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NCJ Number: 128203 Find in a Library
Title: Measuring Crime Seriousness
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:72-85
Author(s): D A Parton; M Hansel; J R Stratton
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 14
Type: Measurement/Evaluation Device
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper focuses on the theoretical and methodological limitations of crime severity measures, particularly the U.S. National Survey of Crime Severity (NSCS).
Abstract: Strategies for studying crime seriousness are considered, as are the requirements for using magnitude estimation techniques. Problems with the NSCS are identified and discussed. Among these problems are: (1) most NSCS sub-groups differences in crime perceptions are not interpretable because of the variant of magnitude estimation used in the NSCS; (2) their cross-modality laboratory studies are irrelevant to evaluating the adequacy of the NSCS method; (3) some of the NSCS results allow the interpretation that as many as one-quarter of the respondents failed to make magnitude estimations; (4) the unsystematic introduction of status information in some NSCS items introduces variance which cannot be assessed effectively; and (5) the NSCS method for developing a crime index weighted by the seriousness of crimes is less feasible than other alternatives. The authors report briefly on a method study to measure crime seriousness. 1 table, 8 notes, and 48 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Crime seriousness measures; Crime surveys
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; National crime surveys; Research methods
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