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Chapter 1

CCJS 300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Scientific Method, Human Events, Scientism

Criminology and Criminal Justice
Course Code
CCJS 300
Alan Lehman

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Chapter 1: Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods: Theory and Method
science combines rational theoretical explanation with the scientific method
replication repetition of experiments or studies utilizing the same methodology
verification confirmation of the accuracy of findings; attainment of greater
certitude in conclusions through additional observations
•3 suggestions for improving criminal justice research
–research requires interdisciplinary efforts as well as the tackling of
field-oriented, practical problems
–researchers should cease giving speeches to practitioners about the value of
research and attack their practical concerns with a realistic appraisal of error
proneness of any research endeavor
–it is time to be done with methodological narcissism fanatical adherence
to a preferred method at the expense of substance
>>the view that there is one and only one way of doing research, that is, by
employing the one, best method
theory plausible explanation of reality (why and how things occur)
–much criminological theory possesses a global or sensitizing quality that alerts
us to critical issues but often lacks the quality of formally testable, scientifically
verifiable, propositions
–general or broad statements regarding the relationship between variables
paradigm a model or schema that provides a perspective from which to view
–”some implicit body of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that
permits selection, evaluation, and criticism”
methodology collection of accurate facts or data
•while theory addresses the issue “why,” methodology concerns itself with “what is”
pure (basic) research acquisition of knowledge for science’s sake
–acquisition of knowledge that contributes to the scientific development of a
applied research practical research concerned with solving or addressing
immediate policy problems
–the bigger concern for the criminal justice system
crime analysis systematic, analytic processes aimed at providing practical
information related to crime patterns
–evaluation research examines public programs and policies
•federal funding for criminal justice research has been meager, despite crime being
one of the major US social problems
quantitative research operationalization and numerical measurement of variables
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