Web Exercises

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

1. Go to the Social Information Gateway (SOSIG) at http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/. Search SOSIG for electronic journal articles that use surveys to collect information on crime, criminal behavior, or criminal victimization. Find at least five articles and briefly describe each including the research question, the survey, and key findings.

2. Go to the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) at www.nsd.uib.no/cessda/index.html. Go to “Accessing Data,” and then click on “CESSDA Catalogue.” From here you can browse the catalogue by topic, keyword, or publisher. Browse the publications list or conduct a search at the site for studies from at least three countries that use surveys to collect information on crime, criminal behavior, or criminal victimization. What type of information did you find? Briefly summarize the purpose of the research, survey, and key findings. If possible, do a cross-national comparison between the studies reviewed in Web Exercise 1 and the studies found in this exercise.

3. Who does survey research, and how do they do it? These questions can be answered through careful inspection of ongoing surveys and the organizations that administer them at www.ciser.cornell.edu/info/polls.shtml. Spend some time reading about the different survey research organizations, and write a brief summary of the types of research they conduct, the projects in which they are involved, and the resources they offer on their Web sites. What are the distinctive features of different survey research organizations?

4. Go to the Research Triangle Institute site at www.rti.org. Click on “Survey Research and Services” and then on “Capabilities.” Read about the institute’s methods for computer-assisted interviewing and mixed-mode data collection. Next, click on “Methodologies” at the bottom of the screen, and then access “Questionnaire Design and Evaluation,” to learn about innovative techniques including cognitive pretesting. What does this add to your understanding of the topics discussed in this chapter?

5. Go to the Survey Question Bank at http://surveynet.ac.uk/sqb/. Go to the “Surveys” link and then click on one of the listed surveys or survey sections that interests you. Review 10 questions used in the survey, and critique them in terms of the principles for question writing that you have learned. Do you find any question features that might be attributed to the use of British English?

6. Visit the National Crime Victimization Survey website (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245) . Review the questionnaires for response categories. What response format is most frequently used? How are filter questions used? Are Likert type response categories included? What demographic questions are included? How might question order affect responses?

7. Create a survey using Survey Monkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/). What questions will you include? Think carefully about how the questions should be worded, and what response categories are available for respondents. What are the benefits and drawbacks to conducting an online survey?

8. Browse the General Social Survey (GSS) (http://www3.norc.org/GSS+Website).
What years are covered by the GSS? What topics are covered in this omnibus survey? What are the pros and cons of an omnibus survey? In 1989, a split ballot method was used? What is the purpose of a split-ballot and what topics differed between the three ballot designs?