Can Self-Report Data Be Useful in Studying Racial Profiling?

Cynthia Wright, North Carolina State University
Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, North Carolina State University

ABSTRACT
Most of the study of racial profiling has relied on official record information to determine if there is evidence of racial disparity and racial discrimination. Such data are typically quite limited, however, because the data have not been collected independently of the organization being evaluated. Citizen self-reported data, on the other hand, represent an independent source of information, but the adequacy of such data has often been challenged on validity grounds. Data from the NC State Highway Patrol study were used to describe the strengths and weaknesses of self-reported highway related behaviors.

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Updated 05/20/2006