Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
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This study examines the effects of priming, situational factors, and attitudes on deadly force decision making. A small sample of undergraduates completed high-fidelity deadly force simulations. Simulation results were compared across experimental conditions and various attitudinal and demographic factors. Participants were generally accurate when assessing the threat posed by suspects. Participants primed to expect a threat were more accurate in their decisions but were no more likely to shoot an unarmed suspect. Participants were more accurate when responding to unarmed suspects. Participants more likely to exhibit implicit bias were less accurate. Several attitudinal and demographic traits were associated with deadly force decision accuracy, including gender, race, fear of crime, institutional confidence, approval of use of force, motivation to control prejudice, firearm experience, and experience with first-person shooter video games. Qualitative comparative analysis of variables suggests that, within the context of the simulations employed in this study, the threat indicated by the dispatch message was more important to the resulting decision than the suspect’s race. The results are then discussed in relation to the existing literature and in the context of social identity theory.
Deadly Force; Experimental Criminology; High-Fidelity Simulations; Implicit Bias; Qualitatative Comparative Analysis; Social Identity Theory
Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Forepaugh, Christopher Allen, "Implicit Attitudes, Explicit Attitudes, and Priming: A Preliminary Analysis of Factors Affecting Use of Force Decisions" (2020). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 3993.
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