If you were developing a research study that was studying a prevalent crime phenomenon in your community, what crime phenomenon would you measure, how would you measure that crime phenomenon, and how would you ensure the validity and reliability of the measures that you use in your study?
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The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area has one of the highest violent crime rates in the United States. These crimes include rape, murder, aggravated assault, and robbery. As with any study or research, data needs to be obtained and measured. The data collected is the instrument used to measure the results and for this discussion board I will choose murder as the prevalent crime. In remaining consistent with the types of crimes committed in the community I would use the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) as an arbitrary scale. The UCR index covers crimes that are serious and are fairly accurate in their reporting (Hagan, 2014).
To ensure validity and reliability of the study a test measurement will be implemented. One test will measure crime rate data over a period of time, for instance murder rates over the past decade. For instance, murder rates compared over the decade versus that in comparison to nationwide statistics. This comparison should prove that the data is consistent, thus, reliable. To determine the validity and framed in the form of an arbitrary scale, data will be obtained via a questionnaire of residents within city limits. This questionnaire would reach all persons of varying social classes. The resulting compilation of data would indicate if education, income, or occupation has bearing on the murder rates in comparison to national statistics, primarily, cities of similar size and social class makeup.
Hagan, F. E. (2014). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.