Exploring evidence-based policing
Exploring evidence-based policing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Exploring evidence-based policing

5.1 Misconceptions about the idea of evidence-based practice

Several common ‘myths’ and misconceptions have arisen about evidence-based practice which prevent practitioners developing the skills needed to undertake it. Some of the most prevalent are:

  • evidence only means quantitative ‘scientific’ evidence
  • practitioners should not use their own professional expertise or ‘gut feel’ to make decisions
  • evidence is about objective truth and can prove things
  • the newest breakthrough studies provide the best evidence
  • collecting valid and relevant evidence solves the problem
  • if you don’t have evidence, you can’t do anything
  • evidence-based practice just means proven techniques or best practices
  • experts (e.g. consultants and university professors) know all about the evidence so you just need to ask them.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Moore (2006) also makes the point that if not managed carefully, an excessive focus on evidence-based practice over experience-based knowledge gleaned through qualitative studies can be detrimental to gaining real-world insights.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371