Psychophysiology of Defensive Use of Force: Implications for Appropriate Training Requirements and Critical Incident Analysis

Riccardo Fenici, Donatella Brisinda, Angela Venuti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

In police work, if anxiety levels became high, attention is directed to threat-related sources of information and may be more difficult to pay attention to goal-directed information which are relevant for executing the task properly. This typically happened in the Spaccarotella’s or other similar cases, with dramatic outcome for public safety and for the subsequent legal consequences for the police officer if he remains alive. If the tactical situation is life-threatening and implies a split-second “shoot/no shoot” decision, officers’ attention may be even more distracted by the fear of getting killed. In realistic training scenarios ending in a shooting, it is frequently observed that police officers duck down (in order to decrease the chance of getting hit) and turn away from the opponent instead of reacting proactively against the aggressor or to get an efficient cover. The inability to pick up task-relevant information complicates the task and increases the level of anxiety. As a consequence the officer rushes the response to reduce the risk to get shot, but the emotional reaction is incongruent with goal-directed behavior, such as taking sufficient time to make a shot accurately toward the right target. This induces dramatic consequences in term of lives loss and liability. Better knowledge of psychophysiology of self-defense in pivotal to design more appropriate police training methods and has to be part of the core curriculum of professionals who will be called to investigate, analyze and judge the appropriateness of police officers behavior in critical incidents. This presentation aims at soliciting interest of experts and researchers in joining the writing of a “white paper” about present state-of-knowledge in this field as a guideline for judges and lawyers a well as a booster for future more focused research.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings 40th Annual Conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology
Pagine31
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014
Evento40th Annual Conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology - Las Vegas
Durata: 17 set 201420 set 2014

Convegno

Convegno40th Annual Conference of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology
CittàLas Vegas
Periodo17/9/1420/9/14

Keywords

  • Police training
  • Police use of Force
  • Psychophysiology

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