I need two responses each at least 350 words in APA format. Here are the two posts I need to respond too:
There are numerous benefits to using a survey to conduct research on a topic. For one, surveys are very versatile due to their ability to ask a respondent a question concerning almost any conceivable topic (Bachman & Schutt, 2015). Additionally, surveys are a very efficient way of collecting data without excessive time spent doing anything other than data collection. Furthermore, surveys tend to be generalizable because of their ability to â€œallow a range of social contexts and subgroups to be sampled, and the consistency of relationships can be examined across the various subgroupsâ€ (Bachman & Schutt, 2015). According to Krosnick (1999), â€œone hallmark of survey research is a concern with representative samplingâ€ (p. 539). This is key because representative sampling is what allows researchers to ensure that their conclusions are generalizable. Thus versatility, efficiency, and generalizability are the prevailing benefits of utilizing surveys to conduct research.
A disadvantage to conducting survey research is that in order for the sample to be representative, â€œthe survey’s response rate must be highâ€ (Krosnick, 1999, p. 539). Although this may sound like a simple feat, it is becoming increasingly difficult, due to the reality that â€œresponse rates for most major American national surveys have been falling during the last four decadesâ€ (Krosnick, p. 539). Additionally, researchers have found that â€œin even the best academic surveys, there are significant biases in the demographic and attitudinal composition of samples obtainedâ€ (Krosnick, p. 539). Therefore, such factors need to be accounted for to reach accurate conclusions about the data that the survey has collected.
Paoline, Myers, and Worden’s conducted research in 2000 regarding police culture, individualism and community policing. They utilized a survey to collect their data, and the survey provided important insights into the subjects of their research. They found that although a concept of â€œpolice cultureâ€ does exist, it is not as homogeneous as what conventional wisdom would lead one to think. Instead, it found a diverse set of beliefs are held by different officers. For instance, they discovered that â€œmany officers do not consider law enforcement their most important responsibility by farâ€ (Paoline et al., p. 601). The researchers also found that the officers opinions were not based on demographic factors such as â€œsex, race, education, length of service, training, and assignmentâ€ (Paoline et al., p. 601); rather the differences were found across the spectrum of officer characteristics.
In a book about anthropological research in 1995, Harry Wolcott described participant observation as â€œa method of studying natural social processes as they happen… leaving them relatively undisturbed, and minimizing your presence as a researcher. It is the seminal field research method, a means for seeing the social world as the research subjects see it, in its totality, and for understanding subjectsâ€ interpretations of that worldâ€ (p. 66). There are advantages and disadvantages to collecting data through participant or systematic social observation. An advantage would be that through systematic social observation, a research is able to obtain in-depth, detailed information about the subject being researched. A disadvantage is that in order to conduct this type of research, it requires a significant amount of time, energy, and financial cost. There are actually at least three types of systemic social observation, which I would describe as first degree, second degree, and third degree. What I term the first degree of systematic social observation is being a non-participant observer. In this role, the research only observes but does not actively participate in any way. The second degree is as participant observer. This is when the researcher does participate, but also observers as a researcher and importantly, identifies himself or herself as an observing researcher. In the third degree, the researcher not only participates and observers, but he or she does so without identifying as a researcher. This is termed a covert participant researcher. As a researcher progresses further along the continuum, the cost may be higher but the benefit may be greater. Therefore, the covert participant observer is the role that affords the greatest chance of collecting accurate, in-depth data; however it also has the greatest logistical cost associated with it. A further disadvantage to conducting systematic social observation is that there are â€œsome items that present challenges to achieving reliability, such as establishing whether one party showed disrespect to anotherâ€ (Mastrofski, 1998, p. 9). Therefore, it is critically important to limit the judgments that an observer must make when collecting the data, to ensure that the study and its results achieve and maintain reliability.
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Survey research, like all forms of research, has its advantages and disadvantages. With the internet and social media rapidly gaining popularity, the ability to reach a multitude of people from different demographics is easier than ever before. This is a big advantage for researchers, especially from a social science perspective. It is not easy to gain exact accurate measures in the social sciences, or replicate situations that occur naturally, in a perfect scenario but being able to obtain information from a variety of different people with a survey is a valuable resource to social science researchers.
Another advantage of using survey research is that it can be done with fairly limited effort on the part of the researcher, and with the anonymity of the survey method, people are more inclined to be honest when answering a survey. It can take some time and effort to formulate a survey which will provide enough validity for the specific study that is being conducted, but once that is done, the rest seems fairly easy to accomplish. One of the disadvantages of using this method for research is that there is no responsibility on the parts of the participants to actually answer and return the surveys. The research is dependent upon how many people return their surveys, which may lead to a sample group which is smaller than the researchers originally intended.
In the article on police culture, the survey method seems to be a valuable one. The researchers were able to measure the attitudes of police officers across different ethnic backgrounds, sexes, and cultures and found that there was relatively no difference between the attitudes of the police officers and the racial and ethnic groups to which they belong (Paoline, Myers, Worden 2000).
Speaking to the abovementioned advantages and disadvantages of conducting survey research, researchers were able to break up officers into different typologies, including aggressiveness and selectivity. Researchers were also able to obtain information on the officersâ€ views of human nature. Generally speaking, if officers were being interviewed face to face by a researcher, they might censor their answers to any questions involving their views of human nature, and a need to be selective when enforcing the law, or aggressive in enforcing the law, or may feel the need to change their answers or not be completely honest for fear of backlash from their employers. By using a survey method with more anonymity, researchers were probably better able to obtain honest straight-forward answers from the officers regarding what might be considered murky water, or a dangerous area where their jobs are concerned. Especially in a time like we are experiencing now, where racial tensions are high between police officers and civilians, police officers may not be eager to share their true feelings and opinions of different demographics of people and how they might differ their policing approach in different situations.
Participant and systematic observation is, like survey research, a valid means of obtaining data for those in the social sciences. Again, this type of research has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages of this type of research cited in both our lesson for the week and the article on observing police behavior, is that it can be costly and time consuming (Mastrofski, Parks, Reiss, Worden, DeJong, Snipes, Terrill 1998). Also, specifically speaking of an observational method in studying police behavior, the cooperation of police departments and obtaining liaisons is crucial to the studyâ€s success. Observers must be trained prior to even beginning research. There are a number of processes that every observer needs to go through prior to observational research even beginning. Every effort needs to be made to get all observers on the same page in order to maintain the validity of the results. The article mentions that police officersâ€ reactions may differ when they have an observer, but this is something that is accounted for when conducting this type of research. One disadvantage that I would be afraid of in dealing with an observational study involving the police is that for fear of receiving reprimand of some sort, or fear of losing their jobs, police officers may not react to incidents in the manner that they normally would in the presence of an observer. My fear would be that in changing up the way that they behave, police officers could put themselves or others at risk.
One of the biggest advantages of systematic observation is that it allows researchers to study people and how they behave in their natural environments. It is not forced in a laboratory setting, or retrospective such as it might be when interviewing officers, or asking for their response to a survey. Survey research is dependent upon the perceptions of others, whereas systematic observation is based on what is witnessed and perceived by trained observers and researchers.
Systematic observation and survey research, while having their disadvantages, are both valid forms of obtaining data when doing research in the social sciences.
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