implicit biases. Examples? - Fair and Impartial Policing

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Fair and Impartial
Policing
(“NS” – New slide) Intro
All people, even well-intentioned people
have biases.
 We’ll discuss various biases.
 We’ll explore what social-psychology has
taught us.
 Need to recognize our unconscious
biases, so we can implement UNbiased
behavior

Fair and Impartial Police
Officers are more likely to



Be effective at solving crimes and handling
disorder problems
Stay safe and go home at the end of the shift
Enhance/promote trust on the part of the people
they serve
Goals of the Training




Recognize our own human biases
Understand how implicit biases can affect your
perceptions and behavior
Understand how biased policing impacts
officers, community members, and the
department
Develop skills and tactics to reduce the influence
of bias on police practice and allow you to be
effective and safe police professionals
During this training…
Leave your preconceived notions about
“bias” training at the door—our approach is
different from traditional training….
During this training…
Think about what it means to be an
effective officer.
During this training…
Share your expertise…you bring rich
experiences and expertise to the
discussions.
This training…..
Requires active participation in all of the
discussions, case studies and exercises.
Understanding
Human Bias
Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent
Fundamental Concepts of Human
Bias





Bias is a normal human attribute—even wellintentioned people have biases
Biases are often unconscious or “implicit”
Implicit biases are sometimes incompatible with
our conscious attitudes
Implicit biases can influence our actions
Understanding how implicit bias can affect our
perceptions and behavior is the first step to
“override” implicit bias
To Understand Implicit Bias, We
Need to Understand….
Whom we are most likely to pre-judge
 What determines the characteristics we
assign to them
 Whether we know when we are prejudging
people

To understand implicit bias:

Whom do we pre judge?
 We
prejudge people on sight
 We prejudge “ambiguous stimuli”
 We “fill in” …

What determines the characteristics we
attribute to them?
 Group
stereotypes/biases
 Stereotypes: organize info, based in part on
facts
To understand implicit bias:

Whom do we pre judge?
 We

prejudge “ambiguous stimuli”
What determines the characteristics we
attribute to them?
 Group

stereotypes/biases
Do we know when we are doing this?
 Not
always.
Policing – focus on racial/ethnic biases
What are other bases on which people
may be stereotyped (and treated
differentially)?








Income
English language abilities
Gender
Age
Religious affiliation
Profession
Sexual orientation, identity
etc.
Woman/Man with a Gun Role
Play
Anna: How to set up (See “resource
materials”)
 Implement, hold discussion (SB)

 See
page 2 of resource handout
 Discussion: 2 versions
 Side bar: Stay away from “tactics” discussion

End discussion with key point of role
play…
Key Point of Role Play
Policing based on stereotypes is
unsafe.
Questions/Comments
Key Points of the “Blink”
Response

Recognize the “blink” response”
 Snap
judgments, “thinking without thinking”
 Can be helpful, but can be fallible

Replace “blink response” with objective
(bias free) judgments
“Money Train”
Woody Harrelson is an undercover officer.
Note: The use of the copyrighted material falls under fair use laws with no
intended copyright violation.
Stereotyping and Human Bias
When we don’t know an individual, we
assign a group characteristic to them
 Often we do not know when we are
impacted by biases (they can be
unconscious or “implicit” biases)
 Recognizing our biases allows us to
override them—to engage in unbiased
behavior.


Law enforcement officers deal with a
variety of community members……
Mad World Video – Gary Jules
Hand out cards
Fiske
 How do people in our society react to the
homeless?
 How might some officers treat the
homeless versus person of means?

Key Point:
Policing based on stereotypes
(biases) is unsafe, ineffective and
unjust.
THE RACE-CRIME
ASSOCIATION STUDIES
The “Bump” Study

Study: Experiencing an ambiguous “bump”
from a stranger
 How
did people interpret the bump by African
Americans versus the bump by Whites?

