SSGS300

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300 words agree or disagree  to each question 


Q1

There are various types of methods when conducting research that we’ve learned thus far in the course. There is quantitative, which consists of numerical summations and facts for summary purposes and “emphasize data that cannot be disputed because it can be objectively measured” (APUS, 2016, 1). Then there is the qualitative method, which is contrary to quantitative methods. Qualitative observations are unstructured and broad, focusing on anything the researcher deems credible to a study (Ellis, et all, 2009). Finally, there is the mixed method, which is a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods.

There are many different types of data collections instruments that researchers use for their studies. There are: self-defined instruments, qualitative instruments, published instruments and modified instruments. Self-Defined instruments require extensive knowledge of the subject being study, including developing the steps and testing (possibly multiple) to ensure the validity of results (APUS, 2016, 2). This type of instrument is not recommended for first-time researchers. Qualitative instruments can include interview questions because the researcher has based their questions on others. Results are typically shared with experts to determine the validity of the results as well as making recommendations for change. Published instruments are data collection instruments developed by others, however these should be used cautiously because just because an instrument has been published, doesn’t necessarily equate to it being reliable. (APUS, 2016, 2). Modified instruments are simply published instruments where modifications have been made. To ensure these instruments are efficient, it is vital to ensure their validity and reliability.  There are two types of validity: construct and content. Construct validity consist of whether the items align with concepts or constructs (APUS, 2016, 2). Content validity is the extent to which an instrument measures what it is intended to measure.

For my research proposal: Terrorism in Prison: Addressing Islamic Radicalism and Combating Recruitment, I utilized a mixed approach. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods were necessary due to the difficulty when utilizing a quantitative method of determining radicalism in a prison setting. I intend to use two instruments for my research: ERG22+ (Extremism Risk Guidelines) as well as interviewing and surveying convicted terrorists. The ERG22+ was the first risk assessment tool for violent extremism (Heide, et. all, 2019). It was created in the U.K. and the structure is based on 22 factors organized into three different domains: Engagement, Intent, and Capability. The ERG22+ is based on a Structured Professional Judgment (SPJ) that consists of empirical knowledge of extremists and terrorists (Powis et. all, 2019). The participants of this tool are convicted terrorists in the U.K. Next, the ERG22+ was completed by forensic psychologists or probation officers who had received training (Powis et. all, 2019).. The validity of ERG22+ was examined using a multi-dimensional scale analysis and found that out of 0 (valid) and 1 (invalid) score of 0 and 1, the ERG22+ scored a .23 indicating a relatively good fit. The internal consistency of ERG22+ found a coefficient of 0.80, indicating a high internal consistency (Powis et. all, 2019).

The interview and survey instrument I’m proposing for research consists of interviews and questions to answer: how and if convicted terrorists were recruited in prison, how they were managed (contained, dispersed, or mixed) as opposed to the general population, and their overall impression on the effectiveness of de-radicalization programs. There will be four dimensions: crime committed, sentence length, perception of treatment, and personal experiences. Participation will be voluntary and anonymous (for fear of reprisal).  The overall goal of the findings from this mixed-method approach is to compare the quantitative findings from the ERG22+ with the interview/survey instrument that I’ve developed for further validity and reliability. This, in my opinion, will further empirical data to assist in the construct of further tools.

V/r,

Ian

Sources:

APUS. (2016) 1. Theoretical perspective: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Universal/SSGS/300/elf/lesson-3/elf_index.html

APUS. (2016) 2. Reliability and Validity. https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Universal/SSGS/300/elf/lesson-6/elf_index.html

Beverly Powis, Kiran Randhawa & Darren Bishopp (2019) An Examination of the Structural Properties of the Extremism Risk Guidelines (ERG22+): A Structured Formulation Tool for Extremist Offenders, Terrorism and Political Violence, DOI: 10.1080/09546553.2019.1598392

Ellis, L., Hartley, R. D., & Walsh, A. (2009). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology: An interdisciplinary approach. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Heide, L.V., Zwan, M.V., & Leyenhorst, M.V. (2019). The Practitioner's Guide to the Galaxy - A Comparison of Risk Assessment Tools for Violent Extremism.

Q2.


Reliability and validity are two major points of any type of research.  Determining reliability and validity of your research can make or break an entire research project.  Due to the similarities these two topics are normally discussed together.  Along with these points are research instruments, which are data collection tools.  When conducting research, it is imperative that data collection tools are used that are designed for your research topic.  This is important because using the correct type of research instrument will help you research your subject, along with give reliability and validity to your research when analyzed.

Before you can use a research instrument, you need to be sure it is a good fit.  There are different types of research instruments which include: self-designed instruments- this is not recommended for armatures but is recommended for more experienced researchers who have vast knowledge in their subject.  This type of instrument is self-designed to a specific topic. Another type of self-designed instrument is qualitative self-designed instruments.  This is typically a set of questions that was based around a particular subject. Next is Published instruments.  This is a type of instruments that others have developed and are available to others for use.  This type of instrument may be popular, but it is cautioned that some may view this as unreliable or invalid.  Lastly, there is Modified Instruments.  This is a published instrument that has been modified, to increase the validity of the instrument.  An example of this would be qualitative instruments, where the information has been modified to fit a broader audience.

The best type of instrument that will be thought as reliable and valid in my research topic of bullying in elementary schools within Grovetown, GA, is Qualitative Instruments.  The majority of my research will be done observing, questioning and discussing the topic of bullying with youth, parents, recreation and education departments. Due to the fact that my research topic is set around a particular age group of individuals, I can direct my questions accordingly.  The questions I ask can be broad enough that all participants (youth, parents, teachers, etc.) can answer, but specific enough to be reliable and valid when readers are critiquing my research.

A way to test the instruments reliability is proving that it gives consistent results.  If there is inconsistency in the results a research instrument produces, this will be deemed as unreliable.  In order to see the results, test and retesting of the instrument needs to be conducted.  There is also inter-rater and inter-observer reliability.  This is similar to testing consistency, as with this you are testing different raters and or observers on how consistent their answers are.

Validity is determined by reviewing if the sources or the research are bias or based on popularity in any way.  Any sway to a bias thought or sway to the popular belief of most can determine the research to be invalid.  The best way to test this is to be sure that random subjects are used as often as possible to avoid bias.

Within my research of bullying in elementary schools in my local area, validity will be determined by using random and different subjects to interview and observe.  By questioning different departments, different parents, different children, all focused on different aspects of bullying and youth, then the validity will be proven to be unbias.  

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