Discussion Module 3

Module 3: Discussion Forum
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There are numerous theoretical paradigms that help explain human behavior. Discuss how theoretical frameworks inform scholarly research and discuss a theoretical framework that you feel is relevant to the topic that you introduced in Week 2. There are two approaches to sampling: probability & non-probability. What approach would you suggest for the topic you picked in Week 2? Why is that?

Be sure to support your statements with logic and argument, citing any sources referenced.

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Applied Research for Criminal Justice Professionals
Module 3: Sampling
Sampling is the fundamental starting point in the data collection process of any scientific inquiry. It is necessary to use a sample in research except:

When all elements to be studied are identical, an unlikely condition in most cases; and
When it is vital and possible to include the entire population.
Researchers use samples to study certain parameters of a population; it is likely to be both too costly and impossible to collect information from everyone in a target population. However, the results will not approximate the average characteristic of the population unless they are based on a representative sample. If you ask 10 of your classmates whether they support the death penalty or not, and 8 of them respond they do; it would be invalid to conclude that 80% of Americans support capital punishment because your classmates are not representative of all Americans. Therefore, thoughtful sample selection is important.

“Social scientists often seek to generalize their conclusions from the population that they studied to some larger target population. The validity of generalizations of this type is necessarily uncertain, for having a representative sample of a particular population does not at all ensure that what we find will hold true in other populations.” (Bachman & Schutt, 2017, p. 142)

A good understanding of sampling comes from more than textbook knowledge of principles; it takes hands-on experience. Although you don’t have a sampling project to complete, the discussion of this module will help you explore the theories behind sampling methods.

Learning Outcomes

Relate the sample to the target population.
Differentiate sampling designs: probability vs. non-probability approach.
Calculate sampling error and sample size.
Distinguish units of analysis.
For Your Success & Readings
The following recommendations and reminders will adjust your expectations and help you be successful in this module and the course:

Post on time in the discussion.
Feedback will be essential in the Discussion Board, because we will be expanding on the discussion each week. Each response to a colleague is worth 5 points (up to 25 points).
This week you will submit a portfolio milestone. You will submit an annotated bibliography. You are to list the reference in APA format and describe the importance of it for your project. You are to use peer-reviewed journal articles. The citation should include the author, year, name of the article, name of the journal, volume, issue, and page number.

Chapter 5 in The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Madan, M., & Nalla, M. K. (2015). Exploring citizen satisfaction with police in India. Policing, 38(1), 86-101.
Parkin, W. S., & Green, D. A. (2016). Terrorism in the news: The efficiency and impact of sampling methods on data collection and content analysis. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 39(7-8), 668-686.
Bachman, R., & Schutt, R. K. (2017). The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN-13: 9781506306810

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