Two challenges related to studying and conducting research in criminal behavior are expressed in theoreticism and territorialism

Learning Resources

Required Readings

The Department of Health and Human Services and The Office of Research Integrity (ORI). (2007). Introduction to the responsible conduct of research. Retrieved from

Note: Pay particular attention to Chapters 2 and 3.

Laub, J. (2006). Edwin H. Sutherland and the Michael-Adler report: Searching for the soul of criminology. Criminology, 44(2), 235–257. Retrieved from
Edwin H. Sutherland and the Michael-Adler Report: Searching for the Soul of Criminology by Laub, J., in Criminology, Vol. 44/Issue 2. Copyright 2006 by American Society of Criminology. Reprinted by permission of American Society of Criminology via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). Ethics and challenges [Video file]. Retrieved from
Dr. Scott Duncan and Dr. Charis Kubrin discuss research challenges for their professional practices. Think about how these research challenges may be addressed for your practice.

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 16 minutes.

Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

Discussion 2: Challenges

Two challenges related to studying and conducting research in criminal behavior are expressed in theoreticism and territorialism. Theoreticism is the tendency of theorists to ignore evidence that may contradict a favored theory. Similarly, territorialism is the practice of discounting evidence and arguments that are outside one’s own narrow specialty area or academic discipline.

As you might gather, restricting study to a singular academic discipline may impede progress toward the understanding of any subject, criminal behavior included. Embracing the interdisciplinary nature of criminal behavior in fact makes for dynamic and interesting research.

Another set of challenges emerges in criminal behavior research when it is viewed only through a purely academic or scientific lens. Criminal behavior itself involves social values, public policy, and legal issues that must be taken into account when conducting research.

Given that such research into criminal behavior is carried out to illuminate its causes, meeting these challenges makes it more likely that criminal behavior will be better understood. This leads to the development of more effective steps toward prevention, reduction, and elimination of crime.

For this Discussion:

  • Review the article, “Searching for the Soul of Criminology,” focusing on challenges related to studying and researching criminal behavior.
  • Review the course media, “Ethics and Challenges,” with Drs. Scott Duncan and Charis Kubrin. Reflect on the challenges that they discuss related to researching and studying criminal behavior, and consider how these may be addressed.
  • Select at least two specific challenges related to studying and researching criminal behavior.
  • Think of examples that may best represent the challenges you selected, and consider why.
By Day 4

Post a brief analysis of at least two challenges related to studying criminal behavior and conducting research in it, describing specific examples that may best represent these challenges. Then, explain how each challenge might be addressed, also using specific examples.

Note: Put the challenges you described in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who described at least one challenge that you did not.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.

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