Avoiding Bias in Research Design: Essay  

Criminal Justice

How can you minimize bias through your research design? What examples show the application of the concept in criminal justice research?Discuss how informed consent and confidentiality are used in the research process.

Avoiding Bias in Research Design

In research design, biases, which may result from the experiment, investigator, and participants, can lead to wrong conclusions and distorted results. For this reason, scholars need to conduct unbiased and valid research in a highly professional and competent manner. As an illustration, having a well-designed research protocol explicitly indicating the data analysis and collection can help reduce bias (Galdas, 2017). The reduction of bias can also be achieved by demonstrating rigor, linked to a congruence of the methodological approach, relevance to practice, and openness. Scholars can also attain this objective through persistent or prolonged involvement, representing outliers and deviant cases, continuous comparison across accounts of participants, and validation of respondents.

Minimizing bias in criminal justice research is crucial since doing so assists in reaching a real understanding of the phenomena being investigated and forms theories that meticulously account for these phenomena. In this regard, an investigator can reduce bias by enlisting multiple people to code the data. If the study interpretation is consistent with that of others, then the agreement in the analysis implies some truth (Galdas, 2017). Verification through triangulation is also vital since it entails finding other data sources supporting the study’s interpretation. By using triangulation, a scholar can have more confidence that their results are legitimate. Last but not least, an investigator can review conclusions with peers; peers can provide affirmation that the findings are reasonable and sound given the study data.

In the research process, informed consent is used as a legal and ethical basis for a study comprising human participants. The approach involves enlightening the contributors about all aspects of an investigation, which are vital for the subjects to decide (Willig & Rogers, 2017). After evaluating all features of the research, the participants are required to voluntarily confirm their willingness to participate in the investigation and the importance of the study for the development of social welfare and knowledge. On the other hand, the confidentiality convention is upheld as a means to maintain the integrity and ethical standards of the research process, build rapport and trust with study participants, and protect the privacy of all individuals.


Galdas, P. (2017). Revisiting bias in qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16(1), 160940691774899. doi:10.1177/1609406917748992.

Willig, C., & Rogers, W. S. (Eds.). (2017). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in psychology. London: Sage.

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