Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Margaret C. Reardon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Laurie Roehrich, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jonathon A. Cooper, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study explored racial attitudes of participants seeking to enter law enforcement in an attempt to shed light on the strained relations between law enforcement and minority communities. Mean levels of implicit racial bias and hostile attribution error within a group of individuals that indicated their intentions of pursuing careers in law enforcement was compared to mean levels of the same constructs as measured within a group of individuals that indicated no such intentions, as well as analyzed levels of implicit racial bias and hostile attribution error for correlations. The Race Implicit Association Test was administered in order to measure levels of implicit racial bias, while the Hostile Interpretations Questionnaire was administered to measure levels of hostile attribution bias. A significantly higher mean level of implicit racial bias was found in those who intended to pursue a law enforcement career as compared to those who claimed no such intentions.

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