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Support for Democratic Policing among Frontline Police Officers: The Role of Social Dominance Orientation

Journal Title The British Journal of Criminology
Published Date July 21, 2023
Research Type


Motivated by emerging research that connects officer psychological orientations to policing outcomes, we examine how Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), i.e. preference for group-based social hierarchy, is related to officer attitudes toward democratic policing practices. Analysing survey data collected from officers in a state-level police organization in the United States, we find that high SDO officers are more willing to use force and less willing to report peer misconduct than low SDO officers. High SDO officers are also less supportive of procedurally fair policing practices. These findings contribute to research on factors that may inhibit officer support for democratic policing. We discuss the implications of these results for organizational efforts to inculcate democratic values among frontline officers.