Evaluating the effects of stress and fatigue on police officer response and recall: a challenge for research, training, practice and policy

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Abstract

Armed police officers frequently respond to evolving, dynamic, and potentially dangerous incidents. Given the challenging and often controversial nature of this response context, understanding the impact of officer stress and fatigue on performance in incidents involving use of force is important for trainers, investigators, legal professionals, and policy-makers. The psychological literature on human performance is broadly informative with respect to the potential effects of stress and fatigue on response performance (e.g. shooting accuracy) and the reliability of accounts provided by officers. Unsurprisingly, stress and fatigue typically impair performance, although further research is needed to (i) delineate the precise nature of the effects of stress and fatigue on response performance and memory, and (ii) explore relevant contextual and boundary conditions. This article considers what current research can contribute to training and practice in use of force contexts, and outlines key methodological challenges for researchers and consumers of research in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • memory
  • stress
  • police
  • law enforcment
  • eyewitness
  • fatigue

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