Police Personality

What Are They Looking For

When studying personality characteristics of a police officer, most research has been concerned with whether officers are psychologically homogeneous or differ as a group from the general population. Their psychological testing looked for psychopathologies and clinical disorders. Research found police officers scored higher than the general population on such traits as need for achievement, heterosexuality and dominance, while scoring lower on affiliation and nurturance. Other researchers found the average police officer to be more intelligent, straightforward, dependable, assertive and conscientious than the general population. Finally the most current research determined that people vary on a testable dimension called conscientiousness, and the police officer selection procedure should improve the likelihood these individuals are identified and employed.

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