questionnaires - methods in context

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  • Questionnaires
    • areas of use
      • attitudes to crime/ policing etc
      • experiments of offending/ being a victim etc
      • self-reported offending
    • of use
      • British Crime Survey
      • Self-report studies
    • Practical issues
      • quick & cheap - large quantity of data on crime
      • literacy levels - avoid etechnical words/ limit no. of questions
      • writing questions - wording can influence response
    • Ethical issues
      • under 16s - consent f/ parens/ guardian
      • may cause distress - inappropriate to ask young people about victims of sexual crime
    • reliability/ rep
      • self-report = replicable as fixed q's asked
        • but hard to compare
      • low response rate - low for those w/ a crim record - biased sample
    • objectivity
      • official interests dom the selection of topics,q's & definitions of concepts
      • gov department dictates its requirements & have strong control over questionnaire design
    • validity
      • retrospective - can over-exag to appear tough/ underestimate & hids their crim (fear/ distrust)
      • researchers impose their meanings - wording/ selection - reflect their concerns


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