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Agency Records, Content Analysis, and Secondary Data
1. Agency records, secondary data and content analysis do not require direct interaction with
research subjects.
Answer: True
2. Data and records produced by formal organizations may be the most common source of
data in criminal justice research.
Answer: True
3. Secondary analysis can be cheaper and faster than collecting original data.
Answer: True
4. Understanding the details of how agency records are produced is the best guard against
reliability and validity problems.
Answer: True
5. Units of communication, such as words, paragraphs, and books, are not the units of
analysis in content analysis.
Answer: False
6. Data collected by or for public agencies is readily available and researchers have tight
control over the actual data collection process.
Answer: False
7. Content analysis is a research method appropriate for studying human communications.
Answer: True
8. Data collected by other researchers may be used to address new research questions.
Answer: True
9. The advantages and disadvantages of using secondary data are not the same as agency

Answer: False
1. When using agency records in their research, researchers keep in mind two general
maxims: ____.
a. "Follow the paper trail" and "expect the expected"
b. "Follow the paper trail" but "expect the unexpected"
c. "Follow the rules" and "expect the expected"
d. "Follow the trail" and "expect the paper"
Answer: A
2. Social artifacts such as written documents or articles from newspapers illustrate which
a. content analysis
b. secondary analysis
c. case studies
d. surveys
Answer: A
3. Agency records and statistics published by agencies or governmental entities are most
commonly used for which type of studies?
a. explanatory
b. descriptive
c. experimental
d. qualitative
Answer: B
4. Topics that lend themselves to the use of content analysis tend to focus upon the links
between communication and ____.

a. criminal justice policy
b. police behavior
c. perceptions of valid research
d. writing skills
Answer: A
5. Nonpublic agency records are often made available to which group?
a. any citizen who expresses written interest
b. criminal justice researchers
c. nonpublic agency records are not generally made available to anyone
d. none of these answers are correct
Answer: B
6. Which method is conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census Bureau under contract from
the Bureau of Justice Statistics?
a. Court records of Children in Custody
b. Self Report Survey data
c. Survey of Inmates in Local Jails
d. Survey of all Criminal Justice Professors
Answer: C
7. The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics is the most comprehensive Bureau of Justice
Statistics publication. It includes a multitude of data including all of the following except
a. characteristics of criminal justice agencies
b. public opinion answers coming from the Gallup Poll
c. complete crime data from all local police departments
d. specific data on states using capital punishment and their execution statistics

Answer: C
8. Which statement is false with regard to the use of published data in aggregate forms?
a. Published data is never used in criminal justice research because it is not readily available.
b. Published data is appropriate for measuring highly aggregated patterns or trends such as
drug use over time.
c. Published data can be used for the covariation in two estimates of crime.
d. Published data are easy to obtain.
Answer: A
9. Most government organizations routinely collect and publish compilations of data, which
we refer to collectively as:
a. statistical and or graphic data
b. electronic data
c. published statistics
d. crime rates
Answer: C
10. Which of the following is not an example of nonpublic agency records?
a. the FBI’s publication of the Uniform Crime Reports
b. information from a local police department concerning the number of crimes that happened
within the past month
c. a prison’s collection of files dealing with inmates currently in their custody
d. a county courthouse’s records on defendants tried within the last six months
Answer: A
11. In Widom’s research purpose on the relationship between early child abuse and later
delinquency or adult criminal behavior was ___________:
a. valid and reliable

b. critical and valid
c. explanatory
d. exploratory
Answer: C
12. Individual agencies maintain silo databases. Silo databases refer to _______________.
a. stacks of data that are isolated from each other
b. record-keeping procedures
c. agency-produced data
d. computerized criminal history
Answer: A
13. Which statement is false with regard to agencies collecting original research data?
a. cooperation to add research questions is likely to be successful if you are asking for a
major additional effort on the part of the agency staff
b. the cooperation of the staff and their organizations are directly proportional to the
intrusiveness of the data collection
c. if the research project is likely to save the agency money or improve staff performance the
chances of enlisting assistance is greater
d. Researchers have less control over the data collection process when they rely on agency
Answer: A
14. Which statement is true about longitudinal research?
a. Data are useless
b. the changes in the operational definitions the agencies use to specify key terms does not
change overtime
c. the procedures the agency uses to collect the data will remain the same over time

d. as the time interval under investigation increases, so does the potential for change in
Answer: D
15. Which statement is false with regard to validity and reliability of agency records?
a. the shorter the time intervals under study the greater the concern about procedure changes
b. longitudinal researchers must be concerned about changes in operational definitions over
c. longitudinal researchers must be concerned about changes in procedures over time
d. the longer the time interval under study the greater the concern about procedure changes
Answer: A
16. Which behavior would have the least impact on the validity and reliability of a study
using agency records?
a. discretion of prosecutors in who to charge and what counts to add
b. decisions that are made by police officers to arrest versus give a warning
c. recognition on the part of the researcher that criminal justice data is a composite of
criminal behavior, ability to detect that behavior and decisions about system response to that
d. decisions made by probation officers to revoke on new crimes and not technical violations
Answer: C
17. It is often said that agency data are not designed for research purposes. Which of the
following support that statement?
a. some criminal justice agencies collect data because they want to help researchers
b. often the data collected by criminal justice agencies is for their research use
c. agency records can be easily adapted to research purposes
d. data they do collect often reflect discretionary decisions by numerous individuals.
Answer: D

