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Criminological Research & Statistics

By: Dean John Dexter G. Sarcena, MSCrim

Meaning and nature of research Ethical consideration of research

1. The word research is composed of two
syllables, re and search. Dictionary define the 1. Veracity/ accurate analysis and reporting
former syllable as a prefix meaning again, anew (obligation to tell the truth, not to lie or deceive
or over again, and the latter as a verb meaning others).
to examine closely and carefully. 2. Privacy (obligation to maintain the state or
2. There are two basic complementary research condition of limited access to person).
approaches – quantitative and qualitative. 3. Anonymity and confidentiality (obligation to
divulge information discovered without the
3. There are two main goals of social
(criminological) research-pure (to develop permission of the subject).
theory and expand knowledge base) and 4. Fidelity (obligation to remain faithful to one’s
applied (to develop solutions for problems and commitments, which includes keeping promises
relevant application for criminological practice). and maintaining confidentiality)
4. There are three possible reasons for 5. informed consent (seeking permission to the
conducting criminological research a. person/guardian).
exploration (conducted when there is little prior
knowledge); description (yield to additional 6. No harm (obligation not to inflict
information only when there is a little prior harm/endanger either physical or psychological
knowledge has been obtained) and; explanation or socially).
(when substantial knowledge is available, it
7. Voluntary participation
attempts to explain the facts already gathered).
8. Avoiding deception (reveal real purpose of
5. research is simply a systematic, controlled,
the research).
empirical and critical investigation or refined
technique of thinking, employing specialized Research methods
tools, instruments, and procedures in order to
obtain a more adequate solution of a problem Method of criminological research
than would possible under ordinary means.
1. Descriptive method (to describe
6. Research process starts with a. identifying systematically a situation or area of interest
the problem, b. formulation of hypothesis, c. factually and accurately)
collects data or facts, d. analyzes the critically,
2. Historical method (to reconstruct the past
and e. reaches decision based on actual
objectively and accurately, often in relation to
the tenability of a hypothesis)
7. Research involves original work (literature,
3. Case and field method (to study intensively
studies, and readings) instead of a mere
the background, current status, and
exercise of opinion.
environmental interactions of a given social
8. Research involves from genuine desire to unit)
know (probe) rather than a desire to prove
4. correlation method (to investigate the extent
to which variations in one factor correlate with
variations in one or more other factors based
on correlation coefficient)

5. Casual – comparative or “ex post facto” Hypothesis (“wise guess”) null hypothesis; alternative
method (to investigate possible cause-and- hypothesis (operational hypothesis)
effect relationships by observing some existing
consequences and looking back through the Sources of information
data for plausible causal factor). 1. Related literature (books, magazine)
6. Experimental method (to investigate cause- 2. Related reading (legal documents, memos)
and-effect relationship between two or more 3. related studies (journals, thesis, and
treatment conditions and comparing the results dissertation)
to a control groups not receiving the treatment; 4. Key informants
“what will happen?”) 5. Artifacts
6. Other materials evidences
Types of criminological research
Writing the research report
1. Action research (to develop new skills or new
approaches and to solve problems with direct APA format makes use of parentitical citation
application to the workplace or other applied (old format use Latin citations-ibid; op. cit; or
setting) loccit and endnotes or footnotes)

Parts of a research paper (thesis)

2. Survey (descriptive) research (to know of
interest “what is”; typically employs A. preliminary pages
questionnaires and interviews to determine 1. cover page
attitudes, opinion, preferences, and perception 2. approval sheet
of interest to the researcher) 3. abstract
4. table of contents
a) close-ended questionnaire (pre 5. list of tables
categorized by the researcher’s words)
b) open-ended questionnaire (in Chapter 1 - introduction
respondent’s words) a) background of the study
b) conceptual framework
3. Observational research (collecting direct c) the problem and hyphothesis
information about human behavior) Chapter 2 - methods and procedures
a) research design
4. Historical research (investigating documents b) population
and other sources that contains facts that c) data-gathering procedures
existed in the past; “what was”) d) data gathering tools (includes the description of
the research instruments, validity and reliability
5. Evaluation research (to study processes and of the instruments)
procedure for the improvement of a system). e) statistical tools
Chapter 3 - interpretation and analysis of findings
Types of criminological research according to purpose a) presentation of data
b) analysis and interpretation
1. Exploration (to develop an initial, rough c) drawing implications out of the research
understanding of a phenomenon) findings
d) d corroboration from related sources of
Methods: literature reviews, interviews, information
case studies, key informants Chapter 4 - conclusions and recommendations

