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Without Force: Examining Voluntary Compliance in Police/Citizen Encounters

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nathan E. Triche (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Saundra Westervelt

Abstract: Law enforcement officers in the U. S. are granted the legal authority to issue commands to citizens and to compel citizen compliance through legal sanction, arrest, and even physical force. This research examines compliance interactions between police officers and citizens to examine the factors that are influential in producing voluntary compliance from citizens to officer commands. Findings are based on content analyses of 250 officer/citizen interactions captured by police cruiser mounted video systems used by police departments in two North Carolina cities. The influence of 31 factors on citizen compliance, suggested primarily by the theories of Social Interactionism and Judgmental Heuristics, were analyzed using Ordinal Logistic Regression. Six factors were shown to have a significant effect upon citizen's degree of compliance, including: citizen emotionality, initiation of the interaction, officer use of threats, citizen initial compliance, officer respect for citizen, and department-type of the officer involved. The implications for further research are discussed, as well as the potential usefulness of "dash cam" footage from police cruiser mounted video systems for further sociological research.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2008
Keywords
Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Subjects
Police psychology
Law enforcement--Psychological aspects
Law enforcement--United States--Evaluation
Police-community relations--United States
Compliance
Cooperativeness