Basics of Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology

ISBN-10: 0495503851
ISBN-13: 9780495503859
Edition: 2nd 2009
List price: $154.95
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Description: This brief introduction to research methods combines accessibility and a conversational writing style with Michael G. Maxfield's expertise in criminology and criminal justice. In fewer than 400 pages, the text introduces you to the basics of  More...

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Book details

List price: $154.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Wadsworth
Publication date: 8/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.452

This brief introduction to research methods combines accessibility and a conversational writing style with Michael G. Maxfield's expertise in criminology and criminal justice. In fewer than 400 pages, the text introduces you to the basics of criminal justice research utilizing real data and featuring coverage of such key issues as ethics, causation, validity, field research, and research design.

Michael G. Maxfield is a professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He is the author of numerous articles and books on a variety of topics, including victimization, policing, homicide, community corrections, and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. Professor Maxfield is the editor of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency and serves on the editorial boards of both the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and Criminal Justice: The International Journal of Policy and Practice.

Earl R. Babbie graduated from Harvard University before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and began teaching shortly thereafter. Credited with defining research methods for the social sciences, Dr. Babbie has written several texts, including the bestselling THE PRACTICE OF SOCIAL RESEARCH.

Preface
An Introduction to Criminal Justice Inquiry
Criminal Justice and Scientific Inquiry
Introduction
Home Detention
What Is This Book About?
Two Realities
The Role of Science
Personal Human Inquiry
Tradition
Authority
Arrest and Domestic Violence
Errors in Personal Human Inquiry
Inaccurate Observation
Overgeneralization
Selective Observation
Illogical Reasoning
Ideology and Politics
To Err Is Human
Foundations of Social Science
Theory, Not Philosophy or Belief
Regularities
What about Exceptions?
Aggregates, Not Individuals
A Variable Language
Variables and Attributes
Variables and Relationships
Purposes of Research
Exploration
Description
Explanation
Application
Differing Avenues for Inquiry
Idiographic and Nomothetic Explanations
Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
Quantitative and Qualitative Data
Knowing through Experience: Summing Up and Looking Ahead
Main Points
Ethics and Criminal Justice Research
Introduction
Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice Research
No Harm to Participants
Ethics and Extreme Field Research
Voluntary Participation
Anonymity and Confidentiality
Deceiving Subjects
Analysis and Reporting
Legal Liability
Special Problems
Promoting Compliance with Ethical Principles
Codes of Professional Ethics
Institutional Review Boards
Institutional Review Board Requirements and Researcher Rights
Ethics and Juvenile Gang Members
Ethical Controversies
The Stanford Prison Experiment
Discussion Examples
Main Points
Structuring Criminal Justice Inquiry
General Issues in Research Design
Introduction
Causation in the Social Sciences
Criteria for Causality
Necessary and Sufficient Causes
Validity and Causal Inference
Statistical Conclusion Validity
Internal Validity
External Validity
Construct Validity
Validity and Causal Inference Summarized
Does Drug Use Cause Crime?
Causation and Declining Crime in New York City
Introducing Scientific Realism
Units of Analysis
Individuals
Groups
Organizations
Social Artifacts
The Ecological Fallacy
Units of Analysis in Review
Units of Analysis in the National Youth Gang Survey
The Time Dimension
Cross-Sectional Studies
Longitudinal Studies
Approximating Longitudinal Studies
The Time Dimension Summarized
How to Design a Research Project
The Research Process
Getting Started
Conceptualization
Choice of Research Method
Operationalization
Population and Sampling
Observations
Analysis
Application
Research Design in Review
The Research Proposal
Elements of a Research Proposal
Answers to the Units-of-Analysis Exercise
Main Points
Concepts, Operationalization, and Measurement
Introduction
Conceptions and Concepts
Conceptualization
Indicators and Dimensions
What Is Recidivism?
Creating Conceptual Order
Operationalization Choices
Measurement as Scoring
Jail Stay
Exhaustive and Exclusive Measurement
Levels of Measurement
Implications of Levels of Measurement
Criteria for Measurement Quality
Reliability
Validity
Measuring Crime
General Issues in Measuring Crime
Units of Analysis and Measuring Crime
Measures Based on Crimes Known to Police
Victim Surveys
Surveys of Offending
Measuring Crime Summary
Composite Measures
Typologies
An Index of Disorder
Measurement Summary
Main Points
Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
Introduction
The Classical Experiment