Result: The “bump” was perceived as more
threatening when performed by an African
American.
 Replicated
to show this was true for both White and
non-White “victims”/subjects.
The Visual Perception Study
Subjects were primed with Black male
faces, White male faces, or no faces
 Completed object recognition task
 Eberhardt, Goff, Purdie, & Davies (2004).
Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology.

Levels of Degradation
Frame25
141
Frame
Crime Object
Crime Object
Crime Neutral Objects
Hypotheses

If the Black-crime association impacts our visual
perception, then:
 Participants primed with Black male faces
should be faster to identify crime-relevant
objects than those primed with White male
faces.
 There should be no effect of prime for crimeirrelevant objects.
Object Identification
________________________________
28
Crime-Relevant
Frame number
26
Crime-Irrelevant
24
22
20
18
16
Flashing White
Faces
No Faces
(Control)
Flashing Black
Faces
Visual Perception Study:
Conclusions

Exposure to Black male faces facilitated
the identification of crime-relevant objects.

Exposure to White male faces inhibited the
identification of crime-relevant objects.
Be a research participant!
We will see slides of backgrounds and
then a person will appear—very quickly—
with something in his hands.
 Shout “Threat” if you see a threat
 [Silent if no threat]

Correll Results: Race Made a
Difference
Speed: Participants shot a White armed
man slower than a Black armed man
Errors: Participants were more likely to
shoot an unarmed Black man than an
unarmed White man
The Turban Effect Study
Research volunteers played a computer
game that showed apartment balconies on
which different figures appeared, some
wearing Muslim-style turbans or hijabs and
others bare-headed.
 They were told to shoot at the targets
carrying guns and spare those who were
unarmed.

The Turban Effect Results


People were much more likely to shoot Muslimlooking characters even if they were carrying an
“innocent item” instead of a weapon.
They also found a gender effect: Subjects were
more likely to shoot men than women (even
when harmless).
Unkelbach, Forgas & Denson (2008). J. of
Experimental Social Psychology.
[NS] Implications for LE
Officers may see danger when none there
(over-vigilent)
 May overlook danger (under-viligent)

 ($
Train)
Implicit bias linked to officer
safety and effectiveness;
Officers may:
Increase their scrutiny of people of color
 Interpret ambiguous behavior on the part
of people of color as more aggressive
 Respond to people of color more
aggressively (e.g., as criminals)
 Under-respond to Whites, Asians, etc.
 etc.

Biases are Based,
at Least in Part, on
Fact
One example pertains to race
and crime
Criminologists have shown that
people of color are
disproportionately involved in
street crimes.
Economic Status, Race and
Crime
A = Lower income people are more likely
to commit street crimes
 B = People of color are disproportionately
represented in lower income levels
 A+B=C People of color are
disproportionately represented among
people who commit street crimes

[NS] But, that stereotypes are
sometimes based in part on
fact….
Does not justify your making policing
decisions based on those stereotypes.
 Such decisions can be unsafe, ineffective
or unjust.

Crash Scene: The
Streets of Los
Angeles
Usage of the copyrighted material
falls under fair use laws with no
intended copyright violation.
Key Point
Policing based on biases is
unsafe, ineffective, and unjust
Implicit Bias
Manifests in NonPrejudiced People
[NS]
Implicit bias manifests even in nonprejudiced people
 Exists even in individuals who consciously
hold non-prejudice ideals/attitudes

 EX:
Many minorities have a racecrime/danger implicit bias (Bump Study)….
[NS]

Some think: Biased policing is “someone
else’s issue”
 Often
think that because of their progressive
attitudes towards other groups, they must be
bias free
 Quite likely: They are wrong.
Addressing Our
Implicit Biases
[NS] Two remedies for our
implicit bias “affliction”
Reducing our implicit biases
 Recognizing our biases and thwart their
impact on behavior.

Reducing Implicit Bias: Contact
Theory
Positive contact between members of
groups improves inter-group attitudes and
reduces both explicit and implicit biases.
 POSITIVE (e.g., people’s experiences with
police)
 Examples?

