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Meaning and nature of research

─ The word research is composed of two syllables, re and search. Dictionary define the former
syllable as a prefix meaning again, anew or over again, and the latter as a verb meaning to
examine closely and carefully.
─ There are two basic complementary research approaches – quantitative and qualitative.
─ There are two main goals of social (criminological) research-
a. pure (to develop theory and expand knowledge base) and
b. applied (to develop solutions for problems and relevant application for criminological
─ There are three possible reasons for conducting criminological research
a. exploration (conducted when there is little prior knowledge)
b. description (yield to additional information only when there is a little prior knowledge has
been obtained) and;
c. explanation (when substantial knowledge is available, it attempts to explain the facts
already gathered).
─ research is simply a systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation or refined
technique of thinking, employing specialized tools, instruments, and procedures in order to
obtain a more adequate solution of a problem than would possible under ordinary means.
─ Research process starts with:
a. identifying the problem,
o Attributes of Good Research Problem
1. S = Specific – specifically stated
2. M = Measurable – easy to measure by using research instrument in collection of data
3. A = Achievable – data are achievable using correct statistical treatment/techniques to
arrive at precise results
4. R = Realistic – real results are not manipulated
5. T = Time-bound – time frame is required in every activity because the shorter
completion of the activity the better
b. formulation of hypothesis,
c. collects data or facts
d. analyzes the critically
e. reaches decision based on actual evidence.
─ Research involves original work (literature, studies, and readings) instead of a mere exercise of
─ Research involves from genuine desire to know (probe) rather than a desire to prove something.

Qualities of a Researcher
R – research-oriented
E – efficient
S – scientific
E – effective
A – active
R – resourceful
C – creative
H – honest
E – economical
R – religious

Ethical consideration of research

1. Veracity/ accurate analysis and reporting (obligation to tell the truth, not to lie or deceive
2. Privacy (obligation to maintain the state or condition of limited access to person).
3. Anonymity and confidentiality (obligation to divulge information discovered without the
permission of the subject).
4. Fidelity (obligation to remain faithful to one’s commitments, which includes keeping promises
and maintaining confidentiality)
5. Informed consent (seeking permission to the person/guardian).
6. No harm (obligation not to inflict harm/endanger either physical or psychological or socially).
7. Voluntary participation
8. Avoiding deception (reveal real purpose of the research).

Research methods

Method of criminological research

1. Descriptive method (to describe systematically a situation or area of interest factually and

2. Historical method (to reconstruct the past objectively and accurately, often in relation to the
tenability of a hypothesis)

3. Case and field method (to study intensively the background, current status, and environmental
interactions of a given social unit)

4. Correlation method (to investigate the extent to which variations in one factor correlate with
variations in one or more other factors based on correlation coefficient)

5. Casual – comparative or “ex post facto” method (to investigate possible cause-and-effect
relationships by observing some existing consequences and looking back through the data for
plausible causal factor).

6. Experimental method (to investigate cause-and-effect relationship between two or more

treatment conditions and comparing the results to a control groups not receiving the treatment;
“what will happen?”)

Types of criminological research

1. Action research (to develop new skills or new approaches and to solve problems with direct
application to the workplace or other applied setting)

2. Survey (descriptive) research (to know of interest “what is”; typically employs questionnaires
and interviews to determine attitudes, opinion, preferences, and perception of interest to the

a) close-ended questionnaire (pre categorized by the researcher’s words)

b) open-ended questionnaire (in respondent’s words)

3. Observational research (collecting direct information about human behavior)

4. Historical research (investigating documents and other sources that contains facts that existed
in the past; “what was”)

5. Evaluation research (to study processes and procedure for the improvement of a system).

Types of criminological research according to purpose

1. Exploration (to develop an initial, rough understanding of a phenomenon)
Methods: literature reviews, interviews, case studies, key informants
2. Description (precise measurement and reporting of the characteristics of the population or
Methods: census, surveys, qualitative studies
3. Explanation (why “is x the case?” or “is x the relationship?”)
Methods: experimental

Hypothesis (“wise guess”) null hypothesis; alternative hypothesis (operational hypothesis)

Sources of information
1. Related literature (books, magazine)
2. Related reading (legal documents, memos)
3. related studies (journals, thesis, and dissertation)
4. Key informants
5. Artifacts
6. Other materials evidences

Writing the research report

APA format makes use of parentitical citation (old format use Latin citations-ibid; op. cit; or
loccit and endnotes or footnotes)


Sampling refers to the method of choosing subjects in a particularly study.

There are two basic approaches to sampling: probability (systematic; randomized and non
probability sampling)
a) Probability sampling (simple random, stratified random, cluster, systematic-intervals,
multi-stage samples)
b) Non probability (convenience, quota, purposive or judgmental, snow-ball)

Levels of measurement (a process that employs rules to assign numbers to phenomenon)

• Nominal (observations are collected or categorized or sorted based on defined properties;
each category is distinct, mutually exclusive, and exhaustive.
Ex. Gender, religious affiliation, college major, hair color, birth place, nationality, tribe)
• Ordinal (scores or observations are ranked in order without distance between individuals.
Ex. Age group when ranked, socio-economic-status, level of conflict
• Interval (with equal intervals between numbers where there is no absolute absence of the
attribute because zero is assigned and represents an arbitrary point.
Ex. Temperature, iq score
• Ratio (this is in contrast to interval where there exist an absolute absence of the attribute or
rational zero.
Ex. Age, height, weight, length of time

Common statistical tools

• For sample size, slovin’s; partern’s formula
• For reliability test, split-half method; spearman-brown prophesy. Cronbach’s coefficient
• For the test of validity; standardized tool; pass through the panel of experts; used in other

Sources of measurement errors

• Environmental factors
• Research factors
• Instrumentation factors
• Subject factors
Two categories of quantitative data analysis
• Descriptive statistics. These statistical methods which summarize, organize, and describe
data, providing an organized visual presentation of the data collected.
Ex. Measures of central tendencies (mean, median, mode) and measures of variability (range,
interquartile range, variance, semi-quartile range, and standard deviation)
• Inferential statistics. These are statistical techniques used to estimate or predict a population
parameter from a sample statistic.

