The Threat of Appearing Racist: Stereotype Threat and Support for Coercion Among Australian Police Officers

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Mccarthy, Molly
Trinkner, Rick
Goff, Phillip Atiba
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2021
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Abstract

Recent research in the United States has argued that the threat of confirming the “racist cop” stereotype may paradoxically increase the propensity for coercive policing by depressing officers’ self-legitimacy. The current study aimed to assess the influence of the threat of the “racist cop” stereotype on officers’ self-legitimacy and their attitudes toward force in an Australian policing jurisdiction. An online survey was completed by 306 frontline officers in Queensland, Australia. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the influence of stereotype threat on officers’ attitudes toward force, and the extent to which this is mediated by perceptions of self-legitimacy. The findings confirmed previous findings, with increased officer perceptions of stereotype threat associated with increased support for coercive policing, mediated by reduced self-legitimacy. The findings are discussed with reference to how the validity and salience of the “racist cop” stereotype can be diminished.

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Criminal Justice and Behavior

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48

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6

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Mccarthy, M; Trinkner, R; Goff, PA, The Threat of Appearing Racist: Stereotype Threat and Support for Coercion Among Australian Police Officers, Criminal Justice and Behavior, 2021, 48 (6), pp. 776-790. Copyright 2021 The Authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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Subject

Criminology

Sociology

Law in context

Social Sciences

Psychology, Clinical

police coercion

Penology

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Mccarthy, M; Trinkner, R; Goff, PA, The Threat of Appearing Racist: Stereotype Threat and Support for Coercion Among Australian Police Officers, Criminal Justice and Behavior, 2021, 48 (6), pp. 776-790

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