The accuracy of the results of research data is partially dependant on the sample that was used in the research study. How large the sample, its specific characteristics, and how it was selected, all play a significant role in how “good” the research results will be. Without appropriate sample size, characteristics, and selection, the results will be less than optimal. To this point, forensic psychology professionals often use existing databases from which to draw the data for their research; that is, they obtain their sample from these data bases. The problem with doing this is that the researcher does not have input into the sample represented in the data, such as how and from whom it was collected.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review Chapter 6 in your course text, Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Pay particular attention to when and where surveys are used in forensic research and the importance of representative sampling.
- Review the selected pages of Appendix B in your course text, Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Pay close attention to the role of sample size in applying results to the general population.
- Using the Walden Library, select a forensic psychology research article that interests you. As you review it, focus on the section(s) discussing methods and results.
- Consider how the sample size, sample characteristics, and means of sample selection influenced the results of the study.
The assignment (1–3 pages):
- Briefly summarize the forensic psychology research article you selected, including the sections on methods and results, paying particular attention to sample size, characteristics, and means of selection.
- Explain how the sample size, sample characteristics, and sample selection influenced the results of the study and why.