skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 120630 Find in a Library
Title: Personality Characteristics of Supercops and Habitual Criminals
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1988)  Pages:163-167
Author(s): G C Reming
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 5
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the hypothesis that supercops and criminals resemble each other in their dominant dispositions but differ from average citizens and average police officers who in turn tend to be similar to each other.
Abstract: All subjects were males between 21 and 35 years of age in Los Angeles County. The study instrument was Reming's Response Disposition Inventory (RDI), a list of 250 adjectives and brief descriptions believed to describe both supercops and criminals. Demographic data were collected using a written questionnaire administered prior to the RDI. Results supported the hypothesis that supercops and criminals tend to respond similarly to identical stimuli. The study also confirmed the notion that there are identifiable personality characteristics positively related to police productivity. The profile of the supercop and the habitual criminal was characterized by dispositions toward control, aggressiveness, vigilance, rebelliousness, high energy, frankness in expression, intense personal relationships, high self-esteem, feelings of uniqueness, extroversion, sociability, jealousy, tendencies not to change opinions easily, philandering, and tendencies to avoid blame. Study findings indicate a need for re-evaluating police officer selection criteria and the assumptions on which such criteria are based to reduce mismatches between individual police officers and their assignments. 12 references, 6 tables.
Main Term(s): Personality assessment
Index Term(s): California; Habitual offenders; Police effectiveness; Police research
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.