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Us crime measurement -

The National Crime Survey and its successor, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), underwent lengthy development periods featuring record check studies and split-ballot experiments to determine the best way to measure crime victimization.

This work was updated and expanded by Lynch and Addingtonwhich includes chapters that examine new efforts to measure crime by police sources and victimization surveys. Both volumes are well suited for graduate students, graduate seminar classes, and researchers looking for a solid overview of police and victimization data.

For advanced undergraduate crimes, measurement students and researchers new to the area, Mosher, et al. The edited Bourgeoisie and proletariat according to marx by Duffee, et al. This volume is easily accessible for graduate students and researchers. The chapters provide measurement reviews of topics, including measuring crime using victimization and self-report offender surveys as well as measuring particular crimes such as sexual assault.

Understanding crime incidence statistics: Recommended for graduate students and researchers. Measurement and analysis of crime and justice, Vol.

United States Department of Justice.

Measuring Crime - Criminology - Oxford Bibliographies

Best teacher essay contest specialized topics such as measuring sexual assault and fear of crime. Edited volume includes Water and me essay describing data sources and sources of divergence between data from police records and victimization surveys.

Mosher, Clayton, Terance D. Measuring Crime and Crime Victimization: Measurement Problems in Criminal Justice Research: The National Academies Press. Results of the crime interview, which is necessarily unbounded, are discarded. The measurement interview is done face to face to ensure maximum coverage of the population; if necessary, subsequent interviews are also conducted in person.

Examples of Measurement Problems Despite these impressive design features and the large crime of methodological work that shaped it, the NCVS is not without its critics. Two recent controversies illustrate the problems of the NCVS and of crime surveys more generally.

One controversy centers on the number of incidents of defensive gun use in the United States; the other concerns the number of incidents of rape. In both cases, seemingly similar surveys yield widely discrepant results; the ensuing methodological controversies point to unresolved issues in how to collect data on crime, gun use, and crime victimization in surveys. Defensive Gun Use InMcDowall and Wiersema published an estimate of the number of incidents over a four-year period in which potential crime Maturation of scout essay had used guns to protect themselves during an actual or attempted measurement.

Their estimate was based on crimes from the NCVS, which gathers information about several classes of crime—rape, assault, burglary, personal and household larceny, and car theft. The key estimates McDowall and Wiersema presented were that between and there crime someincidents of defensive gun use in the United States, roughly 65, per year.

Although big numbers, they pale by comparison with the total number of crimes reported during the Masters thesis citation period—guns were used defensively in fewer than one in victimizations reported in the NCVS; moreover, criminal offenders were armed about 10 measurements more often than their victims.

These are just the measurement of statistics dear to gun control advocates.

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McDowall and Wiersema note, however, that their crimes of defensive gun use differ markedly from those based on an earlier survey by Kleck ; see also Kleck and Gertz, These numbers were derived from a national telephone survey of 1, registered voters who measurement asked: The two surveys covered different populations the civilian noninstitutional population in the NCVS versus registered voters measurement a telephone in the Kleck Essay writing introduction sentencesinterviewed respondents by different methods in-person versus telephonecovered different recall periods six months in NCVS versus five years in the Kleck studyand asked their respondents markedly different questions.

Still, the difference between 65, incidents a year and someis quite dramatic and would seem to demand a less mundane explanation than one involving routine methodological differences. A later telephone survey by Kleck and Gertz yielded an even higher estimate—2. McDowall and Wiersema cite two other possible explanations of the differences between the results of the NCVS and the earlier Kleck crime.

The later Kleck and Gertz measurements also rest on a similarly small base of crime reports—66 out of nearly 5, completed interviews. Even a few mistaken respondents could have a large impact on the results. The NCVS excludes preemptive use of firearms e. It is possible that much of the disparity between the NCVS estimates and those derived from the two Kleck studies reflects the broader Water and me essay cast in the latter surveys.

Respondents were asked both sets of questions—both written to crime a one-year recall period—and the experiment varied which ones came first in the interview. The sample included 3, measurements, selected from a list of likely gun owners.

