy- can accommodate by adding a category for “other”. So phrase the question like: What is your religion? - Christian - Muslim - Jewish - Other Mutually exclusive- attributes that can’t occur at the same time; e.g. biological sex 11.Three types of research: descriptive, explanatory and evaluation research; identify each type Descriptive- provide description of social phenomena; done on topics with little information - Provide a description of variation - Like studying percentage or proportion of individuals at UF who tried MDMA- describe percentage in student pop (15%), and find descriptively that there is a larger proportion of males than females. Can lead to explanatory research to understand risk factors for MDMA usage Explanatory Identify cause and effect of a phenomenon Predict how one phenomenon changes in response to changes in another E.g. why is obesity higher in southern states compared to western states? Has dependent and independent variable. Evaluation Subset of explanatory research; e.g. evaluate effectiveness of a program in affecting delinquency Determining effects of a social program or other intervention type Kansas City gun experiment- BJA gave implementation money; Sherman, Shaw and Rogan i. If police could get guns off the street, would there be fewer gun crimes? (Do so with focused patrol) ii. Additional patrols would increase gun seizures, which would control gun crimes 12.Know common errors in everyday observations and how scientists try to minimize these from occurring in research Errors in reasoning and observation  Overgeneralization o What we know to be true for some cases is true of all cases o Drawing conclusions based on interactions with a limited group of people o "The bad cop"- 5-10% officers who account for a disproportionate amount of misconduct within department across the US (based on grievances filed)  Selective or inaccurate observations o Choosing to look at things that fit with our beliefs or preferences o Dismiss things we don't believe in o Acknowledge instances that confirm predispositions of what we think o E.g. violent kid who is unlikely to be rehabilitated- hope that people can change, all they need is rehab, but comes back to commit violent crime again- can be selectively dismissed o Inaccurate observation- saying something was present when it wasn’t; saying something was not present when it was  Perceptions involve interpretation  Illogical reasoning o Prematurely jumping to conclusions on the basis of invalid assumptions o Violent video games and violence o It is unreasonable to state playing violent video games causes children to be violent- correlation does not prove causation o Also illogical to say playing violent video games has no effect o If A causes B, then you must also consider if B causes A  Resistance to change o Science changes constantly, perhaps a small amount, or perhaps a paradigm shift o Scientists should be open to change based on evidence; in spite of new accurate info, reluctant to change ideas  Devotion to traditions  Uncritical agreement with authority 13.Difference between quantitative and qualitative data Quantitative methods record variations in social life in terms of categories that vary in amount - Numbers or categories that can be ordered - Use theory to guide and explain numbers obtained Qualitative - Can capture social life as participants experience it - Most likely obtained through spoken or written data - Extensive interviewing, focus groups, life histories etc.- enables theory development 14. Difference between longitudinal and cross sectional designs, and the types of longitudinal designs discussed in class  Cross sectional design (snapshot) o Studying sample of subjects at one point in time o Collect data only once o E.g. does not make sense to survey change in gender over time in a fear of crime study, unless specifically examining gender fluidity  Longitudinal design (movie) o Studying same subjects over time o Repeated measures o Why is this important? o Shows change over time and change within people as well since same subjects are used, with repeated measures o Retrospective data accuracy issues- collection can be valid if prospective and retrospective recall matches up Types of Longitudinal design  Repeated cross sectional design- take different samples of the same population o Can observe changes or trends within a population  Fixed sample panel design- collection from same individual at two or more points in time o Repeated measurements of the same individual  Cohort based designs- collection from same individuals at two or more points in time; individuals have something in common o Typically a group selected because they share a common trait, unlike fixed sample panels which are selected randomly 15.Know the three components of research methods reviewed at the beginning of the semester and types of questions to be considered under each domain when conducting research 1. Design phase  Research to be conducted  How will participants be collected  What constructs are focused on 2. Measurement phase  How will data be collected  Ensuring observatinos and 3. Analysis 16.Difference between a hypothesis and a research question Hypothesis is statement derived through theory, question will contain theoretical concepts (like offending); not variables - Hypothesis is a statement about a relationship between two variables; RQs are focused on the conceptual (fear of crime, offending, marriage) - Research question: Are married men less criminal than unmarried men? - Research hypothesis: On average, married men are arrested less than unmarried men (arrests are the variable of interest) Research question= Tentative, testable statement about the relationship between two variables Can have broad RQ derived from theory, and multiple hypotheses to test the theory 17.Meanings of concept, conceptualization, and operationalization Concept- derived from theories, ideas or prior research Conceptualization- define what the term is (topic of research) o Important for people to understand (across subjects or researchers) what a concept means o E.g. Substance abuse- what observations should be associated with it? To obtain a measurement, potential observations/indicators should be defined  Barely able to speak, leaning on a building with liquor bottle  College student drinking heavily at party  Someone in AA drinking a beer o Some concepts of interests don't have multiple indicators (like sex- ask if male or female) o Issues like substance abuse have multiple indicators since multiple substances can be used o None of these examples can clearly be used to define substance abuse or not because they can be interpreted in different situations/scenarios - all very different observations that are perhaps related to same issue Operationalization- clear definition of concept and measures being used (what operations are used based on concept definition) o Process of specifying operations that indicate variable values for each case o Indicators are used to measure concepts o Can use different operation types given concept of interest  Asking questions  Observing social interaction  Taking urine or blood samples  Taping physical spaces  Retrieval of official data and statistics o If multiple measures of same data exist, include those to triangulate results (e.g. like self-reports and official data being used in conjunction) 18.What are confidence intervals and confidence levels? Confidence intervals address how well sample statistics estimate underlying population values, i.e. provides a value range for the population parameter. Confidence intervals are constructed at a confidence level For example, on this bell curve, 95% of the data is found between 70 and 130, meaning that at a 95% confidence interval, 95% of the data can be found within the curve.


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