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Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.35
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 428  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1936-6469 - ISSN (Online) 0882-0783
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2624 journals]
  • A Psychometric Investigation into the Structure of Deception Strategy Use
    • Abstract: This paper uses a data-driven approach to identify the psychological factors that underlie the array of strategies that people use to hide their deceit. Two hundred and nine participants told two lies and two truths and then completed a self-report scale that elicited their experiences when deceiving. A factor analysis of responses produced four factors, three of which were strategic in nature: Nonverbal behaviour control, which relates to attempts to monitor and control nonverbal behaviour when lying; Detail, which relates to attempts to produce detailed, engaging lies; Cognitive difficulty, which relates to the cognitive difficulties experienced when lying and their strategic consequences; and Anxiety, which relates to the negative emotions experienced when deceiving. The results further our understanding of the psychological processes that underpin deception and suggest several potentially fruitful avenues for future research.
      PubDate: 2020-03-26
  • Introduction to the Special Section on Hostage/Crisis Negotiation
    • PubDate: 2020-03-10
  • A 2018–2019 Snapshot of Psychological Screening Rejection Rates:
           Perceived Trends Reported by Police/Public Safety Psychologists
    • Abstract: Complaints that there are “fewer applicants” and/or “less qualified candidates” applying for positions as police/public safety officers may reflect a larger or growing problem in this field’s recruitment efforts today. The two surveys and six survey studies conducted here, including a one-year follow-up, were initiated in order to identify the perceptions of working police/public safety psychologists who regularly attend at least one of three national conferences and may provide a representative base of active police/public safety psychology professionals today. Results include the documented perceptions of these psychologists that up to 50% of their police/public safety agencies have lowered their officer selection standards in recent years, with 58% of the 2019 survey-responding psychologists (N = 51) reporting that at least one of their agencies “lowered its selection standards within the last 12 months.” Psychologists also reported a difference between their “current rate of candidate rejection” on pre-employment psychological evaluations (PEPEs) and their “desired rate of candidate rejection,” suggesting that police/public safety organizations may be hiring more “borderline” or potentially “psychologically-unfit” officers in recent years in order to fill officer vacancies. A number of reasons for apparently increasing selection challenges nationwide are documented in these psychologists’ completed surveys.
      PubDate: 2020-03-07
  • Utility and Effectiveness of the Context Manipulation Techniques: Police
           Investigators’ Perspectives
    • Abstract: The foremost goal of conducting an investigative interview is to obtain as much accurate information as possible. To achieve this, investigators employ a variety of interviewing techniques. Kelly et al. (Psychol Public Policy Law 19:165–178, 2013) proposed a taxonomy interviewing techniques, grouping them into six domains (i.e., Rapport and Relationship Building, Context Manipulation, Emotion Provocation, Collaboration, Confrontation/Competition, and Presentation of Evidence). In this study, we focused on assessing the Context Manipulation domain (e.g., considering seating arrangements, time of day, clothing). Specifically, we sought to examine police investigators’ use and beliefs about the effectiveness of context manipulation techniques. A sample of 81 police investigators completed the survey. Our findings provide evidence that investigators believe the interview setting to have importance and are already employing some context manipulation techniques in their practice. Techniques mentioned most often were related to seating arrangement, investigators’ clothing, and item availability for suspects (e.g., water, coffee). This survey also provides evidence that investigators are receptive to using context manipulation techniques in their practice, despite how little they are currently taught during trainings. Understanding what context manipulation techniques investigators use and believe to be useful in their interviewing practice may have implications for future training, as well as for the (re)design of interview rooms.
      PubDate: 2020-03-04
  • Identifying Points of Engagement Versus Disengagement When Consulting
    • Abstract: Application of the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (American Psychological Association 2018) to consultation during crisis negotiations by psychological consultants is an emerging area. Common and emerging ethical dilemmas not addressed in previous works are discussed including use of third-party intermediaries, bounds of psychological principles that are applied to negotiation strategies, and tactical disengagement by law enforcement and SWAT teams. A flexible model along a continuum of the psychological consultant’s participation based upon ethical considerations is suggested. Concerns about the psychological consultant’s proximity to decision-making regarding “going tactical” is moot when experienced teams have a shared understanding of the various roles of team members and consulting mental health professionals are mindful of the “ceiling” of ethical decision-making based upon the General Principles of the Code of Conduct.
