Research Process and Terminology Paper

1347 Words Dec 23rd, 2011 6 Pages
Research Process and Terminology Paper

CJA/334 (UOPX)

Page 1

Research Methods and Terminology Research methods play an important role in the criminal justice system today. Effective research methods have the ability to open and close cases. Those interested in the criminal justice field have a wide range of research methods at their disposal. The terminology involved is also a very important aspect when used in the study of criminology and criminal justice. This paper will explore some of the various research methods that are applied to the criminal justice system and explain how the knowledge of the terminology involved can be a valuable tool within these methods of research.
Empirical Research in Criminal Justice
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The concepts of quantitative research are assigned a numerical value, thus making them variables. Many terms must be identified in order to understand this process. These variables are then used to examine patterns of relation, co-variation, and cause and effect. There exists at least one dependent variable and one independent variable at the most basic level. The dependent variable is identified as the outcome variable, which is what the researcher is attempting to predict. The independent variable is commonly referred to as the predictor variable, and it is the variable that causes, determines, or precedes in time the dependent variable (Hagan, 2009). The terms theories and hypotheses are also important to comprehend when used in criminal justice setting. Theories are typically general or broad statements regarding the relationship between variables. Basically, theories attempt to create plausible explanations of reality. Hypotheses are statements regarding the relationship of usually two variables and are derived from more common theories. A hypothesis in research presents an expected relationship between variables in positive terms. Quantitative methods provide numerous ways to retrieve data and are used primarily in order to study distribution and causes of crimes. These methods can also be used to find patterns in particular situations involving criminal justice. For example, the a research, development,

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