Police Officers’ Actual vs. Recalled Path of Travel in Response to a Threatening Traffic Stop Scenario

Police Practice and Research: An International Journal

Police Practice and Research

An International Journal

Authors: William J. Lewinski, Jennifer L. Dysterheft, Matthew M. Priem, Robert W. Pettitt

The purpose of this study was to measure the amount of error incurred by police officers when trying to accurately draw a previously completed movement path, which occurred during their response to a high-stress encounter. Secondary purposes of the study examined whether gridlines on a diagram or a distractor situation would influence memory accuracy. Officers (n = 23) were taken through a high-stress stimulus phase, followed by a memory recall phase where they were required to accurately draw their path of travel. Average distance traveled was 5.15 ± 1.98 m. Average discrepancy for all participants was an area of 3.23 ± 4.13 m2 and length of 1.43 ± 1.30 m. Significant length differences were found between actual and recalled paths of travel (p < .01). No other significant area or length differences were found.

A Note on Article Fees:

The link above will take you to the page of an organization that charges for copies of the research paper in which you are interested. This is common and acceptable practice. Please note, however, that the Force Science Institute itself is not charging for this paper and does not receive payment, in part or in full, for copies of the publication.

Leave a Reply