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Human Performance

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New Study: Stress, Training, and the Objective Reasonableness Standard

It is well-settled that a police officer’s use of force must be reasonable.  It is equally well-established that reasonableness is to be judged from the perspective of the officer on the scene.  This “on scene” perspective properly requires agencies and courts to consider the influences that emotional arousal and stressors, like time compression, may have...
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Force Science: Teaching This Old Dog New Tricks

Originally published at Law Officer.  Republished here with permission. With 30 years in law enforcement (and as a voracious advocate for training), there isn’t much I haven’t seen.  Unfortunately, through the years, I have walked away disappointed from highly touted training courses more times than I care to count.  So, when the opportunity came to...
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Top Experts Work with Force Science to Advance Police-Related Research

Research: Visual Focus – What, Where, When, and How? Research has found that attentional control, including recognizing and visually focusing on relevant information, is a key to successful athletic performance in complex and dynamic competitions. Similarly, research has found that attentional control can positively influence police officers’ emotional regulation and improve tactical decision-making. Without an...
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U.S. Marshals Become Leader in Modern Police Training

In April of 2022, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director at Force Science, was invited to Mesa, Arizona, to evaluate the U.S. Marshals’ latest High-Risk Fugitive Apprehension – Human Performance training. Dr. Lewinski was not disappointed, “The Marshals’ training was exceptional. They’re not only building excellent tactical officers, they are using the latest evidence-based learning strategies...
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Firearms Training for Real-World Assaults

Blisteringly Fast and Intuitively Accurate The annual Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) studies, in conjunction with research on the speed and biomechanics of assault, continue to provide critical information that must inform training practices. First, armed attacks can occur without warning and can be extremely fast.  In the vast majority of officer fatalities...
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Law and Error: Should Mistakes Be Adjudicated in Criminal Courts?

Republished with Permission from InsiderAdvantage Georgia© | January 11, 2022 American law provides two distinct avenues, civil and criminal courts, to address culpable conduct, so when should a human error -an equivocal mistake- lead to a prison sentence? Weapon confusion cases turn the line between civil and criminal culpability into a chasm where lives hang...
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New Research on Vision and Emotional Regulation for Effective Performance

Recent developments in cognitive, perceptual, and performance psychology may provide insights into how officers can improve decision-making, performance, and emotional effectiveness during critical incidents. In 2010 Force Science presented its findings from eye scan research conducted with Dr. Joan Vickers.1 In our research, we observed that, when compared to novice shooters, the experts perceived critical...
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Police Progress: Moving Beyond Ideas, Intuition, and Theories

Ideally, police reform will involve the careful translation of research (knowledge) into practice. The American Society of Evidence-Based Policing recently made this case in Process for Translating Research to Practice, citing the requirement for collaboration between researchers and police practitioners.1 It’s this process that ensures reform proposals are not the product of untested ideas, intuition,...
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Tell Me Exactly What You Heard

In our last article, Honest But Not Accurate, we rejected the idea that an officer’s memory was the equivalent of a video recorder. We cautioned that inconsistencies between an officer’s memory and a video recording could result from human performance factors and are not necessarily evidence of intentional deception. But even in cases without video...
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The Science of Learning

The demand for evidence-based policing continues to create unprecedented opportunities to develop and improve professional policing standards.  In support of this mission, the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) reached out to Dr. Bill Lewinski and the Force Science Institute for the latest research in police skill development and decision-making....
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