Ecological Fallacy

Chapter

Abstract

  • An ecological fallacy occurs when inferences about the characteristics/behavior of individuals are derived from inferences about the group to which the individuals belong. A typical example from criminology is where information is gathered from the Census about a neighborhood or city. The ecological fallacy occurs when inference is made about individuals in the neighborhood concerning their individual criminal behavior. Ecological fallacy has risen back to the forefront of discussion in ecological work more recently because of the focus on micro-level analyses and the use of geographic information systems, particularly as it relates to multilevel analyses. The easy answer to overcome the ecological fallacy of research is to simply do all research at the individual level. This is short-sighted, however, and would not build on the body of knowledge in criminology.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9781119110729
  • Start Page

  • 478
  • End Page

  • 482