TenEyck, Michael F. (2023). The “Police Personality”: Is it Real?. Police Quarterly.
Much research has discussed the “police personality.” Yet, it is still unclear what particular traits make up the police personality—or whether it exists at all. This can be partially attributed to the limited availability of data collected within individual police departments. Using a nationally representative sample of adults (Add Health), the current study examines whether the Big Five personality traits, temperamental characteristics, and empirically informed covariates are related to being a police officer. Results indicate that, compared to the general population, individuals in law enforcement score significantly lower on openness to experience. Police officers are also more likely than non-officers to have experienced divorce, served in the military, lean politically conservative, and be male. These findings provide partial support for the notion that there are distinct factors that define the police personality.
TenEyck, Michael F.
July 28, 2023