Personal Contacts and Implicit
Biases in Officers

Peruche and Plant (2005) Measured
implicit bias on the part of officers
 Shoot/don’t
shoot simulator to measure
implicit bias

Surveys too
 Police,
too, manifest implicit racial bias
 But implicit racial/ethnic bias is weaker in
officers who report positive interpersonal
contacts with racial/ethnic minorities
[NS] Reducing implicit biases by
“Unlinking Stereotypes”
Difficult to undo our implicit biases….took
lifetime
 BUT police firearms training seems to help
us unlink the stereotypes we associate
with groups (e.g., minorities and danger)
 How might this work?

 Repeatedly
exposed to random pairing of
threat and race (and other demographics)
Simulator training can help us
unlink: Correll Study Number 2



Methods: Both civilians and cops, shoot don’t
shoot simulator
Speed: Both police and civilians exhibited robust
racial bias
Errors: Bias was less likely to manifest itself in
the decisions by police.
 Bottom
Line: Police made the correct decisions…..
Interpretation:

High quality, role play use-of-force training
helps police “unlink” race & crime for splitsecond use-of-force decisions.
[Remedy #1: Reduce implicit
biases]
[NS] Remedy #2: Recognize
our biases and thwart their
impact
Implementing “Controlled
(unbiased) Behavior”
If we recognize our biases, we can
implement “controlled behaviors” that
override our (natural) implicit biases.
 Examples?
 In fact, science: People who recognize
their biases and are motivated (wellmeaning) can override.

Fundamental Concepts of Human
Bias, In Summary





Bias is a normal human attribute—even wellintentioned people have biases
Biases are often unconscious or “implicit”
Implicit biases sometimes conflict with our
conscious attitudes
Implicit biases can influence our actions
Understanding how implicit bias can affect our
behavior is the first step to “override” implicit
bias
The Impact of Biased
Policing on Community
Members and the
Department
MODULE 2 [LAF INTRO]
Previous module
Science of implicit bias – perceptions and
behaviors
 Forms of implicit bias with policing
relevance (including race-crime)
 Biased policing is ineffective, unsafe,
unjust

This Module: Biased Actions
Impact
Community members
 Your law enforcement agency

Impact of biased policing on
individuals
Testimonial: Captain Will Hill
RI State Police
Fair and Impartial
Policing Engenders
Community Respect
and Cooperation
How do you and your agency
benefit when the community
trusts and respects you?
Research Demonstrates
Police cannot be effective without
support/cooperation of the community
 Community members who perceive the
police as being fair see them as a
legitimate authority
 Examples of support/cooperation due to
trust, perceptions of legitimacy?

Your Role in
Engendering Police
Legitimacy
[NS]

Your daily interactions can influence
community support of the department
 Some

cops think – no one sees/cares
YOUR actions determine whether the
community thinks agency is legitimate
 One
aspect: Ensuring your actions are fair
and impartial.
 AND ensuring that community
SEES/PERCEIVES fair and impartial policing.
Police Legitimacy Impacts the
Public’s Willingness To:
Obey societal laws
 Cooperate with the police
 Assist with crime prevention efforts
 Assist with valuable information during
criminal investigations
 Support criminal prosecutions

Police Legitimacy Also Impacts
on the Public’s….

Trust and confidence in the police.
SUMMARY: Fair and Impartial
Policing Results In….
Community trust and cooperation
 Legitimacy of police among community
members
 Safe policing
 Effective policing
 “Good” policing

Skills for Producing
Fair, Impartial and
Effective Policing
RECRUIT MODULE 3
Goals of the Training




Recognize your own human biases
Understand how implicit biases can affect our
perceptions and behavior
Understand how biased policing impacts
community members and the department
Develop skills and tactics to reduce the influence
of bias on police practice and allow us to be
effective and safe police professionals
Fundamental Concepts of Human
Bias





Bias is a normal human attribute—even wellintentioned people have biases
Biases are often unconscious or “implicit”
Implicit biases are sometimes incompatible with
our conscious attitudes
Implicit biases can influence our actions
Understanding implicit bias or is the first step to
“override” implicit bias
[NS] Two ways we can impact
on our biases
Reduce
 Recognize

[NS] This session:
Learn/apply skills to promote FIP
 Good for anyone…. But especially police.

