Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology, Leadership, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Second Committee Member

Vanessa Vongkulluksn

Third Committee Member

Jonathan Hilpert

Fourth Committee Member

William Sousa

Number of Pages



Day-to-day police work tends to be in order maintenance policing. These encounters necessitate officer discretion in decision responses to manage them. These decision responses reflect an officer’s decision style which precedes the encounter and drives subsequent decision making to manage them. However, little is known about officer-level decision style. For example, whether an officer has a rational, intuitive, dependent, avoidant, or spontaneous decision style (Scott& Bruce, 1995). Police training in any format often lacks attention to decision styles. As such, an officer’s decision style is most likely associated with demographics (e.g., age, gender) and occupational self-efficacy – a reflection of the officer versus police training he/she may have had.This research aimed to determine a predominant decision style among current and former police officer respondents, how decision styles relate to occupational self-efficacy and officer-level demographics, and provide implications for police training and practice. Data was collected using the Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale (Short-form),the General Decision-Making Style survey, a Vignette Survey, and Demographic Survey. A quantitative regression analysis design showed that the rational decision style was predominant across respondents. The variable age, race, and type of community served were significant for some decision styles. Occupational self-efficacy captured more of context decision-making and seemed to matter more than demographic variables in context-specific ways for some decision styles. The implication for police training is modified instructional design and content. Implication for practice is police officers with skills and knowledge for a rational decision style in any order maintenance decision situation.


Decision Styles; Demographics; Occupational Self-Efficacy; Order Maintenance Policing; Police; Police Training


Educational Psychology | Psychology | Sociology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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