      PubDate: 2020-02-25
  • Like a Cat on Hot Bricks: the Detection of Anomalous Behavior in Airports
    • Abstract: Airports are critical infrastructures that require special protection. Public spaces are considered vulnerable areas and a possible target for general crime as well as terrorism. Because of the latest terrorist attacks which targeted vulnerable areas in airports, it is essential to test proactive methods capable of helping to detect potential threats. In this context, there are also other illicit activities closely related to civil air transport, which must also be addressed. First, we propose a theoretical framework to explain the presence and detection of anomalous behaviors. Therefore, in this research, we start by analyzing the behavior of airport users (N = 352) in terms of “patterns of movement,” “patterns of communication,” indicators activated by the autonomic nervous system, and object adaptors. The results show significant differences in both movement and communication patterns between those who commit illegal acts and those who do not. No significant differences were found related to indicators coming from the autonomous nervous system or the object adaptors. Six significant behaviors account for the 49% of the variance in those who commit illegal activities. Three significant behaviors account for the 19% of the variance in those who possess background records.
      PubDate: 2020-02-13
  • Matrix Forecasting and Behaviour Sequence Analysis: Part of the Timeline
           Toolkit for Criminal Investigation
    • Abstract: Solving serious crimes such as sexual assault, rape, and murder takes a considerable amount of investigation time. Despite efforts, many crimes may be unsolved, and go ‘cold’. These cases are typically extensive and reviewing the material can be prohibitively time consuming. The current manuscript proposes the combination of two methods, or ‘tools’, for timeline analyses: Matrix Forecasting and Behaviour Sequence Analysis (BSA). Matrix Forecasting provides a clear and comprehensive approach to outlining predictions investigators make, the rationale underlying these predictions, the accuracy, and the evidence. Matrix Forecasting also outlines areas for future investigation, for example, if new technology becomes available or new test results are returned. The BSA provides a statistical, visual pathway map that outlines the proposed or proven steps in a crime. The combination of these methods provides a new approach to mapping criminal investigations and has been effectively used in several real-world cold case reviews. To illustrate the benefits of this combined approach, a real-world example, the Jeffrey MacDonald, aka Green Beret Killer case, will be analysed using Matrix Forecasting and BSA to show the benefits of the method in terms of providing a quick-guide for future review and solvability factors.
      PubDate: 2020-02-11
  • A Longitudinal Study of Meaningfulness of Work: Its Relations with Job
           Outcomes in the Police Force
    • Abstract: This study utilized a longitudinal design, four weeks apart, to examine how clan control affected meaningfulness of work that in turn enhanced job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational identity. Participants were 143 police officers. Results demonstrated that police officers who perceived that the organization created an environment in which officers shared and enact common values, perspectives, and accounted for their actions (clan control) reported that their jobs as having more positive meanings (meaningfulness of work). Officers who experienced more meaningfulness of work were found to have higher affective organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and organizational identity four weeks later. In addition, job satisfaction was found to be partially mediating the effect of meaningfulness of work on affective organizational commitment. Our results suggested that meaningfulness of work could be induced by clan control which emphasizes shared values, beliefs, and traditions, which is the most appropriate in complex organizations nowadays where employees oftentimes engage in different tasks for a common organizational goal, with hard-to-measure performance indicators.
      PubDate: 2020-02-06
  • The Emotional Age Estimate—a Supplement to the Indirect Assessment of
           the Subject of a Crisis Negotiations Team Activation
    • Abstract: Three challenges facing police psychologists when performing an indirect assessment of an armed and barricaded subject of a Crisis Negotiation Team activation are (1) the limited amount of information available, (2) the typically very short amount of time in which to perform the assessment, and (3) the need to simultaneously consider the professional ethical issues inherent in the situation. Sharing some of the burden with well-trained crisis negotiators equipped with a non-clinical, uncomplicated system for generating useful hypotheses regarding a subject’s emotional state during the activation and the subject’s emotional capacity when not in crisis can supplement and contribute meaningfully to the assessment. The Emotional Age Estimate responds to the challenges of limited information and time. It aims at contributing a useful supplement to the process of generating an indirect assessment of the subject. The first step is conceptualizing the subject’s current and ongoing behavior as unremarkable for someone with the emotional development of a 2-, 4-, or 6-year-old. The second step is conceptualizing the subject’s behavior on a typical day as demonstrating the capacity of someone with the emotional development of at least a 4-, 15-, or 21-year-old (based on reports by family members, friends, and associates) and other sources of information (criminal history, mental health history, etc.).
