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Chapter 8

CCJS 300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Spot Analysis, Content Analysis, Observer-Expectancy Effect

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Course Code
CCJS 300
Alan Lehman

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-Unobtrusive measures: ways of studying groups so that they remain unaware of being studied,
thus eliminating reactivity
-Major types of unobtrusive methods:
-Physical trace analysis: involves the analysis of deposits, accretion of matter, and other
indirect substances produced by previous human interaction
-Content analysis: systematic classification and analysis of data such as the content of
mass media
-Secondary analysis: reanalysis of data that were gathered for other purposes
-Simulation: situation or game that attempts to mimic key features of reality
-Hazards come with using existing data such as autobiographies because they may not be reliable
-Limitations of official data: the data have been gathered for agency purposes and therefore may
not contain the degree of accuracy or operationalization the researcher desires, data may be
deliberately “fudged” to give a favorable impression of the organization, studies overtime are
hazardous because of instrumentation or changes in the recordkeeping procedures of the agency,
and variables may not have been measured in the way the investigator hoped
-Two methods of analysis used to determine the extent to which neighborhoods differed in the
type and concentration of street gang activity and to examine the neighborhood characteristics
that were associated with high levels of lethal and nonlethal street gang activity
-Data primarily from CPD records and census data
-Data collected was on homicides, street gang-motivated offenses, street gang territory
boundaries, and defining gang affiliation
-Mark-recapture or removal techniques used to ensure accuracy on measuring hidden
-Potentially hazardous and relatively neglected area of criminal justice research has been the
primary use of historical and archival data
-Content analysis is good for comparative and historical studies or for discerning trends in
existing phenomena
-Basic procedure for content analysis:
-Selection of categories and subjects to be analyzed
-Rigorous establishment of criteria for inclusion, a feature which ensures that the study
can be replicated by others
-Carefully following the preestablished classification scheme
-Statistically analyzing the results
-GIS contains information on automated pin mapping, hot spot analysis, grid analysis,
investigative tools, and research
-There has been a large growth in computer software
-Variety of software exists for analyzing qualitative data which store and organize notes and
assist in finding patterns in these notes
-Meta-analysis: statistical analysis of data from many different studies dealing with the same
research question in order to determine general findings
-Literature reviews and reviews of results of previous studies also fall under unobtrusive
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