Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology

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Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology 3e is about how to do research and investigate various types of research questions that arise in criminology and criminal justice. The text explores the entire research process from beginning to end including: sampling procedures; data collection techniques; measurement, validity and reliability issues; the role of ethics in the research process; and writing and documenting research papers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 656 pages
  • 180 x 231 x 32mm | 1,050g
  • Pearson
  • United States
  • English
  • 3rd edition
  • 013118928X
  • 9780131189287

Table of contents

(NOTE: Most chapters begin with Chapter Outline, Chapter Objectives, and Introduction sections and conclude with a Summary and Questions for Review section.)

1. The Research EnterpriseIn Criminal Justice and Criminology: Theory and Research.

Overview of the Research Process and Statistical Analysis.

The Research Enterprise.

Steps to Conduct Research in Criminal Justice.

Problem Formulation.

Research Design.

Data Collection Methods.

Analysis Data.

Presentation of Findings.


Pure and Applied Research.

Some Basic Assumptions About Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Why Do Research?

The Emergence of Science and Criminal Justice.

The Probability Nature of Science.

Objectivity in Scientific Research.

Functions of Research.

Exploratory Functions.

Descriptive Functions.

Experimental Functions.

Evaluation Research.

Theory Defined.

Assumptions, Propositions, and Definitions.

Explanation and Prediction.

Types of Theory.

Deductive Theory.

Inductive Theory.

Grounded Theory.

Axiomatic Theory.

Variables and Theory.

Independent Variables.

Dependent Variables.

Discrete Variables.

Continuous Variables.

The Complementarity of Theory and Research.

Hypotheses and Theory: A Preliminary View.

The Value of Theory.

Atheoretical Evaluations.

The Value of Research.

2. Frames of Reference and Problem Formulation.

What Are Frames of Reference?

Choosing a Frame of Reference.

Values and Frames of Reference.

Are Frames of Reference Used in All Social Research?

Frames of Reference and Theory.

Deciding What to Study: Topics of Investigation for Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Reviewing the Literature.

Sources for Literature Reviews.

"Hands-On" Research.

Investigations from a Distance.

The Uniform Crime Reports and the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Issues in Formulating Research Problems.

3. Research Designs.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research.

Qualitative Research.

Quantitative Research.

Research Objectives and Designs.

Exploration and Exploratory Objectives.

Description and Descriptive Objectives.

Experimentation and Experimental Objectives.

Some Conventional Research Designs.


Comparison of Surveys and Case Studies.

Classical Experimental Design.

Experimental and Control Groups.

Equivalent Groups and Establishing Equivalence.

Pretests and Posttests.

Variations in the Classical Experimental Design.

The After-Only Design.

The Before-After Design.

True Experiments and Quasi-Experiments.

Time-Series and Multiple Time-Series Designs.

Cost-Benefit Analyses.

Internal and External Validity.

Internal Validity and Threats.

External Validity and Threats.

4. Sampling Techniques, Purposes, And Problems.

What is Sampling?

Populations and Parameters.

Samples and Statistics.

Generalizability and Representativeness.

The Decision to Sample.

Size of the Target Population.

Cost of Obtaining the Elements.

Convenience and Accessibility of the Elements.

Some Functions of Sampling.

Economizing Resources.


Meeting Assumptions of Statistical Tests.

Meeting the Requirements of Experiments.

Probability Sampling Plans.


Simple Random Sampling and Random Numbers Tables.

Stratified Random Sampling.

Area, Cluster, or Multistage Sampling.

Nonprobability Sampling Plans.

Accidental Sampling.

Systematic Sampling.

Purposive or Judgmental Sampling.

Quota Sampling.

Snowball Sampling and the Use of Informants.

Dense and Saturation Sampling.

Types of Sampling Situations.

Single-Sample Situations.

Two- and k-Sample Situations.

Independent Samples.

Related Samples.

Some Selected Sampling Problems.

Determining Sample Size.

Nonresponse and What to Do About It/

Is the Sample Representative? Uncertainty about Representativeness.

Sampling and Statistical Analysis.

Ideal and Real Sampling Considerations.

Potentates: Juveniles, Prisoners, and Permission to Sample Special Populations of Subjects.

5. Questionnaires: Construction, Application, and Issues.

Questionnaires in Criminal Justice Research.

Functions of Questionnaires.



Types of Questionnaires.

Fixed-Response Questionnaires.

Open-Ended Questionnaires.

Combinations of Fixed-Response and Open-Ended Items.

Comparison of Fixed-Response and Open-Ended Items.

Questionnaire Administration.

Mailed Questionnaires.

Face-to-Face Questionnaire Administration.

Comparison of Mailed Questionnaires with Face-to-Face Questionnaire Administration.

Questionnaire Construction.

Selecting and Ordering the Questionnaire Items.

Response and Nouresponse: Some Considerations.

Questionnaire Length.

Questionnaire Content and Wording: Possible Sources of Bias.

Double-Barreled Questions.

The Use of Certain Key Words.



How Do You Know that Respondents Tell the Truth? The Lie Factor.

Cultural Values and Questionnaire Wording.

Other Factors.

What about Nonresponse?

6. Interviewing: Types, Applications, and Issues.

Chapter Objectives.


Interviews as instruments in Criminal Justice Research.

Interviews Contrasted with Questionnaires.

Types of Interviews.

Unstructured Interviews.

Structured Interviews and the Focused Interview.

In-Depth Interviews.

Telephone Interviews.

