Public Knowledge about White-Collar Crime

Public Knowledge about White-Collar Crime

The units of analysis in this research by Michel, Cochran and, Heide involved four hundred and eight individuals who took part in the research study. These participants were required to fill an online questionnaire on their knowledge of white-collar crime. The unit of analysis used is important since it provides first-hand information of the societal perspective on the research question and provides a boundary for the study, particularly for data analysis. Considering the research question on determining how aware the society is on white collar crime, the analysis criteria was successfully used to achieve the goal of the research. Besides, individual participation is helpful since their knowledge varies from one person to the other.

Michel et al. (2016) used a longitudinal research design to carry out the research and draw their conclusions. To understand the public knowledge on white collar crime data collection was done over some time with different participants from the beginning of white-collar crimes until the time of research. Therefore, to analyze collected data, past researches and available information are gathered, and meaningful information can be analyzed. Also, a longitudinal research design allows an analysis of the same phenomenon issue over a vast period, collecting data at different points of time to aid in reducing biases in the final analysis.

The samples selected for the research study were recruited members from Amazon Mechanical Turk and requesters who completed and posted the Human Intelligence Task (HIT) on a computer. The participants needed to complete an online questionnaire on the subject matter over an unlimited time frame. However, a participant could only complete one questionnaire, and an incomplete questionnaire was not considered in the research. Similarly, the probability sampling method was used through a computerized random selection of participants. The research study represented a large population survey; hence the probability sampling method was effective. Also, each participant had an equal opportunity to be part of the research, but the data considered for analysis was to be complete and answered over a reasonable time frame.

Michel et al. (2016) consider the data collected to be a representation of the overall United States population. The authors refer to the 2010 United State Census data in the data collection and analysis methods. The research contains slight discrepancies on age, race, ethnicity, and education but still, the research maintained the national trend closely. Employment, gender and, household income are considerably included in the research. Similarly, the use of subjective and objective knowledge may indicate an overall representation of the data collected and the analysis process. Systematic sampling method also indicates a higher level of accuracy in representing the general population of the United States.

Generally, the research findings on public knowledge about white collar crimes have proven that there is an existing gap between the perceived knowledge and the actual knowledge about white-collar crime. The research suggests that there is a misconception on the public domain that street crime is higher than the white-collar crime. The public is knowledgeable about white collar crime just by words but the activities surrounding the term surpass their knowledge. The participants of the research acknowledged that the white-collar criminals should be severely punished that the street gangsters. Besides, the research provides essential information for providing future education to the large population on the impact of white-collar crimes.





Michel, C., Cochran, J.K., and, Heide, K. M. (2016). “Public knowledge about white-collar crime: an exploratory study.” Crime, law and social change 65.1-2.  p. 1-26 (26 pages)