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NCJ Number: 50389 Find in a Library
Title: SOME METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES OF LEGAL ISSUES
Author(s): E A LIND
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROCEDURAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE STUDY OF LEGAL ISSUES ARE DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF THE METHODOLOGICAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN EXPERIMENTS IN A FUNCTIONING COURT SYSTEM AND EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM.
Abstract: EVALUATIVE VERSUS SIMULATION TERMINOLOGY PLACES AN EMPHASIS ON INDUCTIVE RATHER THAN DEDUCTIVE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. WHEN THE GOAL OF A STUDY IS TO USE DATA TO GENERATE GENERAL THEORETICAL PROPOSITIONS OR TO DETERMINE CAUSE-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN A PARTICULAR SYSTEM, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT RESEARCH BE CONDUCTED IN THE SYSTEM OF INTEREST OR IN A SYSTEM THAT CLOSELY APPROXIMATES THE SYSTEM TO WHICH RESULTS ARE TO BE APPLIED. WHEN THE GOAL OF A STUDY IS TO TEST SOME ALREADY PROPOSED THEORY, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE RESEARCH SETTING MEET CONDITIONS SPECIFIED BY THAT THEORY; THAT THE STUDY SIMULATE SOME REAL SYSTEM TO WHICH THE THEORY IS THOUGHT TO APPLY IS ONLY OF SECONDARY IMPORTANCE. SINCE LEGAL EXPERIMENTS ARE USED FOR BOTH INDUCTIVE AND DEDUCTIVE RESEARCH, TERMINOLOGY EMPHASIZING ONLY INDUCTIVE CONCERNS IS CUMBERSOME. THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES ARE CITED TO EMPHASIZE SPECIFIC REFERENTS FOR DISCUSSING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EACH TYPE OF EXPERIMENT: ARBITRATION IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR CONNECTICUT, PROCEDURAL JUSTICE IN THE LABORATORY, AND SENTENCING IN THE CIRCUIT COURT. A GENERAL DESCRIPTION IS PROVIDED OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EVALUATIVE, PROXIMAL SIMULATION, AND DISTAL SIMULATION EXPERIMENTS AS APPLIED TO LEGAL RESEARCH. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Evaluative research; Judicial process; Research methods; Systems analysis; Theory
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50389

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