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Journal Article

Citation

Liao SW, Price-Sharps JL, Sharps MJ. J. Police Crim. Psychol. 2018; 33(3): 209-214.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2018, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)

DOI

10.1007/s11896-018-9267-z

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Shoot/no-shoot decisions in law enforcement are under increasing scrutiny nationwide. However, little research has addressed the ways in which factors related to assailants and weapons influence these decisions. In the present research, images of adult male, adult female, and juvenile (female) assailants presented simulated direct threats to respondents. Assailants were armed with a pistol, a knife, or a glass bottle. Respondents were asked to indicate whether or not they would shoot in the presence of these threats. Respondents also completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES). Tendencies toward dissociation, a process generating a sense of unreality, influenced the performance of males who shot; more dissociated men took more time to fire. However, dissociation did not influence the performance of women. Sex and youth of the assailant had no effects on the shoot/no-shoot performance of either men or women, and oddly, weapon type had no significant effect on women's performance, although men were more likely to fire on an assailant of either age or sex armed with a gun or knife than a bottle. These results are discussed in terms of relevance for law enforcement training and for juridical proceedings in shoot/no-shoot cases.


Language: en

Keywords

Analogue/appraisal theory; Dissociation; Shoot/no-shoot decisions; Tactical decisions

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