Essay Sample on Research Question and Decision Analysis Principles

Published: 2023-09-27
Essay Sample on Research Question and Decision Analysis Principles
Essay type:  Definition essays
Categories:  Race Violence Research Police brutality
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 430 words
4 min read

A research question is essential in any decision analysis, project, research paper, or thesis (McCombes, 2020). In this discussion, the research question will focus on police brutality against black people in the United States of America (USA).

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Police brutality is a common incident in modern life, which causes a lot of concern. Black people have been on the worst reception end of police brutality as compared to other races. Although black people account for only 13 percent of the entire world population, 28 percent of police brutality deaths are blacks (Shinyanwe, 2020). Following the recent death of George Floyd in the USA, the physical restraint method has been widely used by police to manage culprits. However, little is known whether this method of handling culprits is likely to lead to a black person's death. Therefore, my question is, should police use physical restraint to handle black culprits? I chose the question guided by the recent case of George Floyd, who died as a result of the physical restraint method. Additionally, the question allows for decision analysis through elements of alternatives, conditions, and outcomes (Arsham, 1994).

Given the research question, the decision analysis principles that can be applied to this specific situation include maximizing the expected utility and the principle of equal likelihood (Kramer, 1988). The principle to maximize the expected utility avers that decision analyzers should choose the course, which maximizes expected utility (Bedford & Quigley, 2004). In this specific situation choosing physical restraint maximizes the chances of black life death; hence the alternative to choose physical restraint should result in a high chance of death despite the available conditions. The second principle of equal likelihood avers that police brutality or lack of it has an equal chance of happening regardless of whether police apply physical restraint. In conclusion, the research question should guide the decision analysis tools and the application of decision analysis principles.


Arsham, D. H. (1994). Tools for Decision Analysis. Analysis of Risky Decisions. Retrieved from

Bedford, T., & Quigley, J. (2004). Risk reduction prioritization using decision analysis. Risk, Decision, and Policy, 9(3), 223–236.

Fenton, N., & Neil, M. (2018). Decision Analysis, Decision Trees, Value of Information Analysis, and Sensitivity Analysis. Risk Assessment and Decision Analysis with Bayesian Networks, 6(10), 347–369.

Kramer, B. (1988). Techniques, Tools, and Applications. Expert Systems, Retrieved from

McCombes, S. (2020, June 19). Developing Strong Research Questions: Criteria and Examples. Retrieved from

Sinyangwe, S. (2020). Police Violence. Mapping Police Violence. Retrieved from

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