      PubDate: 2020-02-03
  • Police Expertise and Use of Force: Using a Mixed-Methods Approach to Model
           Expert and Novice Use-of-Force Decision-Making
    • Abstract: Improving police use-of-force training is methodologically difficult. By providing a method for identifying the “expert” response to any given scenario, and by triangulating multiple methods, we aim to contribute towards police departments’ capacities to engage in more effective and targeted training. Forty-two police experts and 36 novices watched five scenarios taken from body-worn camera footage. The videos would pause at several points, and respondents gave both close-ended survey answers and open-ended written answers. Using a mixed-methods approach combining quantitative regression and natural-language-processing techniques, we triangulated our findings to reach conclusions regarding the differences between experts and novices. Relative to novices, expert police officers were more likely to report the importance of force mitigation opportunities to any given scenario in close-ended questions, and were more likely to use words associated with verbal de-escalation; novices were more likely to use words associated with physical control. The materials can be accessed at
      PubDate: 2020-01-24
  • Perceived Stress and Coping Among Law Enforcement Officers: an Empirical
           Analysis of Patrol Versus Non-patrol Officers in Illinois, USA
    • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the main perceived stressors and coping among law enforcement officers. Based on Stress Management for Law Enforcement Officers surveys of 427 law enforcement officers in Illinois, USA, descriptive analysis and one-way ANOVA tests were performed to analyze perceived stress and coping among patrol versus non-patrol police officers. The findings suggest that financial situation, situation when fellow officer killed or witnessing a fatality, poor personal relationships with supervisor(s), and unfair promotional opportunities are the leading causes of stress. One-way ANOVA test showed a marginal difference in the mean of perception of stress when fellow officer killed or witnessing a fatality among officers in patrol in comparison to non-patrol officers. One-way ANOVA test showed a significant marginal difference in the mean of relationship with supervisor(s) stress perception scores among non-patrol officers in comparison to patrol officers. Non-patrol officers had a higher relationship with supervisor(s) stress perception scores than officers in patrol. The study reveals that exercising is the main stress reliever for law enforcement officers. The study refutes the notion that alcohol is a preferred stress reliever as has been indicated in other studies. Analysis of stress perception and coping is allowing for a more rich understanding of stress and coping among law enforcement officers and provides recommendation for implementation of stress reduction techniques in police departments.
      PubDate: 2020-01-22
  • Interpreter-Assisted Interviews: Examining Investigators’ and
           Interpreters’ Views on Their Practice
    • Abstract: The investigative interviewing of victims, witnesses and suspects is one of the most frequent and important tasks undertaken by those conducting law enforcement investigations. Over the past 20 years or so, there has been a substantial growth in the amount of research examining the practice. Nonetheless, little research has been conducted into those interviews where an interpreter is increasingly present. Using a self-administered questionnaire, the present study examined the beliefs of 66 investigators and 40 interpreters in the context of international criminal investigations, concerning certain key tasks in such interpreter-assisted interviews. It was regularly found that there was not always a consensus of opinion either within or between these two groups of professionals concerning whether (when participating in investigative interviews) (1) they prepared jointly with each other; (2) interpreters assisted (or otherwise) with rapport building; (3) interpreters could interpret accurately; and (4) interpreter interventions were disruptive or not. Given such divisions of opinion, our findings tend to suggest that there is a lack of clarity as to the role of interpreters and, indeed, only personalised views as to what is best practice. The implications of our findings are discussed, and recommendations are made to enable practice enhancement.
