Critical Analysis:Reverse Deterrence in Racial Profiling: Increased Transgressions by Nonprofiled Whites


You will critique the article from this week’s assigned reading.  Your critique should be approximately 4 – 5 pages and demonstrate an understanding of research design and methodology.

Your critique should address all sections of the research article.  I have listed each section below and included some questions to consider when you evaluate and analyze the sections.  You are not limited to these questions.  They are provided simply to get you thinking in the right direction.

(Retrieved from

Literature Review
Does the review offer different perspectives?  Is it critical, does it discuss the good and bad points in the literature? Are the sources mainly primary?  Are at least some of the references current?

Research Problem
Are hypotheses present?  Are they clear; is it easy to understand what is being looked for?  Is there a rationale for looking at the problem?

How is the study designed?  Are there a sufficient number of participants?  Are the participants used likely to be generalizable to the population intended?  For example, if the research is interested in the diet of people with depression, looking at students’ diet after receiving bad exam results is unlikely to be generalizable.

Could one variable be producing an effect in another variable?  Are conditions within the experiment as similar as possible (e.g., all in the same room)?

Does this design allow the research problem to be addressed?  Is there sufficient detail for the study to be replicated?

Are the measures used within the study appropriate?  Do they have reliability and validity?  Do the measures accurately measure what is intended?

Researcher effects; is the researcher likely to have had an impact on the results – if measuring attitudes towards Chinese people in a Caucasian population, think about the effects of a Caucasian versus a Chinese experimenter.

Are the results clear?   Do you understand what analysis was used and why?  Does it seem appropriate?  Are there any other analyses you could suggest?  Do the results answer the research problem/hypothesis?

Does the discussion address the research problem?  Can the conclusions made feasibly be interpreted from the results, could there be other interpretations?  Are shortcomings in the study acknowledged?  Are the implications discussed?

Some Tips:

For all of these questions think about the good and bad points of the study.  Remember, there are no right or wrong conclusions, just show that you have thought about the study.

In addition, be sure to support your arguments /claims with evidence from the study and / or principles grounded in experimental research method.  Simply saying the research isn’t perfectly designed without providing a reason as to why is not sufficient as a critique.


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