18. Which of the following situations would not have an impact upon error in agency
a. computers have the capacity to magnify clerical error
b. a single crime could be recorded by two agencies, thus making that event over-represented
c. having very little data to input
d. even rare events can be recorded improperly
Answer: C
19. Which of the following would be an example of content analysis in criminal justice
a. counting the stories devoted to the coverage of crime in your local newspaper
b. counting the number of robberies that happen in your city
c. measuring the average length of time from arrest to disposition in your city
d. determining the average number of inmates housed in your city’s jail on a daily basis
Answer: A
20. Which of the following would be an accurate statement concerning the use of content
a. content analysis involves only a systematic study of messages
b. content analysis involves a systematic study of messages and the meaning that those
messages have for citizens
c. content analysis involves only the meaning of speeches given concerning criminal justice
d. content analysis methods can only be used with agency reports to determine what they
Answer: B
21. Which of the following would be an appropriate target of content analysis?
a. speeches

b. NCVS data
c. crime rates
d. Uniform Crime Records
Answer: A
22. Content analysis is well-suited for which of the following situations?
a. to determine unemployment rates
b. to find out public relations with police
c. to answer the classic questions of communications research
d. court records
Answer: C
23. Which of the following is not an advantage of using secondary data?
a. reduction in validity threats
b. it is cheaper than collecting original data
c. it is faster than collecting original data
d. the researcher may benefit from the work of others established in their fields
Answer: A
24. The visible, objective context of a communication is known as ____.
a. latent content
b. manifest content
c. concept
d. validity
Answer: B
25. The publication produced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that includes information
about hundreds of justice agency data sets, characteristics of criminal justice agencies, and
perceptions of crime is called ____.

a. the Uniform Crime Reports
b. the National Crime Victimization Survey
c. the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
d. Gallup Poll
Answer: C
26. Dr. Jones is having his Introductory to Criminal Justice students analyze cartoons. He
instructs them to identify the number of violent acts per show, the type of violent act and the
characteristics of the victim. Dr. Jones is having his students use ____.
a. content analysis
b. secondary data
c. new data collected by agency staff
d. nonpublic agency records
Answer: A
27. Published statistics and agency records are often used in _____.
a. survey research
b. descriptive studies
c. experimental studies
d. qualitative research
Answer: B
28. FBI statistics and annual reports from the Federal Bureau of Prisons are examples of
a. nonpublic agency records
b. new data collected by agency staff
c. published statistics
d. content analysis

Answer: C
29. Which fact is important to remember when using agency records?
a. to ask permission before you study any agency data
b. to examine the data through some form of content analysis
c. the financial considerations of obtaining complete agency records are typically substantial
d. the discretionary actions by criminal justice officials and others affect the production of
virtually all agency records
Answer: D
1. Information that is collected by other people often as a part of their day-to-day work in a
justice agency, but used by someone else for research purposes is referred to as
_______________ of existing data.
Answer: secondary analysis
2. It may be possible to use a(n) _______________ source of data in which criminal justice
agency staff collect information for specific research purposes that they typically would not
have collected.
Answer: hybrid
3. When using agency records as a data source, the researcher must always keep changes in
operational definitions and changes in _______________ in mind because of their potential
impact upon validity and reliability.
Answer: procedures
4. The potential for ________________ increases as the number of clerical entries increases.
Answer: error
5. In content analysis, the visible, surface content known as _______________.
Answer: manifest content
6. In content analysis, the underlying meaning of a communication is referred to as

Answer: latent content
7. Generally speaking, secondary data are least useful when the purpose of research is
Answer: evaluation
8. Content analysis is really a(n) __________ operation that represents the measurement
Answer: coding
9. The main disadvantage of using secondary data concerns how variables were initially
operationalized and whether the secondary data provide _______________ measures of the
variables you want to analyze.
Answer: valid
10. Manifest and latent content can be distinguished by the degree of _______________
required in measurement.
Answer: interpretation

Test Bank for Basics of Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology
Michael G. Maxfield, Earl R. Babbie
9781305261105, 9781111346911

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