      PubDate: 2020-01-22
  • Guns, Gloves, and Tasers: Perceptions of Police Officers and Their Use of
           Weapon as a Function of Race and Gender
    • Abstract: The purpose of the present studies was to examine how officer characteristics influenced mock jurors’ judgments in a police use of force case. In study 1 (N = 356), we examined officer race, suspect race, and weapon type (gun vs. taser vs. assault gloves), and in study 2 (N = 352) we examined officer gender, weapon type, and whether the officer was on or off duty. In both studies, participants read a case summary concerning police use of force where the suspect/victim died from his injuries. In study 1, mock jurors were more likely to vote guilty when the officer was White as well as when a gun was used. The officer was perceived most favorably when he was Black and a taser or assault gloves were used compared to a gun. Mock jurors’ attitudes toward the police also were examined and were found to be related to mock jurors’ guilt ratings and perceptions of the officer. In study 2, mock jurors were more likely to vote guilty for the defendant when the officer was male, off duty, and the weapon used was a gun. Mock jurors also viewed the police officer more negatively when he was off duty as well as when a gun was used. Overall, this study is the first to our knowledge to systematically vary both officer characteristics and suspect/victim characteristics and the results suggest that both have the capacity to influence how use of force cases are perceived by potential jurors.
      PubDate: 2020-01-18
  • Memory Reconsolidation Therapy for Police Officers with Post-traumatic
           Stress Disorder
    • Abstract: Police officers are frequently exposed to traumatic events and therefore are at elevated risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. While evidence-based treatments for PTSD such as prolonged exposure therapy demonstrate effectiveness, residual symptoms and relapse remain problematic outcomes. Improvements in outcomes may be enhanced by modifying psychotherapy processes based upon recent neuroscientific findings. The present study explored incorporating memory reconsolidation principles into evidence-based exposure therapy for PTSD to create memory reconsolidation therapy (MRT). MRT incorporates memory recall followed by a wait period to make memories liable for modification. Using a case series design, three police officers diagnosed with PTSD participated in a maximum of twelve 90-min sessions of MRT and recorded weekly self-report measures of trauma symptoms and psychological distress. Results indicated participants experienced significantly reduced psychological distress with gains maintained over a 3-month follow-up. A significant reliable reduction in trauma symptoms by post-therapy was identified in two of the three cases with the third narrowly missing the clinically significant cut-off. These significant changes were maintained over the 3-month follow-up in one participant, while the maintenance of these improvements in trauma symptoms approached significance in the other two participants. These findings provide preliminary evidence to justify larger future studies to test the efficacy of MRT with police officers experiencing PTSD.
      PubDate: 2020-01-16
  • Rational Emotive Occupational Health Coaching in the Management of Police
           Subjective Well-Being and Work Ability: a Case of Repeated Measures
    • Abstract: Abstract Low subjective well-being and work ability constitute threats to employees’ job performances across the world. Indices of low subjective well-being have been observed among police officers in Nigeria and have been linked to their occupational experiences. Managing enhanced subjective well-being is paramount for police officers’ job effectiveness. The current study investigated the effectiveness of rational emotive occupational health coaching (REOHC) in enhancing subjective well-being of police officers in Enugu state, Nigeria. Participants (N = 151) included police officers with not less than 5-year working experience who were randomly assigned to intervention (N = 76) and nonintervention (N = 75) groups. Participants in the intervention group were exposed to 120-min REOHC program weekly for a period of 16 weeks. Subjective well-being scale (SWBS) and perceived work ability index (PWAI) were used to collect data at pre-test, post-test, and follow-up assessments. Data collected were analyzed using independent samples as well as paired sample t test statistics and repeated measure ANOVA. Results revealed that participants in the intervention group had significant improvement in their life satisfaction, affect balance, and flourishing scores at post-test and follow-up assessments compared with the pre-test. Participants in the nonintervention control group did not have a significant change in subjective well-being subscale scores across pre-test, post-test, and follow-up evaluations. The conclusion drawn was that REOHC can be effective in managing subjective well-being among police officers and employees who work under chronic stressful conditions.
      PubDate: 2020-01-06
  • Effectiveness of Descriptions in Missing Children Appeals: Exploration of
           Length, Type of Content and Confidence on Recall Accuracy
    • Abstract: Abstract When a child goes missing, it is commonplace to release details of the child in the hope that a member of the public can help to locate him or her. Despite their importance and daily usage, there remains a significant gap in understanding just how effective these appeals are in helping to locate missing children. This exploratory study utilized a two-stage approach and sought (1) to explore whether the length of the description and the type of content enclosed in the description influenced subsequent recall abilities, (2) to determine whether the length of time spent reading the mock appeal influences the subsequent recall ability, (3) to establish whether confidence in own recall ability is associated with overall recall ability, and (4) to determine whether descriptive length and content influences the subsequent recall ability following a 3-day break. Two hundred and twenty-three participants observed one of four mock missing children descriptions followed by a short word memory distraction task and a free-recall task. The second stage comprised of another free-recall task presented after a short 3-day delay. Two-way factorial ANOVAs found observing shorter descriptions have significantly greater recall accuracy than observing longer descriptions both immediately after observing the appeal and after a 3-day delay. Results also found that newsworthy descriptive content had a greater recall accuracy than non-newsworthy descriptive content after a 3-day delay. Additional analyses found that confidence in own accuracy and time spent observing the appeals was also significantly associated with recall accuracy. The findings demonstrate the necessity for improving missing children appeals.