2. Description (precise measurement and

B. appendices (references, forms/tools. Curriculum vitae)
reporting of the characteristics of the
population or phenomenon)

Methods: census, surveys, qualitative

studies Statistics

3. Explanation (why “is x the case?” or “is x the Sampling refers to the method of choosing subjects in a
relationship?”) particularly study.

Methods: experimental There are two basic approaches to sampling: probability

(systematic; randomized and non probability sampling)
a) Probability sampling (simple random, stratified  Inferential statistics. These are statistical
random, cluster, systematic-intervals) techniques used to estimate or predict a
b) Non probability (convenience, quota, purposive population parameter from a sample statistic.
or judgmental, snow-ball)
An understanding of the normal curve is essential
Levels of measurement (a process that employs rules statistics and includes an understanding of symmetry,
to assign numbers to phenomenon) skewdness, and standard scores.

 Nominal (observations are collected or Likert scale is a summative rating scale used to
categorized or sorted based on defined ascertain opinion or attitudes; each item contains a
properties; each category is distinct, mutually range or scaled response on a particular question
exclusive, and exhaustive. stemming from “strongly-agree” to “strongly disagree”
Ex. Gender, religious affiliation, college major,
hair color, birth place, nationality, tribe) Types of questionnaire
 Ordinal (scores or observations are ranked in 1. Structured wording and order of questions are
order without distance between individuals. uniform for all respondents.
Ex. Age group when ranked, socio-economic- 2. Unstructured wording and order of questions
status, level of conflict can vary for different subjects; usually used for
 Interval (with equal intervals between numbers qualitative studies like FGDs, case studies, etc.
where there is no absolute absence of the
attribute because zero is assigned and Types of questions
represents an arbitrary point.
Closed-ended - respondents selects one or more of the
Ex. Temperature, iq score
specific categories provided by the researcher.
 Ratio (this is in contrast to interval where there
exist an absolute absence of the attribute or Example:
rational zero.
Ex. Age, height, weight, length of time Do you practice family planning?

__yes __no

Common statistical tools If yes, what methods did you use?

 For sample size, slovin’s; partern’s formula __condom __ligation

 For reliability test, split-half method; spearman- __injectables __pills
brown prophesy. Cronbach’s coefficient alpha
 For the test of validity; standardized tool; pass __IUD __natural
through the panel of experts; used in other
__others, specify________
Advantages of close ended questions
Sources of measurement errors
1. The answers are standard, and can be
 Environmental factors
compared from person to person.
 Research factors
2. The answers are much easier to code
 Instrumentation factors
3. Irrelevant responses are avoided
 Subject factors
Disadvantages of close-ended questions
Two categories of quantitative data analysis
a) The respondent who does not know the
 Descriptive statistics. These statistical methods
answer or has no opinion may try to
which summarize, organize, and describe data,
guess the appropriate answer or even
providing an organized visual presentation of
to answer randomly. (for self
the data collected.
administered questionnaire)
Ex. Measures of central tendencies (mean,
b) The respondent may feel frustrated
median, mode) and measures of variability
because the appropriate category for
(range, interquartile range, variance, semi-
his/her answer either is not provided at
quartile range, and standard deviation)
all or is not provided insufficient detail.
(for self-administered questionnaire)
Open-ended - response categories are not specified;  Is used to internal and label unobtrusive
the respondents are free to answer as they please. psychological process that account for the
 They are useful, powerful and even
We would like to get your opinion regarding the indispensable
effectiveness of the project in your barangay.  Understanding how it operates will help
accurately interpret data
1. What do you think are the strengths of the
project? Why did you say so? Respondents of the study
2. How do you think can the project still be
 A section on the research proposal discusses in
improved to meet its objective?
detail the characteristics of the respondents in
Advantages of open-ended questions the study.
 It also includes description of the populations,
a) These can be used when all the possible answer geographical and economic locations, as well
categories are not known. the rationale for including them in the study.
b) These allow the respondent to answer
c) They can be used when there are too many
potential answer categories to list on the
d) They allow more opportunity for creativity and
self-expression by the respondent.

