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. After reading the article and Chapter 1 in your primary text, 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?

Your initial post should be at least 400 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.

 

Required Resources

Text

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Retrieved from https://content.uagc.edu

  • Chapter 1: The Selection of a Research Approach

Article

Jacques, S. (2014). The quantitative–qualitative divide in criminology: A theory of ideas’ importance, attractiveness, and publication. Theoretical Criminology, 18(3), 317-334. doi:10.1177/1362480613519467

  • The full-text version of this article can be accessed through the SAGE Journals Online database in the University of Arizona Global Campus Library. This article will provide students with additional background information that will assist them in the development of their discussion forum posts for this week.