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Research Methods notes.

by: Brittany Banker

Research Methods notes. CRJ 280 01

Marketplace > Lakeland College > Criminal Justice > CRJ 280 01 > Research Methods notes
Brittany Banker


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These notes are a few days late, but these are the last of the notes for the test on Monday, the study guide will be up in a few minutes.
Special topics in Criminal Justice Research Meathods
Dr. Karnin Miofsky
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brittany Banker on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRJ 280 01 at Lakeland College taught by Dr. Karnin Miofsky in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Special topics in Criminal Justice Research Meathods in Criminal Justice at Lakeland College.

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Date Created: 09/30/16
Research Methods Notes 3 Chapter 3 Hypothesis comes from different items in that are presented in theory. Hypotheses are about empirical reality, and it involves two or more variables. It also implies that a change in one variable is related to a change in another variable. It can also be about what you expect your data to show, and it is based on the theory you are testing. A hypothesis is always a declarative statement. Variables These are characteristics or concepts that are able to measure. They are also not the same for everyone in the study. Research Ethics and Philosophies Historical Background Nuremberg war crimes trial happened in 1946. This exposed horrific medical experiments conducted by the different Nazi doctors and others in the name science. The Belmont Report: established three basic principles for ethics principles in protection of human rights: 1. You have to have respect for all people: we have to treat people as if they are smart and capable of working independently, and you would protect those with diminished brain activity. 2. You have to have Beneficence: You have to minimize the amount of possible risks and maximizing the possible benefits. 3. You have to distribute the possibilities of risks and benefits evenly. In 1991 these were translated into regulations of of the federal policy for the protection of human subjects. This policy has shaped the course of social science research ever since it became implemented. Federal regulations require that every college that has biomedical or behavioral research happening on human subjects have to have and institutional review board (IRB). This is to review different research proposals. The office for protection from research risks helps maintain the different IRB’s with the exception of research involving drugs. This is taken care of by the federal board and drug administration. Ethical Principles The necessary starting point for having an ethical research study/ practices and it is a commitment to achieving valid results. It is the pursuit of objective knowledge about human behavior which is the goal of validity. This is what motivates and justifies researcher’s investigations, and gives us some claims to the rights to influence other people to participate in our research. Honesty and openness It is required that scientist disclose the methods that they are using, and be honest about their findings. This is also a concern of validity. There must be detailed methodologies included into articles or other reports. Scientists might make appendices that contain different instruments and appendices that contain where more information could be obtained if the reader would like to look for it. Publicizing an element is important in maintaining openness and honesty as a researcher in the items that you are researching. It allows others to research and question the study procedures. It also allows the people to then contact the researcher and ask questions about the research itself. Openness in research and about researchers is used to learn about, and from the work of others. Protecting research participants The ACJ’s code for the treatment of human subjects is the federal regulations and ethical guidelines. Research should expose people to not harmful risks, or have no more than minimal risk to their subjects. Researchers need to fully disclose what their research is about and the possible consequences of participating in the study to their participants. Participation in research should be voluntary. This also means that participants need to give informed consent in order for them to participate in the research study. Confidentiality needs to be maintained, unless it is voluntary and explicitly waived. Debriefing is discussing the experiences that the participants had in the research, and the researcher reveals the logic behind the experiment itself. Obtain Informed Consent In order to be considered informed consent it must be given by the participant. The participants must also be competent enough to consent to the research, and the consent is voluntary and they are fully informed about the research, and they must comprehend what they have been told. Well-informed researchers might not see all of the problems that could happen, and they might not point them out before the study has started. The informed consent must have language that is clear, and understandable to the research participants. Yet, they need to be sufficiently long, and detailed enough for it to accurately explain what will happen in and with the research. Children cannot give informed consent. Avoid deception in research Deception happens when the participants are mislead about research procedures in order to be able to tell the reaction to the treatment if they were not research subjects. Researchers lie to the participants because they believe that knowledge of the study would change how the participants acted, and thus change the results of the study. Active Consent- the parents would sign a paper that would allow the child to participate in a study. Passive consent- The parents need to contact the researcher if they do not want their child to