Functions of Interviewing.



Interview Construction.

Conducting Interviews.

Gaining Access to Organizations.

Arranging the Interview.

Training and Orientation for Interviewers.

What Makes a Good Interviewer? Personality Factors.

Dressing Appropriately.


Videotaping Interviews.

The Use of Lie Detectors and Polygraph Tests.

Interviewing May Be Dangerous.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Interviews in Criminal Justice Research.

7. Observation and the Use of Secondary Sources: Types, Applications, and Issues.

What is Observation?

Major Purposes of Observation.

Types of Observation.

Participant Observation.

Nonparticipant Observation and Unobtrusive Observation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Observation in Criminological Research.

Impact of the Observer on the Observed.

Impact of the Observed on the Observer.

Analysis of Secondary Sources.

The Major Features of Secondary Sources.

Types of Secondary Sources.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Sources.

Content Analysis.

Some Examples of Content Analysis.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Analysis.

Official and Criminal Justice Agency Records.

Canned Data Sets.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Meta-Analysis.

8. The Measurement of Variables in Criminal Justice and Criminology: Scaling, Applications, and Issues.

Measurement of Variables In Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Functions of Measurement.

Conceptualizations of Social and Psychological Phenomena.

Rendering Data Amenable to Statistical Treatment.

Assisting in Hypothesis Testing and Theory Verification.

Differentiating between People According to Properties They Possess.

Hypotheses: Operationalizing Variables.

Nominal and Operational Definitions.



Levels of Measurement.

Nominal Level of Measurement.

Ordinal Level of Measurement.

Interval Level of Measurement.

Ratio Level of Measurement.

Types of Scaling Procedures for Measuring Variables.

Likert-Type Scales.

Thurstone Scales and Equal-Appearing Intervals.

Other Types of Scaling Procedures.

Guttman Scaling.

The Semenatic Differential.

Q Sort.

The Sellin-Wolfgang Crime Severity Index.

The Salient Factor Score (SFS 81).

Greenwood's Rand Seven-Factor Index.

Some Issues of Measurement.

Attitude-Action Relation.

Social Desirability as a Contaminating Factor.

Response Sets and Validity.

The Level of Measurement-Statistical Choices Relation.

9. Validity and Reliability of Measures.

Validity Defined.

Types of Validity.

Content Validity.

Pragmatic Validity.

Construct Validity.

Reliability Defined.

Why Is It lmportant to Have Reliable Measures?

Types of Reliability.

Internal Reliability Checks.

External Reliability Checks.

Some Functional Relationships between Validity and Reliability.

Factors that Affect Validity and Reliability.

The Instrument and Its Contents.

Environmental Factors.

Personal Factors.

Researcher Interpretations.

Testing (Pre-Test) Effect.

Selection Bias.

Experimental Mortality.

Hawthorne Effect.

Halo Effect.

Placebo Effect.

Diffusion of Treatment with Control and Experimental Groups.

10. Data Coding, Presentation and Description.

Coding Variables.

Verification and Cleaning Data.

Simple Data Presentation.

Measurement of Crime and Crime Rates.

Crime Rates.


Graphic Presentation.

Functions of Graphic Presentation.

Types of Graphic Presentation.

Pie Charts.

Bar Graphs.

Tabular Presentation and Crosstabulation.

Tables and How to Read Them.

Other Forms of Tabular Presentation.

Deciding How Best to Present Your Information.

11. Hypotheses, Hypothesis Testing, and Theory Verification: Interpreting Information and Examining Issues.

Hypotheses and Theory.

Deriving Hypotheses from Theory.

Types of Hypotheses, Hypothesis Construction, and Hypothesis Sets.

Research Hypotheses.

Null. Hypotheses.

Statistical Hypotheses.

Where do Hypotheses Come From?

Hypothesis Formulation: Good, Better, and Best.

Functions of Hypotheses.

Single-Variable, Two-Variable, and K -Variable Hypotheses.

Single-Variable Hypotheses.

Two-Variable Hypotheses.

K-Variable Hypotheses.

Hypothesis Testing.

Interpreting the Results of Hypothesis Tests.

Theoretical Considerations.

Sampling Considerations.

Measurement Considerations.

Data Collection Procedures as a Consideration.

Statistical Considerations.

Participant Observation as a Consideration.

12. Ethical Issues In Research.

Ethics Defined.

Ethical Practices in Criminal Justice Organizations Distinguished from Ethical Dilemmas in Research.

Ethics and Social Responsibility.

Ethics and Criminological Research.

Types of Ethical Problems in Research.


Fraudulent Research and Statistical Manipulation.

Research Potentially Harmful to Human Subjects.

Deception: Lying to Respondents.

Accessing Confidential Records and Information.

Sex Offenders: Sexual Histories and Stimulus-Response Experiments.

Granting Permission to Study Subordinates, Potentates, and Juveniles.

The Nuremberg Code.

Professional Associations and the Development of Ethical Standards for Research.

University Guidelines for Research Projects: The Use of Human Subjects.

Ethical Issues.

Sponsored Research and Investigator Interests: Choice or Chance?

Rights of Human Subjects.

Informed Consent and How Personal Information Will Be Used.


Types of Papers and Research Reports.

Term Papers.

Reviews of the Literature.

Critical Essays and Position Papers.

Research Papers.

Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.

A Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Outline.

Sources for References.

Legal Research in Criminal Justice.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions.

Lower Federal Court Opinions.

State Supreme Court Decisions.
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