To be a qualified researcher, they must know different terminologies and the process to become one. There are many of terminologies that a researcher must know to do his/her job. Some of them are the steps in research, the Lucifer effect, informed consent, and shield laws. Knowing the proper terminologies and how they apply to the criminal justice field can help their research in the criminal justice field. Not knowing the proper terms can make their research invalid and produce incorrect information. It is best for researchers to take the proper steps when they conduct their study. The steps in research are problem formulation, research design, data collection methods, analysis and presentations of findings and conclusions. The problem formulation is the particular area that is going to be investigated. The research design is a type of experiment or studies of the group over a period. The data collections methods are the choice of methods that are going to used. The analysis is the summarizing and reporting of the findings.
The last step is what the researcher believes the study has to say (Hagen, 2010). The steps in research already apply to the criminal justice field. For example, California wants to know what type of offender goes in and out of prison the most. They would study this over the next five to ten years and come up with robbery offenders tend to come in and out of prison. Not knowing the proper terminology can not only affect the results time wasted on researching the subject matter and taking the incorrect way of doing things. Understanding these terms will assist in analyzing research or data will help out a lot because I would know what each step the researchers did and how they came to his or her conclusion. I would not be lost in translation on what this means or even get confused on why they believe their study has to say. According to the book is a term coined by Zimbardo that refers to the transformation of a good person to engage with evil actions” (Hagen, 2010). Knowing what Lucifer effect is applies to the criminal justice field more with psychologist than anyone else. When they profile someone, for example, Ted Bundy, they wanted to know this good person all of a sudden turned evil and started killing women.
Psychologists believe that Ted Bundy’s breaking point was when his first love dumped him he dropped out of school moved back home. He later found out that his so called sister was his mother, and his parents were actually his grandparents; that is where psychologist think he snapped and started killing. Bundy could not accept the lies and was killing his first love because all the victims’ resemble her in a way. This is more of a Lucifer effect because it was not overnight that Bundy started killing, it was more each lie and the more he got hurt he began to transform into a serial killer (Montaldo, n.d.). Not knowing the proper terminology can affect the way a person conducts criminal justice research because not knowing what this term entirely means can make a wrong diagnosis. If a psychologist believed that that the criminal had the Lucifer effect and tried to lower the sentence with the help of the defense council, it can jeopardize the case.
Because the Lucifer effect is not recognized as a proper diagnostic. Understanding this term can be an asset in some ways, but I do not think when conducting a study. Zimbardo had to stop his experiment because it became too dangerous (Zimbardo, 2006). To study Bundy’s’ and his actions and publish them they needed his families or his consent to publish their findings. When researching the sponsors require an informed consent from the subjects, so they are aware of the intentions and studies that is being done. An informed consent applies to the criminal justice field because when researching, they need consent from anyone who participates in the study, so the participants know what’s going on and so the researchers can publish their findings without a participant suing them. Not knowing what the term means can affect me in research because I just tell the subjects what I am doing without getting their signatures I can be sued of even worse lose my job.
Understanding this term can help me conduct a safe research where the subjects know what is going on and why I am doing the study. By having their signatures saying that I can include them in my research is a benefit because that is just one more thing that is going to either approve or disapprove my hypothesis. When doing the research, researcher need to know that what they find can be protected under shield laws. The book states that shield laws “constitute a governmental immunity from prosecution and the right to confidentiality for researchers if they are subpoenaed” (Hagen, 2010). Shield laws apply to the criminal justice field because it protects respondents by ensuring that the data provided will not be used to invade their privacy. Not knowing the full terminology of shield law can affect my criminal justice research.
For example, if I think that everything in my research can be used against me I might leave out some information so it will not be used against me. Knowing this term can asset me when I am conducting research because I know that I cannot be prosecuted for my research and even if the courts subpoenaed me I was still protected from giving my field data up, etc. In conclusion, knowing the right meaning of these terminologies can help researcher conduct a more proficient study. That can help the criminal justice field in more in more than one way. Knowing the right process of these terms can help the researchers perform the proper steps to do the research. To make sure that they all have the informed consents from the subjects and to know that they are protected from giving up their data by the shield law.
Hagen, F. (2010). Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Zimbardo, P. (2006, January 1). The Lucifer Effect. Retrieved August 21, 2014. Montaldo, C. (n.d.). Ted Bundy: Profile of a Serial Killer. Retrieved August 21, 2014.