Lecture 3: Police Psychology (and some lecture 2) Tuesday, January 11, 2011
- social learning theory (lecture 2)
- Police selection and discretion (Ch. 2)
- Next class: psychological profiling guest lecture (Ch. 3)
- Then police stress and interrogations (Ch. 3)
- Social learning theory (from Intro. Psych.)
o Bandura (Canadian)—there was big drain in Canada in 1950s and 60s—a
lot of Canadians moved to the States. Bandura went to Stanford after
UBC. But he was one of most famous Canadian psychologists
o Family: parents engage in conflict—you observe and potentially model it
o Also not people you know (TV, movies, video games)
o He acknowledged even at the time that video games could be a source—
more pertinent now
o Children’s interactions with others are very important—family, PEERS
o **Key component: learning (observational)
o Before watching the adults play with Bobo, they instigated some
frustration in the kids. They were put in a room full of fun toys, started
playing, then someone went into the room and told them the toys were for
other children—gave them plain, boring toys instead.
o Children modelled the behaviour of the adults
*Boy mimicked adult male more than adult female
*Children used things like guns, even if model never used them.
*Girls engaged in fewer acts of aggression—engaged in about the
same amount of aggression, whether the model was male or
*Boys were more likely than girls to engage in acts of aggression,
male or female
Aversive instigator (interaction with someone, feeling frustrated)
—motivates you to engage in aggressive behaviour
Incentive instigator (something you want to get, prize, etc.)
You’re going to increase engaging in aggressive behaviours if
there are positive outcomes. You will stop engaging in aggressive
behaviours if there are negative consequences.
Negative—someone stops talking to you, you feel remorse
• Had man in white coat enter room when adults were
playing aggressively, scolded them.
• When kids saw that the model had been punished, they
engaged in less aggression.
• Had man encourage the models • Kids engaged in more aggressive behaviour
o Social learning theory has been applied to all types of aggression—
o Stern’s 1901 reality experiment- quarrel between two students with a gun
Answer: b (emotional arousal- lower accuracy in recall)
o According to Hans Eysenck, __ are cortically __ and therefore continually
Answer: d (introverts/overaroused)
- Good Cop/Bad Cop
o Huge amount of discretion involved in policing, power
o If police officers abuse authority, public finds out and questions what
o 1917—first selection for police officers, using IQ tests only
Screen in good qualities of cops, don’t let in bad apples
o How much confidence do you have in the Ottawa Police?
58% of class said moderate. 11% said high, 24% said low, 7% said
In Canadian survey of 2007, 45% said high. Typically, Canadians
trust the police the most. Then 50% said moderate, 5% said low.
So class trusts police way less than Canadians in 2007
Probably relates to recent media- Stacie Bons, other individual
- Types of Police Deviance
o Violent Crime: physical assault, rape, shooting, etc. (Stacy Bons is filing a
1.2 million dollar law suit against Elgin Police)
New York Police Department- sexually assaulting African
American man with broom handle, etc.
But most police don’t do this
o Denying Civil Rights: arresting protestors
o Criminal Enterprise: running drug dealing
New Orleans, LAPD in the past
o Property Crimes: pocketing jewellery from crime
o Major Bribes: bribes to ignore illegal drug trafficking, prostitution, etc.
o Tampering Evidence: implanting a handgun, cocaine, etc.
o Being “Above” Inconvenient Law: allowed to speed
o Minor Bribes: playing favourites in small town, getting someone else
arrested instead of buddy, etc.
o Minor Gratuities: getting free donuts and coffee, etc.
- NYC police officer Dowd
o As rookie, started with gratuities
o As patrol officer, went to scene of accidents—if victim was deceased,
looked at wallet (as if to find ID), check for money and take it.
o Started taking money from drug busts o Engaged in extortion with criminals involved—you’ll be fine if you deal
drugs in this area of New York, but you have to pay me a few thousand
dollars a week so I don’t arrest you.
o Was making $15,000 a week. Had a $400 a week salary
o Bought a nice mansion, had nice cars. Police eventually figured it out,
o Tried to get rookies working for him.
o God caught, was charged, 14 years of prison.
o *New Jersey- sold cocaine to middle- and upper-class kids, parents found
out—this is how he got caught (expanding enterprise)
- Job selection—need to know what job requires
o K= knowledge
o S= skills
o A= abilities
- Why is it so difficult to screen for police officers with KSA?
o Different areas: administration, field, homicide, traffic
o One description wouldn’t do it
o As you move up the ranks, you’re given different duties
o Things change over time, people bring personality into the situation and
that may impact it
o Look at what’s happening in policing culture- it may not be an issue of
screening. Police is closed system. Officers don’t want to rat on each
o Maybe they’re fine with screening but change in KSA- need long-term
o Maybe they’re fine with screening but spend too much time in one
stressful case, etc. And as a result of that, could change. (Ex. Officer that
had to live with KKK for three years felt he was psychopathic)
- What qualities would you screen in for police officers?
o Reliability- book
o Honesty- book
o Moral integri