The accuracy of crime data


CRJU-4032-02F – Criminal Behavior



The accuracy of crime data

M9 Discussion Activity Increasing Accuracy
Discussion Instructions

For this discussion, please answer the following question. One of the problems social scientists face is the accuracy of crime data. Regardless of the source (official statistics, victimization surveys, or selfreports), there are always going to be errors or problems with the accuracy of the data for a number of different reasons. Some possible reasons for inaccuracies in data include but are not limited to the following:
Official Statistics: People do not always report a crime Data entry errors miscoding and miscounting crimes Hierarchy Rule
Victimization Surveys: People don’t want to admit crimes that happen in the home People don’t always correctly recall an event People who are most at risk of victimization are the least likely to be surveyed
SelfReported Offending: People lie to impress researchers (over report) People lie to cover up their behavior (under report) People cannot accurately recall their offending levels
If you were going to do research using crime data, how would you improve these different sources of data? How would you make people more likely to tell the truth? How would you make people more likely to report their victimization? How might you improve on some of the abovestated weaknesses of data sources? The more accurate our data are the more accurate and complete is our understanding of crime. How would you go about making data as accurate as possible?

In addition, to receive full credit for the discussion, you will also have to respond to at least one classmate’s post. Examples of possible responses:
o Ask classmate for clarification on the post

o Challenging a peer’s comment (support your reason)

o Do you agree or disagree with their opinion? Why agree/disagree?

The accuracy of crime data



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