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NCJ Number: 159002 Find in a Library
Title: Risk Taking and Police Pursuit
Journal: Journal of Social Psychology  Volume:134  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1994)  Pages:213-221
Author(s): R J Homant; D B Kennedy; J D Howton
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Measures of risk-taking and sensation-seeking were administered to 69 American patrol officers of a suburban police department to determine the relationship of these traits to officers' tendencies to engage in high-speed vehicular pursuit.
Abstract: Form V of Zuckerman's (1979) Sensation Seeking Scale was used to measure sensation-seeking. A three-page pursuit questionnaire measured subjects' beliefs about risk-taking and provided two measures of their pursuit tendencies. Pursuit tendencies were measured by official departmental records, self- reports of previous pursuits, and responses to two hypothetical scenarios. These three measures of pursuit tendencies were combined to form a single scale. The study found that a combination of risk-taking and sensation-seeking yielded a multiple R of .402 with a combined Pursuit Scale, accounting for 16.17 percent of the variance in pursuit scores. The study establishes that, at least under some circumstances, these patrol officers differed in their inclination to pursue and that these differences can be linked in part to measurable individual differences; however, such test results should not be used to exclude anyone from police work. More cross-validation and a link to inappropriate pursuits would be a minimum requirement for such use of test results. The relatively low intercorrelations among the three components of the Pursuit Scale suggest that pursuit tendency is not a simple, homogeneous construct. 1 table and 17 references
Main Term(s): Police pursuit driving
Index Term(s): Hot pursuit; Police attitudes; Risk taking behavior
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