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CRIM 430: CJ Research Lecture 1. Ways of Knowing Tradition—information conveyed through culture, history…cumulative Authority—information conveyed by.

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Presentation on theme: "CRIM 430: CJ Research Lecture 1. Ways of Knowing Tradition—information conveyed through culture, history…cumulative Authority—information conveyed by."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRIM 430: CJ Research Lecture 1

2 Ways of Knowing Tradition—information conveyed through culture, history…cumulative Authority—information conveyed by someone with credibility (e.g., expert) on the topic Observation—Information based on logical and empirical (data) support The credibility of tradition, authority, and observation requires that the information derived from them “fits” with experience

3 Advancement of Knowledge Experiential Reality (ER)=Believe it because we experience it Agreement Reality (AR)=Believe it because we’re told and everyone seems to agree (it’s logical) AR MATCHES ER  Information Accepted AR DOES NOT MATCH ER  Information Rejected Advancement of knowledge and understanding requires an interplay of all the ways of knowing

4 Putting it All Together—The Basis of Science Tradition/Authority Information Extent to Which Info. Is Logical & Plausible (Agreement Reality) Extent to Which Info. “Fits” with Experience (Experiential Reality)

5 Defining the Scientific Method Scientific Method=Production of knowledge through objective observation and analysis Identifies regularities and patterns between phenomenon Requires adherence to rules and specific procedures to increase accuracy and objectivity and to reduce bias and inaccuracy Caution: Science protects and increases the integrity of information but it does not guarantee it. Knowledge evolves based on what information is available to us at any given time Human behavior is complex and all influences cannot be accounted for in social sciences

6 How Does Science Improve Knowledge? Without ScienceWith Science Inaccurate Observation—Record/recall observations incorrectly Structured observation & recording methods Overgeneralization—Using a few events to identify a general pattern Rules & standards for sample size representativenes, & replication Selective Observation—Pay attention to only those events that reinforce perceived pattern Rules & standards for sample size representativenes, & replication Illogical Reasoning—Focusing on implausible ideas or exceptions to the rule Use of logic & peer review Ideology & Politics—Personal opinions and viewpoints influence interpretation of facts Rules & standards increases objectivity “To Err is Human”—Sometimes we are just wrong Built-In Precautions to avoid error

7 What is the Research Process? The research process refers to the application of the rules and procedures of science to understand a phenomenon (e.g., crime) The research process is a never-ending enterprise…constantly revising itself to further advance knowledge—it is spiral rather than circular Goal of the research process=To continuously improve measurement of observations in order to estimate reality as accurately as possible.

8 Basic Elements of the Research Process Paradigm/Ideology/Theory Research question Identifying the independent and dependent variables implied in the research question Identifying an appropriate research design Identifying an appropriate sample Identifying measures for study variables Identifying an appropriate method of data collection Data Collection Data Analysis to Produce Results Implications of Results on Research Question

9 The Research Process Paradigm/ Ideology/ Theory Research Question ID Independent & Dependent Variables Collect Data Analyze Data and Produce Results Confirm or Refute Research Question Application of Results Revise or Advance Current Knowledge & Beliefs ID Research Design& Sample ID Measures for the Variables ID Method for Collecting Data

10 Paradigm A way of thinking about and viewing the world Paradigms structures our understanding of phenomenon Paradigm shift occurs when one view or interpretation replaces another—example for crime Spiritual explanations  Free Will  Determinism Different paradigms can coexist depending on the assumptions of the paradigm Retribution  Rehabilitation  Incapacitation  Mix Research produces information that either confirms, questions, or refutes a paradigm

11 Theory A specific framework developed within a paradigm to understand a phenomenon The purpose of a theory is: To understand To explain To predict Proposes/predicts relationships between the cause and the effect: X  Y Proposed relationship(s) create the basis for testable predictions or research questions

12 Basic Components of a Theory Concepts Conceptualization=applying words to a mental image; it is the process used to specify what we mean with the use of specific terms Creates concepts=words or symbols used to convey meaning and relationships Concepts can be interpreted in many ways Concepts are measurable in this form—requires a process of operationalization or turning concepts into variables

13 Components of a Theory, Cont’d. Research Question A specific question about the relationship between two or more factors (or variables) proposed in a theory A research question is the foundation of the research study. Everything revolves around it Hypotheses Measurable statements that represents the predicted relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable More specific statement that offers a prediction to the research question

14 Purpose of a Theory To establish a causal relationship between two or more variables Criteria for determining causation CORRELATION: The variables must be statistically correlated TEMPORAL ORDERING: The independent variable must precede the dependent variable NON-SPURIOUS: The relationship cannot be due to (1) coincidence or (2) a third variable not accounted for

15 Approaches to the Research Process Inductive Method 1. Make observations 2. Using the observations, develop a theory or prediction for future observations Deductive Method 1. Develop theory and prediction (I.e., hypothesis) 2. Use observations to confirm or refute the prediction Both methods are essential to research The methods are complement each other rather than compete with one another—Two sides of the same coin

16 Inductive v. Deductive Methods Inductive MethodDeductive Method Observations Research Question Evaluate Question & Develop Theory Theory Hypothesis Confirm, Refute & Revise Theory

17 Both Methods are Related & Critical to the Research Process Inductive Research Deductive Research Theory

18 Types of Research Qualitative Research=Use of description via verbal information to develop themes and patterns related to a research question Suited better for inductive research Provides advantages for exploratory research and the basis for developing a theory (“grounded theory”) Less suited for theory testing

19 Types of Research, Cont’d. Quantitative Research=Use of description via numerical manipulations to identify patterns and relationships related to a research question Suited better for deductive research Necessary for theory testing Can be used for explorative research but is more limited

20 Standards Related to Research Causal Reasoning: Standard requires complete confidence that the independent variable always results in the dependent variable Difficult to find such a relationship in the social sciences Probabilistic Reasoning: The effects occur more often when the causes occur than when the causes are absent More likely to occur in the social sciences

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