Within criminal justice, researchers are often faced with a plethora of anecdotal data with little empirical support for such assertions. We have all, no doubt, heard anecdotes pertaining to gang initiation rites, killers stalking baby sitters, or corpses discovered rolled in carpets by hapless hotel maids. Criminal justice researchers depend primarily upon empirical data as the most useful tools with which to explore the nuances of the issues plaguing society. However, one can always ponder the usefulness of anecdotal data. In contemporary research, there has yet to be a consensus pertaining to the proper place and function of anecdotal data. Jacques (2014) discusses both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Respond fully to the following questions:
- How would you explain the differences between the use of empirical research data from that of anecdotal data?
- How do these differences inform how criminal justice data might be evaluated and interpreted in published research findings?
- Is there a place in formal research for anecdotal data?
Within the field of criminal justice, lie a host of intriguing issues and problems. Scholars devoted to research in the area of criminal justice utilize both qualitative and quantitative data in their quest to obtain answers to the many issues inherent in the study of crime and human behavior. It is imperative for ethical, robust, and viable research that data utilized by researchers be applied appropriately and analyzed accurately.
Respond to the questions posed below.
- How would you describe the ways in which research data can be applied to a particular problem in criminal justice?
- How important is the evaluation and accurate interpretation of data utilized in research analyses?