African Americans' implicit and explicit evaluations of police

Amber Jeniece Landers, Purdue University


The present study investigated African Americans implicit and explicit attitudes toward officers. Using a Go/No-go association task, 70 undergraduates (41 women, 29 men) associated "helpful" and "harmful" words with photos of black and white officers and civilians, and completed survey measures. Planned comparisons showed no significant difference in implicit associations for civilians and officers, no significant differences in implicit associations for black and white officers, and no significant overall gender differences in implicit and explicit attitudes toward police. Although specific hypotheses were not supported, interesting patterns did emerge. A Gender by Status interaction revealed that for women civilian status was salient, while officer status was salient for men. A Gender by D-prime interaction revealed that for women race was more salient; women made stronger negative associations toward black civilians and black officers. Officer status was more salient for men, who made stronger negative associations toward both black and white officers. While multiple regression analyses revealed no significant model for predicting implicit attitudes, measures predicted explicit approval of police. Results are discussed in relation to traditional and alternative explanations for variation in implicit and explicit attitudes. Implications for policy and interventions are also discussed. ^




David Rollock, Purdue University.

Subject Area

African American Studies|Psychology, General|Psychology, Clinical

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