An understanding of the normal curve is essential statistics and includes an understanding of

symmetry, skewdness, and standard scores.

Likert scale is a summative rating scale used to ascertain opinion or attitudes; each item
contains a range or scaled response on a particular question stemming from “strongly-agree”
to “strongly disagree”

Types of questionnaire
1. Structured wording and order of questions are uniform for all respondents.
2. Unstructured wording and order of questions can vary for different subjects; usually used for
qualitative studies like FGDs, case studies, etc.

Types of questions

Closed-ended - respondents selects one or more of the specific categories provided by the
Do you practice family planning?
__yes __no
If yes, what methods did you use?
__condom __ligation
__injectables __pills
__IUD __natural
__others, specify________

Advantages of close ended questions

1. The answers are standard, and can be compared from person to person.
2. The answers are much easier to code
3. Irrelevant responses are avoided

Disadvantages of close-ended questions

a) The respondent who does not know the answer or has no opinion may try to guess the
appropriate answer or even to answer randomly. (for self administered questionnaire)
b) The respondent may feel frustrated because the appropriate category for his/her answer either
is not provided at all or is not provided insufficient detail. (for self-administered questionnaire)

Open-ended - response categories are not specified; the respondents are free to answer as they
We would like to get your opinion regarding the effectiveness of the project in your barangay.
1. What do you think are the strengths of the project? Why did you say so?
2. How do you think can the project still be improved to meet its objective?

Advantages of open-ended questions

a) These can be used when all the possible answer categories are not known.
b) These allow the respondent to answer adequately
c) They can be used when there are too many potential answer categories to list on the
d) They allow more opportunity for creativity and self-expression by the respondent.

Disadvantages of open-ended questions

a) These may lead to the collection of worthless and irrelevant information.
b) Coding is often very difficult.
c) Open-ended questions require a higher educational level than do close-ended questions
d) Open-ended questions require much more of the respondent’s time and effort.


Variable is a symbol to which numerals or values are assigned.

 Dependent variable
 Independent variable
 Intervening variable

Categorizing variables

 Is presumed cause
 In experimental research, is that which you manipulated before you took it

 Is presumed effect

Intervening variables
 Is used to internal and label unobtrusive psychological process that account for the behavior
 They are useful, powerful and even indispensable
 Understanding how it operates will help accurately interpret data

Respondents of the study

 A section on the research proposal discusses in detail the characteristics of the respondents
in the study.
 It also includes description of the populations, geographical and economic locations, as well
the rationale for including them in the study.

Sampling techniques
 A sample reflects the characteristics of the population
 A basic concept in sampling is that what is called randomness which simply means the act of
sampling is not purposive.
 Randomization seeks to insure that every individual in the population has an equal chance of
being included in the sample.

Four factors in selecting size and population

1. homogeneity
2. size of the population
3. cost
4. precision

General types of sampling

Probability sampling
1. Random sampling
A. Selecting the individuals out of N such that individuals have equal chances of being selected.
B. Techniques suitable for homogeneous population.

2. Systematic random sampling

A. Sample is selected through simple random process.
B. Succeeding samples are chosen in a pre-established intervals

3. Stratified sampling
A. Divide samples in homogeneous groups called strata.
B. Draw sample from simple random sampling.

4. Simple cluster sampling

A. A one stage sampling technique where the population is grouped by cluster elements.

5. Strip sampling
A. Divide the area into simple narrow
B. Select number of strips at random either by complete randomization or with some degree of
C. Consider only part of the strips as one narrow unit.

6. Multistage sampling
A. Commonly used when no detailed or actual listing of individuals
B. Sampling is dine in stages
C. The population elements are grouped following a hierarchy of individuals.

Non-probability sampling
1. Judgment sampling
A. Selecting representative sample according to your subjective judgment.
B. Appropriate to make when you have made a judgment about an individual’s potential as
source of information

2. Quota sampling
A. A variation of judgment sampling
B. A defined quota must be filled, predetermined by certain extent of characteristics of the
population so that the quota sample will be representative of the population.

3. Accidental sampling
A. Simple technique whoever happens to be there at the time of data collection.
B. Done on spot surveys.

Parts of a research paper

A. Preliminaries
 Title Page
 Approval Sheet
 Acknowledgment
 Dedication
 Abstract
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Background of the Study
 Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
 Statement of the Problem
 Importance of the Study
 Definition of Terms
 Research Design
 Population and Locale of the Study
 Instrumentation and Data Collection
 Data Analysis
 Validity
 Categorization of Data
 Ethical Consideration
 Conclusions
 Recommendations
 Output (Proposed Measures/Action Plan)