Criminal Justice Research Methods

Criminal Justice Research Methods


Assignment Requirements

Since your data collection assignment explained the details of how your data was gathered that information does not need to be repeated here. This assignment will have five parts and an appendix.

  • List of variables used in the analysis. You should try to group the list according to general categories. For example:


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • School level (lower classmen, upper classmen, graduate student)

Survey questions

  • Every been sexually assaulted on campus
  • Knew perpetrator


  • Tables with at least this information from frequencies and descriptives: variable name, number of cases/subjects, mean, median, min, max, percent of cases (if appropriate). You can do this with two separate tables or just one with appropriate headers.

Example table with frequencies and descriptive statistics

Variable N Mean or % of cases SD Median Min Max
Age 7,076 20.7 9.2 18.0 8 74
Male 5,486 75%
Female 1,659 23%
Unknown 126 2%
Crime data
Number of arrests per incident 4,935 1.5 1.0 1.0 1 17
Weight of marijuana seized 4,268 16 oz 227.9 1.0 oz 0.01 oz 11,200 oz



  • Hypotheses describing expected These are the specific questions being asked of your data. Remember, it is ok if your predictions are not supported by your analyses.


  • Tables and/or graphs summarizing correlations, contingency tables (crosstab), ANOVA, t-tests, and any other statistical analysis you conduct.
    1. Crosstabs: Nominal or Ordinal
    2. Correlations (are two variables related): Scale
    3. ANOVA or T-test (compare means): Nominal/Ordinal and Scale

Example of contingency table/cross tab.

Perpetrator was known to victim
Yes No
Male 70% 30%
Female 40% 60%
Number of valid cases 3,450
Pearson Chi-Square 1.56
Degrees of freedom 60
Significance of difference (2-sided) .02*



  • Description of your findings. This should be in (relatively) plain language.


  1. Explain what the table with descriptives and frequencies means.
  2. Are your hypotheses supported or refuted by your analysis?
  3. Explain the tables and/or graphs summarizing the statistical analyses.
    1. What do they mean?
    2. Are your findings in the direction you would expect? (i.e. theft is more likely to happen at night.)
  • Are your findings significant?
  1. Was there anything surprising?
  1. Limitations of your data.
    1. Are there hypotheses you could not answer with your current data?
    2. What kind of data would be required to answer those questions?
  • Appendix
    1. PDF of your raw SPSS output file


Introduction to SPSS


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