Theory Then Research

In the chapter ???Strategies for Developing a Scientific Body of Knowledge???, the ???Theory-then-Research??? strategy is approached. How does this relate to the Criminal Justice System in relation to crime deterrence rates

The theory-then-research strategy holds that meaningful practical experimentation depends upon first formulating a theory, which will make predictions that you can then test by empirical investigation. This would be for the further refinement, if not immediate endorsement or complete abandonment of the original theory. Bachman and Schutt (2008) noted that, the process of conducting research, moving from theory to data and back again is called the research cycle. The cycle first starts with a theory, which is our idea and what we think. It then moves on to deductive reasoning which is to show that the theory stated could be falsified. The data phase comes next which shows what is actually observed. From there, inductive reasoning is reached by collecting specific sets of facts from the data which then leads to a general conclusion (p 34-36).
According to Reynolds (2007) ???The major focus of this strategy is the development of an explicit theory through a continuous interaction between theory, construction, and empirical research??? (p147). He also states that the most fundamental problem with implementing theory-then-research strategy is in inventing the initial theory itself (p.52). One way a researcher may get a new idea, is through forming a relation between old and new concepts putting together an entirely new idea. Deterrence theory is based on the concept that, if the consequence of committing a crime outweighs the benefit of the crime itself, the individual will be deterred from committing the crime. This is created in the idea that all individuals are aware of the difference between right and? wrong and the consequences associated with wrong or criminal behaviors.
Deterrence? theory looks at the behavioral psychology through preventing or controlling actions, and behavior through fear of punishment or? retribution. Two forms of deterrence are established. General deterrence? manifests itself in policy whereby examples are made of deviants and specific deterrence? focuses on the individual deviant and attempts to correct his or her behavior. Punishment is meant to discourage the individual from recidivating. With this theory, researches are aimed at finding explanations of why crime deterrence may or may not work. Many researchers, as well as the general public, have begun to focus on the element of? personal choice, in seeking to answer the question, “Why do people engage in deviant and/or criminal acts??? Extensive research has taken place in the shape of surveys, observations, comparisons through time and space in addition to experiments to explain this theory.
The relationship between the theory-then-research strategy and crime deterrence in the criminal justice system is recognized. Researchers have sought to develop the Deterrence Theory with an effort to then provide explanations for it as to why it may or may not work, and how to improve such on such a theory through research.

References:
Bachman R. and Schutt R.K., (2008). Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Sage Publications. (p. 34-36)


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