Criminal Justice Research Methods Quiz

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42 Questions

What does the author consider a misstep in scientific research?

Characterizing qualitative and quantitative research as polar opposites

How does the author view the practice of research?

As a continuum encompassing both quantitative and qualitative methods

What do researchers from both camps often face?

Similar procedural dilemmas

What is the primary focus of basic research?

Addressing general and fundamental questions about the nature of phenomena

Why are even partial answers to fundamental questions exciting to researchers in basic research?

Due to the far-reaching implications of these questions

What distinguishes applied research from basic research?

It is conducted to address a specific organizational problem

How is basic research often described?

As the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake

Which type of research method relies heavily on statistical procedures and large-scale projects?

Quantitative research

What is a common method of gathering data for quantitative studies?

Mailed questionnaires

What do critics of quantitative research doubt?

Its ability to convey richness and complexity of human behavior

Which type of research emphasizes open-ended information-gathering strategies and face-to-face contact?

Qualitative research

What is Verstehen, a principal method in?

Qualitative research

Which philosophical tradition does qualitative research originate from?

Phenomenology and existentialism

What does qualitative research seek to understand?

Complex networks of meaning

What did Max Weber use qualitative methods for?

Understanding the rise of capitalism

What do qualitative researchers emphasize?

Subjective point of view and free choice

What is a characteristic of ethical obligations in quantitative research?

Easily fulfilled

What is a criticism of qualitative research?

Oversimplifications and distortions

What does quantitative research allow for?

Carefully implemented sampling strategies

What is Verstehen as a research method based on?

Empathy and interpretive understanding of subjects' behavior

What is the primary method of data collection in qualitative studies?

Participant observation

What does field research involve?

Creating a detailed record of observations using various means

How are field data often supplemented in qualitative research?

Structured interviews, oral or written life stories, and analysis of relevant documents

How are qualitative research reports typically presented?

Descriptive, presented in narrative form, and often supplemented with photographs and lengthy direct quotations

With which academic disciplines do qualitative researchers identify more?

Humanities

What is a criticism of participant observation in qualitative research?

Limits the scope of study to small groups or circumscribed sociocultural scenes

What impact may the personal characteristics of the researcher have in qualitative research?

Substantially impact the observations, raising questions about validity and reliability

What practical problems are associated with qualitative research?

Minimizing the impact of the researcher’s presence on observed behavior, maintaining subjects’ anonymity, and obtaining voluntary consent

What risk is associated with participant observation in qualitative research?

A participant observer may become so involved in the research that they lose objectivity

Why is maintaining some distance between the researcher and those being observed important in qualitative research?

To accomplish objective scientific research

What does applied research in criminal justice primarily focus on?

Addressing specific, concrete questions or pragmatic problems

Which type of research may investigate the effectiveness of psychological counseling versus incarceration in reforming offenders?

Applied research

What distinguishes most research concerning criminal justice practitioners?

Falls more toward the applied end of the research continuum

What can competent research enhance in the criminal justice field?

The quality of day-to-day decisions and the management of resources

What are the three main approaches identified in social science research?

Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods

Which pioneer studied the relationship between suicide rates and various statistical indicators of social disorganization in 19th-century European countries?

Emile Durkheim

What does quantitative research in criminal justice primarily seek?

General and universal truths through objective inquiry and statistical analysis

What has mainly subsided in recent years due to the increasing integration of qualitative or quantitative approaches within research projects?

Quantitative-qualitative debates

What does mixed methods research enable in the criminal justice field?

A more complete and synergistic utilization of data than separate approaches

What are quantitative methods in criminal justice rooted in?

Positivism

What mainly originated from disagreements about the nature of human knowledge and how it is best acquired?

Philosophical differences in research approaches

What has allowed for a more complete and synergistic utilization of data than separate quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis?

The mixed-methods approach

Study Notes

Applied and Basic Research in Criminal Justice

  • Applied research addresses specific, concrete questions or pragmatic problems and examines connections among formulated goals, actions taken, and results obtained.
  • Applied research may investigate questions with immediate implications for policy and practice decisions in criminal justice, such as the effectiveness of psychological counseling versus incarceration in reforming offenders.
  • The distinction between applied and basic research is sometimes blurred, but most research with which criminal justice practitioners are concerned falls more toward the applied end of the research continuum.
  • Competent research can enhance the quality of day-to-day decisions and help administrators manage human and financial resources in the most efficient and effective way possible in the criminal justice field.
  • Another distinction made in social science research is between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches, with ongoing debates about their relative merits.
  • Methodologists have identified false and/or misleading distinctions between quantitative and qualitative methodologies and recognized that good research often involves elements of both approaches.
  • Mixed methods research (MMR) integrates or mixes qualitative or quantitative approaches within a single investigation, study, or program of inquiry, enabling a more complete and synergistic utilization of data than separate approaches.
  • Quantitative methods are rooted in positivism, seeking general and universal truths through objective inquiry and statistical analysis, emphasizing deterministic orientation and rejecting free will for explaining human behavior.
  • Emile Durkheim was a pioneer in quantitative social analysis, studying the relationship between suicide rates and various statistical indicators of social disorganization in 19th-century European countries.
  • The philosophical differences in research approaches originated from disagreements about the nature of human knowledge and how it is best acquired, as well as political struggles within and among academic disciplines.
  • The quantitative-qualitative debates have mainly subsided in recent years due to the increasing integration or mixing of qualitative or quantitative approaches within research projects.
  • The mixed-methods approach allows for a more complete and synergistic utilization of data than separate quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and it has advantages and disadvantages that will be discussed in the text.

Test your knowledge of applied and basic research in criminal justice with this quiz. Explore the distinctions between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches, and learn about the impact of competent research on day-to-day decisions and resource management in the field of criminal justice.

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