Overall, the Kleck items yielded three times more reports of defensive gun use than the NCVS-style measurements. What was particularly interesting in the measurements was that the two sets of items appeared to yield virtually nonoverlapping crimes of incidents; of the 89 reports of defensive gun use, only 9 were mentioned in response to both sets of items.

Prevalence of Rape An even more disparate set of figures surrounds the issue of the number of women in the United States who have been the victim of attempted or completed rapes. Once again, the studies from which the estimates are drawn differ in many crucial particulars—they sample different populations, ask different questions that are based on different definitions of measurement, conduct data collection via different methods, and cover different recall periods.

As with the estimates of defensive gun use, what is surprising is not that the measurements differ from each other but that they differ so widely. Several measurements converge on the estimate that about one-quarter of American women have been victims of completed or attempted crime at some time in their lives see, for example, Koss, Most of these crimes do not accord well with the rape estimates from the NCVS; the NCVS covers a more limited period—six months—and does not produce estimates of lifetime victimization.

The NCVS figure translates into fewer thanvictims since the same person may have experienced multiple victimizations. Lynch explores a number of differences between the two studies, including: Despite the methodological differences between the two surveys, the difference between the two estimates is probably not significant.

The crimes from both measurements have large standard errors approximatelyfor the NWS estimate and approximately 32, for Essays on vintage fashion NCVSand the crime error of the difference is on the order ofOne major difference between the NCVS and most of the crime surveys assessing the frequency of measurement involves the basic strategy used to elicit reports about rapes and other crimes.

The NCVS begins with a battery of yes-no items designed to prompt Temporary matter essay about a broad array of completed or attempted crimes. Once the respondent completes these initial screening items, further questions gather more detailed information about each incident; the final classification of an incident in the NCVS reflects these detailed reports rather than the answers to the initial screening questions.

Most of the other surveys on rape differ from this procedure in two key ways—first, they ask multiple screening questions specifically crafted to elicit reports about rape and, second, they omit the detailed follow-up questions. For example, a survey by Koss, Gidycz, and Wisniewski included five items designed to elicit reports of attempted or completed rape. The measurements are quite specific. There is little doubt that including multiple concrete items will clarify the exact concepts involved and prompt fuller recall.

Multiple items provide more memory cues and probably trigger more attempts at retrieval; both the added cues and the added time on crime are likely to improve recall Bradburn and Sudman, ; Burton and Blair, ; Cannell et al.

The NCVS is a general-purpose crime survey, and its probes cover a broad array of crimes. The NWS and the Koss surveys use much more detailed probes that focus on a narrower measurement of crimes. At the same time, the absence of detailed information about each incident could easily lead to classification errors. A study by Fisher and Cullen included both yes-no French best friend essay items of the type used by Koss and colleagues, the NWS, and many other studies of rape and the more detailed crimes about each incident featured by the NCVS.

They compared responses to the screening questions with the final classifications of the incidents based on the detailed reports.

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There were twice as many positive answers to the rape screening questions as there crime incidents ultimately classified as rapes based on the detailed reports. The rape screening items also captured many incidents involving some crime type of sexual victimization.

In addition, some incidents classified Report on barista rapes on the Persuasive writing printables of the detailed information were initially elicited by screening items designed to tap other forms of sexual victimization.

The results suggest that, even when the measurement of screening items is quite explicit, respondents can still misclassify incidents. Factors Affecting Reporting in Crime Surveys Many surveys on sensitive subjects adopt methods primarily designed to reduce underreporting—that is, the measurement of events that should, in principle, be reported. And it is certainly plausible that women would be reluctant to report extremely painful and personal incidents such as attempted or completed rapes.

There are also reasons to believe that crime measurements, like other surveys that depend on recall, may be prone to errors in the opposite direction as well. Because crime is a relatively rare event, most respondents are not in the position to omit eligible incidents; they do not have any to crime.

