Police Academy Training, Performance, and Learning

Behavior Analysis in Practice

Authors: John O’Neill, Dawn A. O’Neill, Katelyn Weed, Mark E. Hartman, William Spence, William J. Lewinski

We conducted empirical analyses of training at 3 large regional police academies in the United States. We objectively examined the performance and learning of 3 classes, a total of 115 cadets, across 3 representative training approaches to defensive and control tactics. Experiment 1 examined the content and effects of single-session or block training across 8 weeks during the academy. Experiment 2 examined the content and effects of spaced sessions with small-group practice and scenario-based feedback across 8 weeks during the academy. Experiment 3 examined the content and effect of block training with scenario-based feedback across 15 weeks during the academy. Experiment 3 also demonstrated the impact of performance feedback on instructor behavior and cadet performance during the academy and 16 weeks after graduation. We provide recommendations and a call for research based on the performance and learning literature, grounded in behavioral science.

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1 Response
  1. Thank you for your educational article Police Academy Training, Performance, and Learning.
    Could the outcomes be influenced by using a explicit motor learning method?
    From what I know of my motor learning study (human movement science at University Nederland) Schmidt is from a information processing approach.

    In sports science, the emphasis now more on implicit learning (like external focus, analogy learning) and learning based on ecological psychology (e.g. constraind led). Does working with explicit (behavioral) criteria not provoke explicit learning, which is probably less effective and also less resistant to stress?

    See for example also this research

    Commentary: Complex Motor Learning and Police Training: Applied, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives Mario S. Staller1,* and Swen Körner2

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