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Abstract

Although students in the social sciences perceive quantitative methods courses negatively, this need not mean that they devalue empirical research, or lack capacity to become informed consumers of research. To explore this possibility, we administered two measures to Canadian students (n = 194) enrolled in first-year social science courses, and to Dutch criminology students (n =156) enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program. While students in each country expressed low interest in engaging in research, they expressed significantly higher appreciation of the value of research. Further, we found a small-medium positive correlation between education and appreciation of research in the Dutch sample. We propose that while experiential research activities have little impact on students’ interest in conducting research, they likely add to students’ appreciation of the importance of research.

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