Unformatted text preview: JS202: Research Design, Methods and Evaluation Week 1 Introductions How is research design, methods and evaluation relevant to your specific career objectives? why study research methods? How might these questions be answered?
Does increasing punishment reduce crime? Who commits crime? Why is crime committed? Does rehabilitation work? Does the death penalty deter crime? What questions need to be asked about each of those issues, so that we can answer each one? What is `research methods' Research methods are formalized ways of gathering information about observations to make better decisions or just gather information Think about your most recent major purchase (car, phone, computer, stereo etc) Methods come from theory The evolution of social science has brought a greater emphasis on systematic explanation and a move away from simple description A theory begins with an interest in some aspect of the real world Key terms Concept abstract labels put on real things Ways to represent certain phenomena in a field of study `broken home' Variable The actual observation and measurement of the phenomenon How can we define `broken home' Key terms continued Statement
A theory contains statements which can be laws, axioms, or propositions
The axiom is `everyone wants material comfort'. Not everyone can afford material comfort. This leads to the proposition that `poor individuals will do whatever they can to gain material comforts' ...poor people are more likely to commit crime Key terms continued Hypothesis Expectations about empirical reality which can be TESTED `children from broken homes have higher rates of criminality than children from traditional families' Null Hypothesis The statement that there is no relationship between the two groups. This is what we test. Key terms continued Paradigm
A frame of reference (or lens) that organizes our view of something Not as structured as a theory Tells us where to look for answers Criminological, feminist, anthropological, evolutionary etc. What the semester will cover Regular, empirical, classical, basic, criminological/sociological research (hypothesis testing) v Evaluation research, policy analysis, program evaluation, performance measurement ...
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- Study Research Methods, specific career objectives, penalty deter crime