Fair and Impartial Police
Officers are more likely to



Be effective at solving crimes and handling
disorder problems
Stay safe and go home at the end of the shift
Enhance/promote trust on the part of the people
they serve
Pantomime
Pantomime Debrief

Some saw: Medical emergency, crime in
progress, etc.
Point: People can interpret same stimuli
differently
 Challenge what you think you see

Domestic Violence Role Play
[NS] DV Debrief
Whom did the responding team initially
think was the abuser?
 On what did they base that assumption?
 What skills do officers need to ID the
correct offender?

Side Bar

Discussion can take one of two directions
depending on team performance:
 Team
went for the guy
 Team correctly ID’d female abuser
Reinforce this correct response: How? Did they
“Correct” for their initial responses? Focused on
behavior not biases?
 How might other officers have incorrectly gone for
the guy.

[NS] Both exercises related to
our first skill
Recognize your implicit biases
[pantomime, DV]…..
[NS]
Difficult to rid ourselves of biases
 We can make sure our biases don’t impact
behavior

 Recognize
 Override
[NS] Examples
Taylor: Runs tags only on young
Hispanics males
 What’s wrong with this?
 How might he correct this?

[relevant research…]
Meehan and Ponder (2002)
Found that police were more likely to run
warrant checks on African Americans than
Whites in white neighborhoods….
 but less likely to find warrants on the
African Americans compared to the
Whites.

[NS] Other examples:

Becker: At crash scenes, always
approaches driver of nice car first

Officer Michaels: Recognizes that, on
minor traffic violations, he only writes
citations for men (gives women warnings).
Lessons from role plays and
Taylor, Becker, Michaels:
Recognize your implicit biases, challenge
what you think you see
 Implement controlled responses
 Test yourself: “Would I be proceeding this
way, but for the fact that this person
is………”

Beware: “Gut reactions”
might be based on your
(implicit) biases……
[NS: Instead of gut reactions]
Rely on facts, intelligence, other valid
information
 Focus on facts at hand
 Gather additional information
 Use critical judgment
 Do not let gender, race, age, etc.
inappropriately impact assumptions

 Don’t
be “Susan Boyled”
[Restate] Skill #1: Recognize
your implicit biases and
implement “controlled
(unbiased) responses” …
[Other] Skills to Produce Fair,
Impartial and Effective Policing
Avoid “profiling by proxy”
 Analyze options with a fair and impartial
policing lens
 Reduce ambiguity: slow it down
 Reduce ambiguity: engage with the
community.

Skill #2: Avoid “Profiling by
Proxy”
[NS]
Our message has been: “Recognize your
OWN biases”
 This skill (Profiling by Proxy): Beware
other people’s implicit biases

 Don’t
let THEIR biases impact YOUR
behavior
“Birmingham cop” video:
 What
 Do
would you do and why?
you have to intervene?
Do you really have to respond to every behavior
the public finds offensive?
 Does a couple have the right to do what they are
doing?


Are they doing anything illegal?
 What’s
the down side to intervening?
[NS] Lesson: Avoid Profiling by
Proxy
You do not have to intervene in all
situations.
 You must use critical judgment.
 Throughout this training: You are learning
to recognize/handle your OWN biases…

 Here
we emphasize: Do not let others’ biases
impact on your behavior.
Skill #3: Analyze Your Options
with a “Fair and Impartial
Policing” (FIP) Lens
Scenario
A woman in an all-White neighborhood
calls 9-1-1 to report a “suspicious man in a
car” out in front of her house. It appears
that the only thing that is “suspicious” is
that the man is Black; she is unable to
articulate or identify any behaviors that
indicate criminal activity.
 In your teach-back groups: What are your
options and the pros/cons of each?

