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NCJ Number: 70319 Find in a Library
Title: Examination of the Effects of Professionalism on Cynicism Among Police
Journal: Social Science Journal  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:(1979)  Pages:59-66
Author(s): E D Poole; R M Regoli
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The results of a study of the effects of professionalism on cynicism among the police are presented in this article.
Abstract: Some authorities on the police argue that the police role fosters a pervasive cynicism which underlies much police behavior because of public hostility, isolation from the larger community, odd working hours, the absence of horizontal mobility, and the perception of society as a 'dog eat dog' jungle. Police professionalism has been often cited as a possible counter to cynicism. Data for this study were gathered through self-administered questionnaires which were sent to 342 policemen in three medium-sized law enforcement agencies in the Pacific Northwest. The response rate was 76 percent. The Hall professionalism scale as revised by Snizek was used to measure professionalism through the dimensions of belief in public service, belief in autonomy, belief in self-regulation, use of the professional organization as a major referent, and sense of calling to the field. Regoli's police cynicism index was used to measure cynicism through the dimensions of cynicism toward public relations, toward organizational functions, about police solidarity, about police dedication to duty, and about training and education. The relative effects of the five professionalism subscales for each cynicism dimension were examined, and the statistical technique of multivariate regression was utilized. The results showed that belief in autonomy was most significantly related to cynicism toward the public, while belief in public service and the use of the professional organization as a major referent were also important. Cynicism towards the organization was most highly related to belief in autonomy, although the other four dimensions were also significant. A sense of calling to the field was the strongest predicator for cynicism toward police dedication. Cynicism toward police solidarity was strongly related to all but the dimension of public service. Finally, the professionalism dimensions were not related to cynicism about training and education. The results support the contention that commitment to a professional ideology reduces cynicism among police. Statistical data are presented in tabular form. Twenty-nine references are included.
Index Term(s): Morale; Police attitudes; Police community relations; Role perception
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=70319

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