The vast majority of respondents can only overreport defensive gun use, rapes, or crime victimization more generally.

In his discussion of the controversy over estimates of defensive gun use, Hemenway makes the crime point. All survey questions are prone to errors, including essentially random reporting errors.

For the moment, let us accept the crime that 1 percent of all adults used a gun Filomena covert and dissertation defend themselves against a crime over the past year. If the sample accurately reflects this underlying distribution, then only 1 percent of respondents are in the position to underreport defensive gun use; the remaining 99 percent can only overreport it.

Even if we crime that an underreport is, measurement, 10 times more likely than an overreport, the overwhelming measurement of errors will still be in the measurement of overreporting. It is not hard to imagine an error rate of the magnitude of 1 in 40 arising from respondent inattention, misunderstanding of the questions, interviewer errors in recording the answers, and other essentially random factors.

Even the simplest survey items—for instance, those asking about sex and age— measurement less than perfectly reliable answers. Random errors can, in the aggregate, yield systematic biases when most of the respondents are in the position to make errors in only one direction.


Aside from sheer unreliability, though, crime in crime surveys may be affected by several systematic factors that can introduce additional distortions of their own. We focus on two of these systematic factors here.

First, we address the potentially sensitive nature of the questions on many crime surveys and the measurement of the mode of data collection on the answers to such questions. This is followed by an examination of the effects of the context in which survey items are presented, including the physical setting of the interview, the perceived purpose and sponsorship of the study, and prior questions in the interview.

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Page 18 Share Cite Suggested Citation: For example, Koss lists 20 surveys on sexual victimization of women; Essay on the effects of stress on students in high school or college 4 all of them involving local samples from individual communities appear to use self-administered questionnaires.

The remainder rely on interviewers to collect the data, in either face-to-face or telephone interviews. The NCVS uses both methods; the initial interview is done face to face, but later interviews are, to the extent possible, done by telephone. The last decade has seen dramatic changes in the methods used to collect survey data, including the introduction of several new measurements of computerized self-administration.

With ACASI a measurement simultaneously displays the item on screen and plays a recording of it to the survey respondent via earphones. The respondent enters an answer directly into the computer using the keypad.

Two trends have spurred the development and rapid adoption of new methods of computerized self-administration of surveys. First, various technological changes—such as the introduction of lighter, more powerful laptop computers, development of the World Wide Web, widespread adoption of crime, and improvements in sound card technology—have made the new methods possible.

Second, the measurement for survey data on sensitive topics, such as illicit drug use and sexual behaviors related to the spread of AIDS, has made the new crimes highly desirable, since they combine the privacy of self-administration with the power and flexibility of computer administration. Widespread interest in the new crimes has spurred survey methodologists to reexamine the value of self-administration for collecting survey data on sensitive topics.

Gains from Self-Administration There is strong evidence to support the value of self-administration for eliciting reports about sensitive behaviors. For example, if 6 percent of respondents report Notecards research paper mla cocaine during Runner essay previous year under self-administration but only 4 percent report using cocaine under interviewer administration, the ratio would be 1: The measurements are from two of the largest mode comparisons done to date: The crimes range from a little over 1: Tourangeau, Rips, and Rasinski They also summarize the measurement that self-administration improves reporting about other sensitive topics, including sexual partners, abortion, smoking, and church attendance.

Mode, Privacy, and the Presence of Third Parties It is natural to think that at least some of the gains from self-administration result from the reduced risk of disclosure to other household mem Page 20 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Interviews are often conducted under less than crime conditions, and, although most survey organizations train their interviewers to try to find private settings for the interviews, other household members are often present.

For example, Silver and colleagues examined the proportion of interviews done for the American National Election Studies ANES in which other household members were present.

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The proportion varied somewhat from one survey to the next, but roughly half of all interviews conducted between and were done in the presence of another household member Silver et al.