Disadvantages of open-ended questions

a) These may lead to the collection of worthless

and irrelevant information.
b) Coding is often very difficult.
c) Open-ended questions require a higher
educational level than do close-ended questions
d) Open-ended questions require much more of
the respondent’s time and effort.


Variable is a symbol to which numerals or values are


 Dependent variable
 Independent variable
 Intervening variable

Categorizing variables


 Is presumed cause
 In experimental research, is that which you
manipulated before you took it


 Is presumed effect

Intervening variables

Sampling techniques 6. Multistage sampling

 A sample reflects the characteristics of the A. Commonly used when no detailed

population or actual listing of individuals
 A basic concept in sampling is that what is B. Sampling is dine in stages
called randomness which simply means the act C. The population elements are
of sampling is not purposive. grouped following a hierarchy of
 Randomization seeks to insure that every individuals.
individual in the population has an equal chance
Non-probability sampling
of being included in the sample.
1. Judgment sampling
Four factors n selecting size and population
A. Selecting representative sample
1. homogeneity according to your subjective
2. size of the population judgment.
3. cost B. Appropriate to make when you
4. precision have made a judgment about an
individual’s potential as source of
General types of sampling information
2. Quota sampling
Probability sampling
A. A variation of judgment sampling
1. Random sampling B. A defined quota must be filled,
predetermined by certain extent of
A. Selecting the individuals out of N characteristics of the population so
such that individuals have equal that the quota sample will be
chances of being selected. representative of the population.
B. Techniques suitable for 3. Accidental sampling
homogeneous population. A. Simple technique whoever happens
2. Systematic random sampling to be there at the time of data
A. Sample is selected through simple B. Done on spot surveys.
random process.
B. Succeeding samples are chosen in a
pre-established intervals

3. Stratified sampling

A. Divide samples in homogeneous

groups called strata.
B. Draw sample from simple random

4. Simple cluster sampling

A. A one stage sampling technique

where the population is grouped by
cluster elements.

5. Strip sampling

A. Divide the area into simple narrow

B. Select number of strips at random
either by complete randomization
or with some degree of
C. Consider only part of the strips as
one narrow unit.

