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Chapter 5

CCJS 300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Polygraph


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

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-Surveys record either expressed attitude or claimed behavior and seldom the behavior itself
GUIDELINES FOR QUESTIONNAIRE CONSTRUCTION
-Clearly formatting the research problem and the data required to speak directly to the research
problem
-Variables list: a list of variables being measured keyed to the question number in the
questionnaire which are designed to measure each variable
-Dummy tables: preliminary blank tables constructed prior to data gathering that suggest the type
of data needed, as well as the type of data analysis
QUESTIONNAIRE WORDING
-Language must be geared to the target population
-Care must be taken to identify clearly who should answer the questions
-Avoid biased or leading questions
-Avoid double-barreled questions
-Avoid asking questions in an objectionable manner
-Avoid assuming prior information on the part of the respondent
-Avoid vague wording
-Avoid asking more than you need to know
-Avoid “response set” patterns by using reversal questions
-Decide whether open-ended or close-ended questions are best
-Do not assume that the respondents have all the information necessary to make a meaningful or
informed decision
-Pretest: exploratory test of an instrument on subjects who are similar to the group to be studied
ORGANIZATION
-Best begun with items that arouse and gain the respondents attention
-Demographics at the end
MAIL SURVEYS
-Most common, offers wide coverage at a minimum cost
-Advantages:
-Afford wide geographical and perhaps more representative samples at a reasonable cost,
effort, and time
-Requires no field staff
-Eliminates interviewer bias effects
-Afford the respondents more privacy
-More considered answers
-Disadvantages:
-Nonresponse
-Possible differences between respondents and nonrespondents
-Lack of uniformity in response
-Slowness of response to follow-up attempts
-Possibility that a number of respondents may misinterpret the questions
-Escalating costs if several follow ups are required
-Eliminating disadvantages: follow-up, offering remuneration, altruistic appeals, attractive
format, sponsorship, endorsements, personalization, shortened format, and good timing
-Tailored Design Method (TDM): using multiple contacts seeking response, and endorsements to
increase response rates
SELF-REPORT SURVEYS
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