participate. Otherwise the child’s participation is assumed. Assent- The parent might give permission for the child to participate, but the student also has to consent to the study. They can say no even if the parents say yes. Maintain privacy and confidentiality Locking records or creating special identifying codes must be created in order to minimize the risk of access by unauthorized personnel Statements about confidentiality need to be realistic, and this cannot be lied about. Researchers may feel like they need to release information if health or life threatening situations might arise, and either the participant or the authorities need to know. qConfidentiality does not apply to public observation, or to public records. Certificates of confidentiality (Privacy Certificate)- These protect researchers from being legally required to disclose confidential information. The use of research If a researcher does research for a specific organization they mght find it difficult when the organization controls the final report and the publicity it receives. Social research Philosophies Positivism- The goal of this research is to better understand the objective reality. These researchers believe that objective reality exists apart from the perceptions of those who observe it. This is usually associated with science. There is an exception that universal laws of human behavior and that behavior must be objective, and unbiased to see clear reality. Postpositivism- These scientists believe that there is an external objective reality, but they are questionable about this reality because this reality and the limitations of which the study can do. Positivist research guidelines 1. Test the ideas agains empirical reality before you become to attached to the study, or a specific outcome. 2. Plan and carry out investigations systematically 3. Document all procedures, and make sure to disclose them publically 4. Clarify all assumptions 5. Make sure to conceptualize all terms 6. Maintain skeptical stances toward different knowledge that is used currently 7. Replicate research and build theory 8. Search for regularities or patterns Constructivism- This emphasizes how different people in a social situation state different peliefs. Chapter 4 Conceptualization and measurement Concepts are mental images that summarize different sets of similar observations feelings or ideas. Concepts require a focused definition before it is able to be used in research. This is due to the fact that not all who read the research will have the same definition of concepts as the researcher does. It is better to explain those concepts that are abstract, or unfamiliar to the target audience. Defining youth gangs Conceptualization- This is when you specify what you mean by a concept. Defining your gangs is hard for four reasons: 1. Youth gangs are not cohesive 2. Individual gangs change their focus all the time 3. Many have diverse members and unclear rules 4. There are many incorrect, but popular beliefs about gangs. Different social groups need to be defined in ways that are specific to that group, and in ways that will distinguish them from other types of groups. Concepts and Variables After the researcher defines the concepts we have to identify the different variables of the concepts. Operation- Measuring the concepts we intend to measure Operationalization- The process of specifying the different operations that will be used to indicate the vales of variables in each study for each use of the variables Having good conceptualization and operationalization that can prevent confusion later in the process of doing research We can never assume that available data is accurate. Constructing questions Closed ended (fixed-choice) question- there are specific answers for the person to answer Multiple choice Response choices should be exclusive and exhaustive In order to make choice exhaustive researchers may need to have a answer that is able to have ambiguity. If an answer is not found for the respondant than they may skip the question or answer that corresponds with the answer that they would have looked at. They also might treat the question as a joke. Making observations Observations can be used to measure different charecteristics of individual events and places. An observation could be used as the primary form of study, or used as a secondary for,, or can be obtained through direct questioning. Direct observation is the meathod used most often for understanding behaviors in their natural setting. Collecting unobtrusive measures Unobtrusive measures- thei sis when researchers collect data about individuals or groups without a persons knowledge that they are participating. There are four types according to Webb: 1. Physical trace evidence 2. archives (Available Data) 3. Simple Observations 4. Contrived Observation (using hidden cameras) Physical trace evidence is used as past evidence. Care must be taken in order to develop trace measures so that the ones that are chosen are useful for comparative measures. Unobtrusive measures can also be created/ used from newspapers/media Combining two or more measures on the same variable can strengthen the measurement. Level of measurement- The mathematical precision with which the values of a variable can be expressed. Four levels of measurement Nominal- Variables whose values have no mathematical value. These can have numbers, but they are not used mathematically. Examples of this would be crime types, male and female, gender/sex, race/ethnicity, religion, social security number. Ordinal level of measurement- This is used when you are using numbers, but only to put things in an order. Example would be that prisons are minimum, medium and maximum Interval- is when numbers indicate a fixed measurement, but this fixed measurement does not start at zero. This would be like a prison sentence that is twelve or more months. Ratio- is used when values of a variable is used to represent a fixed measurement that starts at zero.


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