Event Title

An Observation of Command Usage Among Interactions Between Police Office and Civilian

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

9-4-2012 1:00 PM

End Date

9-4-2012 2:30 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Britta Fiksdal

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Second Mentor's Name

Daniel Houlihan

Second Mentor's Department

Psychology

Second Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Interactions between police officers and civilians can quickly become dangerous for both themselves and bystanders, particularly when communication is not clear. Therefore, it is imperative that research determine the most effective communication styles to increase compliance and reduce or possibly prevent encounters from becoming dangerous. One way language can be modified is when giving commands. They should be clear (alpha commands) instead of vague (beta commands). Research has shown the types of commands given impacts the rate of compliance for children in home and school settings, in stressful police situations, and with elders diagnosed with dementia living in assisted living facilities. Previous research has shown that in general, beta commands are associated with a higher instance of physical aggression, emotional distress, and non-compliance. The purpose of the current study was to see if staff used more beta commands when the situation began to escalate as was found in previous research on police interactions. The study was completed by observing archival videos of interactions between police officers and civilians in St. Louis, Missouri. The data has been collected and is currently being analyzed to determine if command types had an effect on compliance in these highly stressful situations.

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM Apr 9th, 2:30 PM

An Observation of Command Usage Among Interactions Between Police Office and Civilian

CSU Ballroom

Interactions between police officers and civilians can quickly become dangerous for both themselves and bystanders, particularly when communication is not clear. Therefore, it is imperative that research determine the most effective communication styles to increase compliance and reduce or possibly prevent encounters from becoming dangerous. One way language can be modified is when giving commands. They should be clear (alpha commands) instead of vague (beta commands). Research has shown the types of commands given impacts the rate of compliance for children in home and school settings, in stressful police situations, and with elders diagnosed with dementia living in assisted living facilities. Previous research has shown that in general, beta commands are associated with a higher instance of physical aggression, emotional distress, and non-compliance. The purpose of the current study was to see if staff used more beta commands when the situation began to escalate as was found in previous research on police interactions. The study was completed by observing archival videos of interactions between police officers and civilians in St. Louis, Missouri. The data has been collected and is currently being analyzed to determine if command types had an effect on compliance in these highly stressful situations.

Recommended Citation

Martin, Kelsey and Sarah Marsh. "An Observation of Command Usage Among Interactions Between Police Office and Civilian." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/poster-session-B/42