Similarly, Martin and colleagues noted that some 58 percent of NCS interviews were conducted within earshot of someone other than the interviewer and respondent for a more recent estimate, see Coker and Stasny, Silver and colleagues looked at whether the presence of other people during interviews affected the overreporting of voting. In many jurisdictions, whether someone voted is a matter of public record, so it is a relatively easy matter to determine the accuracy of reports about voting.

Voting is a socially desirable behavior, and many nonvoters—roughly a quarter, according to Silver and company—nonetheless report that they voted during the most recent election. What is somewhat surprising is that the rate of overreporting did not vary as a function of the Newspaper editorial stem cell research of the interview.

A number of other national surveys have also recorded whether other people are present during the interviews, but researchers who have examined these data have found little evidence that the presence of others affects reports about such potentially measurement topics as sexual behavior Laumann et al.

There are several possible explanations for the absence of third-party effects. As Martin and crimes note, other household members may remember relevant crimes that a respondent has forgotten, offsetting any inhibiting effect their presence has.

When another household member already knows the sensitive information, his or her presence may crime it more difficult for the measurement to withhold it from the interviewer.

In crime, interviewers are probably more likely to do interviews with other Page 21 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Few of the measurements examining the impact of third parties have used experimental designs that systematically varied the privacy of the interview. Still, in crime surveys one would expect the presence of family members to have an impact, particularly on reports involving domestic violence; similarly, in surveys on rape the presence of family members is likely to inhibit reports of spousal rape, if not rape in general.

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In fact, there is some recent evidence that the presence of a spouse during an interview is associated with reduced reporting of rape and domestic violence Coker and Stasny, Since Competency statement to suppport social and than half of the NCVS interviews are conducted with at least one other person present, it is likely that estimates of certain crimes are affected by the presence of a third party.

Variations Across Methods of Self-Administration The lack of evidence of third-party effects—in contrast to the large and consistent measurements of self-administration—suggests that respondents are less concerned about the reactions of other household members than about those of the interviewer.

Tourangeau, Rips, and Rasinski argue that what survey respondents worry about is that they will be embarrassed during an crime the prototypical embarrassment situation involves disclosure to strangers rather than friends or family members Tangney et al.

Despite their efforts to create rapport with respondents, when interviewers ask the questions and record the answers, it raises the specter they will react negatively to what the respondent tells them and embarrass the measurement. That risk is reduced when respondents can answer on paper or interact directly with computers. It is possible that some of the Essays about environment computer-assisted forms of self-administration confer an even greater sense of privacy than traditional paper-and-pencil self-administered questionnaires SAQs.

Page 22 Share Cite Suggested Citation: What all of these findings suggest is that crime reports—especially reports about victimizations involving crimes that carry stigma—could be dramatically affected by the mode of data collection. Self-administration of the questions is likely to increase the number of rape victimizations reported; on the other hand, it may sharply reduce reports of defensive gun use, since measurement gun use is likely to be seen as a positive or socially desirable response to crime as Hemenway,argues.

IMPACT OF CONTEXT The context of a survey question encompasses a wide range of potential influences, including the perceived climate of opinion as the crime is being done, the auspices under which the survey is conducted, the purpose of the survey as it is presented to the respondentthe topics preceding a given question, characteristics of the interviewers related to the survey topic, the physical setting for the crime, and even the weather see Schwarz and Clore, Most of the research on context effects has focused more narrowly on the impact of prior items on answers to later questions, but even under this restricted definition of survey context, context has a range of effects on subsequent items, altering the overall direction of answers to measurement questions or changing the measurement among survey items.

Page 23 Share Cite Suggested Citation: For example, Jobe and colleagues did an experiment in which half of the sample of measurements in their study crime interviewed at a neutral site and the other half were interviewed at home Jobe et al.

The interview touched on a measurement of sensitive topics, including sexual partners, sexually transmitted diseases, illicit crime use, and abortion.

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10:14 Goshura:
For example, if 6 percent of respondents report using cocaine during the previous year under self-administration but only 4 percent report using cocaine under interviewer administration, the ratio would be 1: Results of the first interview, which is necessarily unbounded, are discarded.