PDF The Self-Report Methodology in Crime Research

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Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract Immigrants and their native-born children tend to be overrepresented among crime suspects in Europe. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all figures. Sign in.

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Self-report study

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Research Method: Self-Report

Citing articles via Google Scholar. Youth, Community and the Struggle for Social Justice. For example, a person who dislikes all alcoholic beverages may feel that it is inaccurate to choose a favorite alcoholic beverage from a list that includes beer, wine, and liquor, but does not include none of the above as an option.

Answers to fixed-choice questions are not in-depth. Reliability refers to how consistent a measuring device is. A measurement is said to be reliable or consistent if the measurement can produce similar results if used again in similar circumstances. For example, if a speedometer gave the same readings at the same speed it would be reliable. If it didn't it would be pretty useless and unreliable.


Importantly reliability of self-report measures, such as psychometric tests and questionnaires can be assessed using the split half method. This involves splitting a test into two and having the same participant doing both halves of the test. Validity refers to whether a study measures or examines what it claims to measure or examine.

Questionnaires are said to often lack validity for a number of reasons. Participants may lie; give answers that are desired and so on. A way of assessing the validity of self-report measures is to compare the results of the self-report with another self-report on the same topic.

Ways of Measuring Crime | Psychology | tutor2u

This is called concurrent validity. For example if an interview is used to investigate sixth grade students' attitudes toward smoking, the scores could be compared with a questionnaire of former sixth graders' attitudes toward smoking. Results of self-report studies have been confirmed by other methods.

For example, results of prior self-reported outcomes were confirmed by studies involving smaller participant population using direct observation strategies. The overarching question asked regarding this strategy is, "Why would the researcher trust what people say about themselves? These include the construction of some inventories to minimize respondent distortions such as the use of scales to assess the attitude of the participant, measure personal bias, as well as identify the level of resistance, confusion, and insufficiency of self-reporting time, among others.

Self-report studies have many advantages, but they also suffer from specific disadvantages due to the way that subjects generally behave. There are also cases when respondents guess the hypothesis of the study and provide biased responses that 1 confirm the researcher's conjecture; 2 make them look good; or, 3 make them appear more distressed to receive promised services.

Subjects may also forget pertinent details.

click here Self-report studies are inherently biased by the person's feelings at the time they filled out the questionnaire. If a person feels bad at the time they fill out the questionnaire, for example, their answers will be more negative. If the person feels good at the time, then the answers will be more positive. As with all studies relying on voluntary participation, results can be biased by a lack of respondents, if there are systematic differences between people who respond and people who do not.

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