      PubDate: 2019-12-28
  • Intelligence, Authority and Blame Conformity: Co-witness Influence Is
           Moderated by the Perceived Competence of the Information Source
    • Abstract: Abstract Previous research suggests that co-witness influence is heavily dependent on how eyewitnesses perceive the source of information, with perceived credibility, authority and memory accuracy identified as significant predictors. However, very little research has directly investigated the effects of perceived intelligence on co-witness influence. The present study used confederates to expose participants (N = 182) to misinformation about a witnessed event, prior to collecting their statements. Participants were paired up with a confederate who was presented as either a PhD student (high intelligence), police officer (high authority), neutral (no information provided) or completed the study individually (control). Results found that participants were significantly more likely to blame the wrong person for the crime if it had been suggested to them by a police officer or PhD student. Implications of the findings suggest that the characteristics and perceptions of co-witnesses can moderate the risks of statement contamination.
      PubDate: 2019-12-11
  • Mindfulness, Self-Control, Implicit Bias, Race, Threat Perception Failure,
           and the Accidental Use of Deadly Force Against Off-Duty Police Officers
    • Abstract: Abstract This study explores the impact of mindfulness, self-control, race, and implicit bias on threat perception failure-based shootings against ununiformed officers in a training simulation. A sample of 79 students were recruited to participate in a law enforcement active shooter training simulation. Participants completed a mindfulness non-reactivity measure, the Grasmick Self-control Scale, and a Weapons Implicit Attitudes tasks (IAT). Then, participants assumed the role of a police officer in a training scenario designed to provoke wrongful deadly force. After hearing gunshots, participants in this scenario were confronted with either a Black or White male portraying an off-duty police officer holding a badge and pointing a gun at another role player lying on the ground. The mindfulness non-reactivity scale significantly predicted not shooting the off-duty officer in the combined race analysis and the White officer only analysis. Implicit bias only predicted shooting the Black officer when mindfulness non-reactivity was included as a covariate. Race moderated the correlation between self-control and the decision to shoot. Implications and future directions are discussed.
      PubDate: 2019-12-10
  • Transferring Police Academy Training to the Street: the Field Training
    • Abstract: Abstract This research examines the role of police field training officers (FTOs) in the transfer of police academy training to the job. The authors issued a pilot survey instrument, the Police Learning Environment Inventory (PLEI), to assess the role of FTO behaviors in the transfer of academy training. The survey was issued to police organizations in the southwest and northeast regions of the USA. Survey responses were analyzed to determine both dimensional structure of FTO behaviors and their relationship to trainee intent to transfer academy training to the job. Results demonstrate that an array of FTO behaviors fall under a single dimension. Further, this behavioral dimension was significantly associated (p < .01) with police officer intent to transfer academy training to the field.
      PubDate: 2019-12-09
  • Exploring the Potential Impact of Body Worn Cameras on Memory in
           Officer-Involved Critical Incidents: a Literature Review
    • Abstract: Abstract The current paper reviews existing literature that relates to how body worn cameras might influence an officer’s memory of their interactions with the public, namely those that involve the use of force. Notably, most of this research does not come from the policing field but focuses on the impact of camera technology in other settings. Much of the available research supports the commonly held view that body worn cameras could be used to enhance memory for these interactions, particularly interactions that are complex or stressful. However, contrary to what people might expect, research also exists that suggests body worn cameras may actually have a detrimental effect on officer memory. Three major potential detriments: cognitive offloading, retrieval-induced forgetting and misinformation-type effects are highlighted. Future studies examining the impact of body worn cameras on officers’ memory are necessary. Ways forward are discussed.
      PubDate: 2019-12-09
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Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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