Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Humanities & Social Sciences - Psychology, Sociology & Political Science

Co-Presenters, Co- Authors, Co-Researchers, Mentors, or Faculty Advisors

Ashley Kalle (Augusta University)

Kayla Bales (Augusta University)

Pilar Neal (Augusta University)

Michael Stefanek (Augusta University)

Abstract

Previous research has found racial background is a significant factor for the perception of police. However, there is little research done on the impact of the race of the police officer on the perceptions of police. This study examined the impact of racial influences on the perception of police. To study this, we used vignettes of a violent police citizen encounter, in which the officer's use of force was justified, unjustified, or ambiguous. Participants were randomly assigned to instructions, in which the police officer was identified as White or African American. Through self-report surveys, participants rated their perception of the police officers and the individual in each vignette, and their perception of police in general. Data collection is currently underway. We predicted (1) Participants will view the White police officer's actions as more justified than the African American police officer's actions; (2) There will be a positive correlation between global perception and perception of police in the vignettes; (3) Participants will report the suspect's race as African American; (4) Minorities will have the most negative perception of police. By better understanding the influences of the participant's and the police officer's racial background on the perception of police, we may gain insight on factors that lead towards negative perceptions of police. Results will be discussed in the context of identifying factors that may improve police and citizen relationships.

Keywords

Georgia Southern University, Research Symposium, Racial influences, Perception of police, Race, Police officers

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 2:45 PM

End Date

4-16-2016 4:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 2:45 PM Apr 16th, 4:00 PM

Racial Influences on the Perception of Police

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Previous research has found racial background is a significant factor for the perception of police. However, there is little research done on the impact of the race of the police officer on the perceptions of police. This study examined the impact of racial influences on the perception of police. To study this, we used vignettes of a violent police citizen encounter, in which the officer's use of force was justified, unjustified, or ambiguous. Participants were randomly assigned to instructions, in which the police officer was identified as White or African American. Through self-report surveys, participants rated their perception of the police officers and the individual in each vignette, and their perception of police in general. Data collection is currently underway. We predicted (1) Participants will view the White police officer's actions as more justified than the African American police officer's actions; (2) There will be a positive correlation between global perception and perception of police in the vignettes; (3) Participants will report the suspect's race as African American; (4) Minorities will have the most negative perception of police. By better understanding the influences of the participant's and the police officer's racial background on the perception of police, we may gain insight on factors that lead towards negative perceptions of police. Results will be discussed in the context of identifying factors that may improve police and citizen relationships.