Independent and Dependent Variables
Pretesting and Posttesting
Experimental and Control Groups
Double-Blind Experiments
Selecting Subjects
Randomization
Experiments and Causal Inference
Experiments and Threats to Validity
Threats to Internal Validity
Ruling Out Threats to Internal Validity
Generalizability and Threats to Validity
Variations in the Classical Experimental Design
Quasi-Experimental Designs
Nonequivalent-Groups Designs
Cohort Designs
Time-Series Designs
Variations in Time-Series Designs
Variable-Oriented Research and Scientific Realism
Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs Summarized
Main Points
Modes of Observation
Sampling
Introduction
The Logic of Probability Sampling
Conscious and Unconscious Sampling Bias
Representativeness and Probability of Selection
Probability Theory and Sampling Distribution
The Sampling Distribution of 10 Cases
From Sampling Distribution to Parameter Estimate
Estimating Sampling Error
Confidence Levels and Confidence Intervals
Probability Theory and Sampling Distribution Summed Up
Populations and Sampling Frames
Types of Sampling Designs
Simple Random Sampling
Systematic Sampling
Stratified Sampling
Disproportionate Stratified Sampling
Multistage Cluster Sampling
Multistage Cluster Sampling with Stratification
Illustration: Two National Crime Surveys
The National Crime Victimization Survey
The British Crime Survey
Probability Sampling in Review
Nonprobability Sampling
Purposive Sampling
Quota Sampling
Reliance on Available Subjects
Snowball Sampling
Nonprobability Sampling in Review
Main Points
Survey Research and Other Ways of Asking Questions
Introduction
Topics Appropriate to Survey Research
Counting Crime
Self-Reports
Perception and Attitudes
Targeted Victim Surveys
Other Evaluation Uses
Guidelines for Asking Questions
Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Questions
Questions and Statements
Make Items Clear
Short Items Are Best
Avoid Negative Items
Biased Items and Terms
Designing Self-Report Items
Questionnaire Construction
General Questionnaire Format
Contingency Questions
Matrix Questions
Ordering Items in a Questionnaire
Don't Start from Scratch!
Self-Administered Questionnaires
Mail Distribution and Return
Warning Mailings and Cover Letters
Follow-Up Mailings
Acceptable Response Rates
Computer-Based Self-Administration
In-Person Interview Surveys
The Role of the Interviewer
Coordination and Control
Computer-Assisted In-Person Interviews
Telephone Surveys
Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing
Comparison of the Three Methods
Strengths and Weaknesses of Survey Research
Other Ways of Asking Questions
Specialized Interviewing
Focus Groups
Should You Do It Yourself?
Main Points
Field Research
Introduction
Topics Appropriate to Field Research
The Various Roles of the Observer
Asking Questions
Gaining Access to Subjects
Gaining Access to Formal Organizations
Gaining Access to Subcultures
Selecting Cases for Observation
Purposive Sampling in Field Research
Recording Observations
Cameras and Voice Recorders
Field Notes
Structured Observations
Linking Field Observations and Other Data
Illustrations of Field Research
Field Research on Speeding and Traffic Enforcement
Conducting a Safety Audit
Bars and Violence
Strengths and Weaknesses of Field Research
Validity
Reliability
Generalizability
Main Points
Agency Records, Content Analysis, and Secondary Data
Introduction
Topics Appropriate for Agency Records and Content Analysis
Types of Agency Records
Published Statistics
Nonpublic Agency Records
New Data Collected by Agency Staff
Improving Police Records of Domestic Violence
Reliability and Validity
Sources of Reliability and Validity Problems
How Many Parole Violators Were There Last Month?
Content Analysis
Coding in Content Analysis
Illustrations of Content Analysis
Secondary Analysis
Sources of Secondary Data
Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Data
Main Points
Application and Analysis
Evaluation Research and Problem Analysis
Introduction
Topics Appropriate for Evaluation Research and Problem Analysis
The Policy Process
Linking the Process to Evaluation
Getting Started
Evaluability Assessment
Problem Formulation
Measurement
Designs for Program Evaluation
Randomized Evaluation Designs
Home Detention: Two Randomized Studies
Quasi-Experimental Designs
Other Types of Evaluation Studies
Problem Analysis and Scientific Realism
Problem-Oriented Policing
Auto Theft in Chula Vista
Other Applications of Problem Analysis
Space- and Time-Based Analysis
Scientific Realism and Applied Research
The Political Context of Applied Research
Evaluation and Stakeholders
When Politics Accommodates Facts
Politics and Objectivity
Main Points
Interpreting Data
Introduction
Univariate Description
Distributions
Measures of Central Tendency
Measures of Dispersion
Comparing Measures of Dispersion and Central Tendency
Computing Rates
Describing Two or More Variables
Bivariate Analysis
Murder on the Job
Multivariate Analysis
Inferential Statistics
Univariate Inferences
Tests of Statistical Significance
Visualizing Statistical Significance
Chi Square
Cautions in Interpreting Statistical Significance
Main Points
Glossary
References
Name Index
Subject Index

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