Inductive research can be easily conducted, although it is not generally used in the criminology and criminal justice areas because it requires that one move from a specific starting point of data to a more general idea or theory to explain patterns found in the data. Deductive reasoning is more often employed in criminological research because it allows the researcher to begin with a general idea and direction of research and then deduce more specific expectations from these general ideas, which can be tested with empirical data. In either case, social research in the criminal justice context aims to make connections between theory and empirical data. This cycle of theory to data and data to theory is characterized as a “research circle” made up of inductive, deductive, and descriptive research.
In your main post:
- Develop a problem statement and hypothesis you could test in your current or desired criminal justice career, based on your reading of the Hernon and Schwartz article “What Is a Problem Statement?”
- Identify the primary independent and dependent variables that would support your hypothesis.
- Explain how the inductive research process differs from the deductive research process providing examples to explore when each type of research is most appropriate.
- Specify whether you would use inductive or deductive research and reasoning to test your hypothesis based on the research circle discussed in Chapter 2 of Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice.