Pilot Study. Pilot Study
PILOT STUDY: Now, you will have the chance to conduct a very small research study, also known as a
pilot study. You can choose a survey, a 1:1 Interview or an Observation. Remember, this must be
related to your proposal and approval must be given by your professor.
Designs – Pick one
- Survey Research
- Design a survey with at least 10 questions, but no more than 15. Please submit your survey to your
professor before you distribute it. You can survey people about any criminal justice topic. . For
example, you may want to know how people feel about the death penalty or you may want to know
what people think about the police.
- Pick your sample. Decide who you want to survey. Make sure your unit of analysis is consistent
with your hypothesis. Will you stand in the lobby and ask every 5th student to complete your
survey, will you survey students in a particular class, etc. These decisions must be made well ahead
of time. You must have 15-20 people in your sample.
- Field Research – complete observer only
- Pick a location that you can sit in and observe people without being too obvious. Pick a bench
on a busy street or in a public park. Whichever place you pick, make sure it is a public place.
- Decide what type of behavior you want to observe and what type of people you want to
observe. DO NOT OBSERVE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY – IT IS TOO DANGEROUS, it brings
up too many ethical issues, and it is not allowed!!! Perhaps you want to observe how the police
interact with the public or the behavior of homeless persons in the park.
- Keep a log and report on everything you see – This will serve as your field notes. Your field
notes can be handwritten. What do the people look like? What are they wearing? How are they
behaving? Who are they with? What can you interpret from their body language? Include
everything and anything and write everything down.
- Do at least three observations on three separate days for 15-20 minutes each.
Pick someone to interview on a one-on-basis. Your unit of analysis should be consistent with your
hypothesis. The interview must be done in person. You will interview them on two separate occasions.
- Find someone that you are interested in knowing more about. It could be a police officer, a
correction counselor, a former inmate, etc.
- Write a list of interview questions –this is known as your interview schedule and you cannot
deviate from these questions (just like a real researcher). Show me your questions before you
interview your subject. Have at least 15 questions that include both quantitative and qualitative
measures. Make sure you write down everything the subjects say to you. If the subject agrees to be
tape recorded, you may tape record the interview and transcribe it later on. You may also describe
the subject’s behavior, mannerisms, dress, etc.
- After the first interview, analyze the responses of your subject. Devise ten additional questions that
you would like to ask the subject based on their responses to the first set of questions you asked
them. Hence, there should be 25 or more questions in total.
Results/Discussion (1 page)
Discuss the results of your research. What did you find? Be specific.
If You Conducted a Survey:
Analyze your results. What did you find? Write up everything you did, starting from the beginning and
concluding with the results of your study. Use the last couple of paragraphs to describe your experience
with the survey research. Did you like it, hate it, find it interesting, etc. and why? Did you face any
difficulties? Submit the typed proposal with the survey attached to the back.
If you conducted an Ethnography:
Analyze your results – did you find anything interesting? For example, do security guards at Macys
follow people of color around more than white people? Look for trends. Write up everything you did,
beginning with who you decided to observe, where you decided to observe them, what you saw, and
conclude with the results of your observations. Describe your experience with the field work. Did you
like it, hate it, find it interesting, etc. and why? Did you face any difficulties? Submit the typed proposal
with your field notes attached to the back.
If you conducted a 1:1 Interview:
What did you learn from your participant based on the questions asked? Submit the typed proposal,
which will include the interview (in question/answer
format), any interesting findings, and how you felt about conducting an interview. Please report on any
difficulties that you faced.
Policy Implications (1 Page)
What is the meaning of your research? How can it impact public policy? For example, do we
require more police presence or does it mean that we require more sensitivity training for law
Limitations (1 paragraph)
What are the weaknesses of your study design? How could this study be improved?
Future Research (1 paragraph)
What should other researchers focus on in this area? What is the next
recommendation for future study? Why?
Works Cited Page – make sure to provide a full reference list that adheres to APA format
Submit your proposal to the assignment link in Canvas for your course.
In total, your paper will be 5 to 7 pages, not including the title page or reference page.