Police Prejudice as a Function of Training and Outgroup Contact
A longitudinal study investigated prejudice among 412 New South Wales (Australia) police recruits. Recruits were tested on Beswick and Hills' (1972) Australian E scale and Ray's (1972) Balanced F scale at recruitment, after 6 months' full-time academy training, and after 12 months' police experimence. It was found that over the period of academy training recruits became less authoritarian but did not vary on ethnocentrism. Over the field experience stage recruits became both more ethnocentric and authoritarian. Further, recruits sent to districts with large Aboriginal populations became significantly more ethnocentric but no more authoritarian than other recruits. At a theoretical level, results suggest that police attributes may develop as a function of particular policing experiences. At an applied level, results suggest that training alone is unlikely to overcome the problem of police prejudice.
Law and Human Behavior
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES