Hagan, F. E.
(2017). Introduction to Criminology
Theories, methods, and criminal behavior (Vol. 9). Thousand Oaks,
Knowing that anything can influence, even a “normal” person,
to committing something so harsh. Like the people who were playing the guards,
that took it way too far. These were just students who went to Stanford, and in
the matter of six days, they changed because of their surroundings and did
things they probably never thought they’d ever do. This helps people understand
that anyone can commit a crime, no matter if they are a “bad” or “good” person.
The findings of this study were that, being put in such
living arrangements, even for only six days. These conditions changed people’s perception
of life even though they knew it was fake. The people playing the prisoners
adapted to their situation, and were miserable. Multiple people had to leave
the experiment early because of their mental state.
Within this study, Zimbardo might have gone outside of the
code of ethics, which is the “requirements that researchers behave ethically in
conducting research” (Hagan, 2017, p. 22). Within this research, Zimbardo didn’t
warn the subjects who was going to be the prisoner or the guard. The ones
selected as prisoners were actually arrested by the police department, on a
random day, at a random time. The prisoners were also forced to use the
bathroom in a bucket, and sit in their cell with such bucket for those playing
the guards to see. They were also forced to be nude, and thrown into solitary
confinement Researchers, according to Hagan (2017), “should avoid privacy
invasion and protect vulnerable population” (p. 22).
The Zimbardo Prison experiment, also known as the Stanford
Prison study, was a study conducted starting in 1971. In this study the man in
charge, Zimbardo, brought in eight teen random Stanford students, secretly
assigning half of them as inmates/prisoners, and the other half as guards. This
study was being conducted to see what influences people into doing bad things.
The idea of bad people do bad things, was then expanded to good people also do
bad things if influenced by certain aspects in life. Zimbardo, brought in the
nine prisoners and kept them in a mock prison in the basement of one of the
buildings on the Stanford campus. It was planned to keep them there for a total
of fourteen days. By the sixth day. Zimbardo had to cancel the experiment
because half of the prisoners left because of their mental and emotional state
because they were forced into solitary confinement completely nude, treated bad
by the pretend guards who began to think that the prisoners were real and
actually a harm to the outside.
(a) What was the
Zimbardo Prison experiment? (b) What were the ethical problems with the study?
(c) What were the findings? (d) How can these findings help us understand crime
A new program called the NIBRS, which is the National
Incident Based Reporting System, which started in 1982, nearly fifty years
after the UCR. Creators took the ideas of the UCR, and only made it into a “system
for recording far more detail on crime incidents that is intended to replace
the UCR” (Hagan, 2017, p. 32). The NIBRS was now taking in consideration
attempted and completed crimes, gathering more information on details such as;
location, time, use of weapons, and more information on the perpetrator. Having
way more detail go into the database to calculate the crime rate is really
important. Knowing more about a specific case and future cases, help
authorities calculate a more accurate crime rate.
The UCR and the NCVS have some similarities and some
differences. They both have to do with collecting information in order to try
and come up with numbers to see the crime rate of the United States. They also
have their flaws, some crimes are not being told, and are going under the
radar. A difference would be how the information is initially collected. In the
UCR the FBI collects information from crime cases and stores this in files. In
the NCVS, the information is collected simply from a survey taken by random
citizens of the US.
The NCVS is the National Crime Victimization Survey which is
defined by Hagan (2017) as, “a survey of the general public to measure claimed
crime victimization” (p. 416). This survey would be conducted on random people
of the public. They would answer questions such as Was something belonging to you stolen? How many times? What happened? This
survey would resurface every six months, to tally victimization people faced. A
pro of this survey is to see if a specific person was targeted multiple times
over a span of half a year. A con would be that a victim might have a perfect
memory of a certain encounter.
The UCR is the Uniform Crime Report which is defined as an “official
police report on crime maintained by the FBI” (Hagan, 2017, p. 418). Established
in 1930. This report would gather information on crimes, that would be then
split up into two different parts. Part one, contained index crimes, which are “crimes
that are used in order to calculate the crime rate” (Hagan, 2017, p. 27). Some
of the crimes that are considered to be index crimes are; murder, forcible
rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Part two, contained non-index crimes,
which are “crimes that are not used in the calculation of the crime rate” (Hagan,
2017, p. 28). Some non-index crimes are; fraud, prostitution, forgery, and
arson. Some of the pros of the UCR is knowing how many of these felony crimes
are being committed throughout a year. On the other hand, a con is not all
crimes are being accounted for, and are not being added to the overall crime
(a) What is the
difference between the UCR and the NCVS? Identify pros and cons of each. (b)
What do you think are the most significant advancements with NIBRS (compared to
the UCR)? Explain your answer.