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Lecture 5

CCJS 300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing


Department
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Course Code
CCJS 300
Professor
Alan Lehman
Lecture
5

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SURVEY RESEARCH
-Tool for primary data gathering
-Typical research question types:
1.) Behaviors (i.e. have you ever used an illegal drug?)
2.) Attitudes/Beliefs/Opinions (i.e. do you feel safe in your neighborhood?)
3.) Characteristics (i.e. what is the highest level of education you have?)
4.) Expectations (i.e. will your new home have a security system?)
5.) Self-classification (i.e. which social class describes you?)
6.) Knowledge (i.e. has the UMD crime rate increased? Decreased?)
7.) Policies (i.e. does MD practice ‘asset forfeiture’?)
WHAT IS A SURVEY
-Compared to experiments
-In experiments, respondents are usually randomly assigned, exposed to some condition or
treatment, and assessed or measured to see if differences are caused by different conditions
-Numbers of variables & hypotheses offered are usually low
-In surveys, respondents typically all answer the same questions (more consistent), survey results
thought of as correlational, not necessarily causal, and more questions/variables/hypotheses seen
STEPS IN CONDUCTING A SURVEY
1.) Develop hypotheses
2.) Type of survey (mail, internet, telephone)
3.) Write survey questions, consider answer categories
4.) Design survey layout
5.) Pilot test survey instrument
6.) Who is the target population?
7.) Select sample/sample size
8.) Conduct survey
9.) Record data
10.) Statistical analysis
11.) Describe methods and findings
12.) Present findings for critique & evaluation
SURVEYS AS SELF-REPORTED DATA
-Potential disadvantages:
1.) Inaccurate reporting
2.) Poor use of survey instruments
3.) Poor research designs
-Strengths:
1.) Reliability & validity have improved
2.) Check self-reports against other data
3.) Use observers, peers, and informants
4.) Polygraph
GUIDELINES FOR QUESTIONNAIRE CONSTRUCTION
-Questionnaire wording
-Organization of the survey
TYPES OF SURVEYS
-Mail surveys
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