Glossary of Research-Related Terms Dependent variable – a wimpy (unimportant) variable,
the variable that is a presumed effect. Also referred to
Average - an ambiguous term generally suggesting as the criterion variable, the effect, the outcome. Or the
typical or normal – a central tendency. The mean, posttest.
median, and mode are example of mathematical Descriptive statistics – a data analysis technique
averages. enabling the researcher to meaningfully describe many
Applied research – a research conducted for the scores with a small number of numerical indices.
purpose of applying, or testing, theory and evaluating Discrete variable – a variable whose attributes are
its usefulness in solving problem. separate from one another, or discontinuous, as in the
Basic research – a research conducted for the purpose
case of gender and religious affiliation.
of theory development or refinement. Evaluation research – a research undertaken for the
Case study - the in-depth examination of a single purpose of determining the impact of some social
instance of some special phenomenon, such as a intervention, such as a program aimed at solving aq
juvenile gang. social problem.
Causal-comparative research – a research that Historical research – the systematic collection and
attempts to determine the cause, or reason, for existing evaluation of data related to past occurrences in order
differences in the behavior or status of groups of to describe causes, effects, or trends of those events
individuals. which may help o explain present events and anticipate
Chi square – a non-parametric test of significance future events.
appropriate when the data are in the form of frequency Hypothesis – a specified testable expectation about
counts. empirical reality that follows from a more general
Cohort study – a study in which some specific
subpopulation (cohort) is studied over time, although Independent variable – the variable that is presumed
data may be collected from different members in each to cause.
set of observations. Informant – someone well versed in the social
Concept mapping – the graphical display of concepts phenomenon that you wish to study and who is willing
and their interrelations, useful in the formulation of to tell you what he or she knows about it.
theory. Interview – a data-gathering technique in which a
Confidentiality – an act of concealing the identity of a person asks questions of another.
person’s response. Longitudinal study – a study designed involving the
Conflict theory – a theoretical perspective that collection of data at different points in time.
emphasizes the role of power and coercion in producing Mean – the arithmetic average of a set of scores.
social order. Median – that point in the distribution on and below
Contact theory – the theory that prejudice will be 50% the scores.
reduced through social interaction with those of Meta-analysis - a statistical approach to summarizing
different ethnicity but equal status. the results of many studies which have investigated
Content analysis – the study of recorded human basically the same problem.
communications, such as books and laws. Non –parametric test – a test of significance
Correlational research – a research that involves appropriate when the data represent as ordinal or
collecting data in order to determine whether and to nominal scale, when the parametric assumption has
what degree, a relationship exist between two or more been greatly violated or when the natures of the
quantifiable variables. distribution is not known.
Criminology – the study of crime from scientific Null-hypothesis – a statement of no
perspective. relationship/difference between variables.
Criminological research – a special branch of sociology.
Paradigm – those refer to a framework for observation
It deals on the analysis of crimes and criminal behavior and understanding. It is like putting a shape into
that scientific basis in order to the phenomena. something that we see.
Cross-case analysis – an analysis that involves an Parameter – numerical index describing ten behavior of
examination of more than one case, either a variable- population.
oriented or case-oriented analysis. Parametric test – a test of significant appropriate when
Cross-sectional study – a study based on observation the data represent an interval or ration scale of
representing a single point in time. measurement and other assumptions have been met.
Data – these are systematic information that Participatory action research – an approach to social
criminologists us to investigate research question.
research in which the people being studied are given

control over the purpose and procedures of the
Pilot study – a small study conducted prior to the
conducting of the actual study.
Population – the group to which the researcher would
like the results of the study to be generalized.
Primary source – a firsthand information such as the
testimony if an eyewitness, an original document, a
relic, or a description of study written by a person who
Quantitative analysis – the numerical representation
and manipulations for the purpose of the purpose of
describing and explaining he phenomena that those
observations reflect.
Qualitative analysis – the non-numerical examination
and interpretation of observations, for the purpose of
discovering underlying meanings and patters of
Reliability – the quality of measurement method that
suggest the dame data would have been collected each
time in repeated observations of the same
Research – a systematic, controlled, empirical, and
critical investigation of hypothetical propositions about
the presumed relations among natural phenomena.
Sample – a number of individuals selected from a
population for the study. Preferably in such a way that
they represent the larger group from which they were
Scientific method – the steps o n a research process,
including observation, hypothesis testing, analysis of
data, and generalization.
Split-half – a type of reliability that is based on the
internal consistency of a test and is estimated by
dividing a test into two equivalent halves and
correlating the scores on the two halves.
Statistics – a numerical index describing the behavior of
a sample or samples.
Theory – a systematic explanation for the observations
that relate to a particular aspect of life.
Triangulation – the use of multiple methods, data
collection techniques/strategies, and/or data sources in
order to get a more complete picture and to cross-
check information.
Units of analysis – the what or whom being studied. In
criminological research, the most typical units of
analysis are individual people.
Validity – a term describing a measure that accurately
reflects the concept it is intended to measure.
Variable - A concept that cam assume any one of a
range of values, e.g. aptitude, gender.