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dc.contributor.authorConnelly, Monica E.
dc.contributor.authorSuss, Joel E.
dc.contributor.authorVangsness, Lisa
dc.identifier.citationConnelly, M.E., Suss, J. & Vangsness, L. Using Biological Motion to Investigate Perceptual–Cognitive Expertise in Law Enforcement Use-of-Force Decisions. J Police Crim Psych (2023).
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dc.description.abstractResearch focused on police officers’ decision-making in ambiguous use-of-force situations has yet to investigate the role that a suspect’s biological motion plays in unknown-object identification. The current study uses point-light displays to isolate the suspect’s motion and remove potentially biasing information (e.g., skin tone, facial expression, clothing). Experienced law enforcement officers and trainees ($n$= 129) watched point-light display videos of an actor pulling either a weapon or a non-weapon from a concealed location in a threatening or non-threatening manner. After each video ended, participants indicated whether the object—which was not visible—was a weapon or a non-weapon. Results indicated that the speed and intent (e.g., threatening vs. non-threatening) with which the actor drew the object were significant predictors of officers’ responses. Officers’ law enforcement experience (i.e., years of service) was not a significant predictor of their response. This study has important implications for understanding why police sometimes make critical and costly errors in ambiguous use-of-force situations. We consider implications for police performance and developing improved training procedures.
dc.publisherSpringer Link
dc.relation.ispartofseriesJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
dc.titleUsing Biological Motion to Investigate Perceptual–Cognitive Expertise in Law Enforcement Use-of-Force Decisions
dc.rights.holder© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Society for Police and Criminal Psychology

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