Evaluation of threat by police officers: Initial findings

Karen A. Delos Santos, Shawn C. Stafford, James L. Szalma, Tal Oron-Gilad, P. A. Hancock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Police officers' threat perception of static images was examined using images reflecting the range of five threat categories on which police officers are trained. Thirteen experienced officers from a police departments in the southeastern United States participated in this study. Officers rated their perceived threat level for 110 images that were presented to them on a laptop computer. Each of these images was rated twice by each officer. Officers used all five categories to rate the stimuli, and their responses to the extremes (images rated as 1 or 5) were faster than responses to more ambiguous stimuli in the other categories. These results were generally consistent with predictions based on Fuzzy Signal Detection Theory. Further studies will evaluate performance with these images in the context of a signal detection task. Once fully developed, this tool could be used to evaluate new recruits' decision-making process before given the green light to carry a badge. These assessments could also be used as a modified training tool for experienced officers if the stimuli were to be placed in a semi-immersive environment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 49th Annual Meeting, HFES 2005
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event49th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2005 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 26 Sep 200530 Sep 2005

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
ISSN (Print)1071-1813


Conference49th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of threat by police officers: Initial findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this