Point of discussion
Not one right answer
 Point (skill): Think about options with a
“fair and impartial policing lens”

 Think
about the perspective of the person in
the car…
[NS] Revised scenario

Same circumstance, but this time the man
fits the description of a person in a vehicle
who committed a home burglary in the
area.
 You
approach and question.
He convinces you he is not the burglar
 He is angry and accuses you of biased policing


How might you respond?
[NS] Responses
Key = Reduce frustration/anger
 Provide specific info on recent burglary

 How
he matched BOLO
Demonstrate empathy
 Apologize for inconvenience
 Tell him how to follow up

[NS] Yet another scenario
You have made a legitimate traffic stop
and the woman in that situation accuses
you of stopping her because she is
Hispanic.
 How do you respond?
 How do officers mess this up?

 [car
door conversation….downhill]
[NS] Our suggested response

“I am sorry that you feel that way, but I
stopped you because…..”
Acknowledges the person’s concern
 Steers conversation back to business.

[Summary of Skill #3] With Your
FIP Lens…
Challenge what you think you see
 Recognize your own biases
 Recognize others’ biases
 Consider bias-free options
 Consider the viewpoint of people with
whom you are interacting
 Minimize negative impacts (including
potential perceptions of biased-policing)
with strong communication skills

Skills #4 and #5: Reduce
Ambiguity
 #4:
When feasible, “slow it down”
 #5:
Engage with community members
[NS] Why reduce ambiguity?

In discussion of Susan Boyle:
 We
prejudge people who are “ambiguous
stimuli”
 Attribute group stereotypes to them
 Do not always know this is happening
[NS] #4: Reduce ambiguity,
slow it down
Man on a Porch exercise
 See your resource materials

 “Man
on the Porch, Recruit Handout”
[NS] Key Point

Officers acted quickly and a tragic
outcome was produced
 They
misread cues.
 Bias might have impacted their decisions.
When you can, slow it down.
 Reduce ambiguity

 Gather
more information before you act (if you
can)
 So you don’t act on your biases.
Skill #5: Reduce ambiguity,
engage with community
members

Contact Theory: Revisited
 Positive
contact between members of groups
improves inter-group attitudes and reduces
both explicit and implicit biases.
Positive contact reduces ambiguity about
individuals and groups
 Get to know your communities…

Write down three very specific
things you could do in a
week’s time to engage with
members of a community.
Think of youths, parents, other
adults, business owners.
[Summary] Skills #4 and #5:
Reduce Ambiguity
 #4:
When feasible, “slow it down”
 #5:
Engage with community members
Summary of Key Points: Module
1

All people, even well-intentioned people
have biases
 They
can be “implicit” (unconscious)
 Susan Boyle:
We prejudge,
 We fill them in,
 Often we don’t know

[Sum, Module 1 Cont.]
Even though stereotypes might be based
in part on fact (remember Sandra
Bullock)…..
 Policing based on biases can be unsafe,
ineffective and unjust

 Shoot
don’t shoot (not shooting white…..)
 $ Train
 Treating homeless
 Man/woman with gun and DV role plays
Summary of Key Points:
Module 2

Biased policing has negative
consequences for community members
and the department
 Biased
policing erodes community trust
 Community trust is essential for cooperation
and support of officers and the department
 Community trust is essential for police
legitimacy
Module 3: To be a fair and
impartial officer, you need to
Recognize your implicit biases and
implement “controlled (unbiased)
responses”
 Avoid “profiling by proxy”
 Analyze options with a fair and impartial
policing lens
 Reduce ambiguity: (a) slow it down, and
(b) engage with the community.

We hope this training…
Better understanding science of human
bias
 Renewed your appreciation of negative
impact
 You learned skills ….will serve you.


Thank you!!

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