Personality Characteristics of Effective State Police Officers

Mills, Carol J.; Bohannon, Wayne E.
December 1980
Journal of Applied Psychology;Dec80, Vol. 65 Issue 6, p680
Academic Journal
Supervisors' ratings of leadership and overall suitability for police work were obtained for 49 male state police officers with 1 year of police duty. Scores for the 18 California Psychological Inventory scales, as well as scores from an independently developed leadership equation and a police performance equation, were correlated with supervisory ratings. The "modal" personality that emerged agreed with past studies characterizing police as bright, assertive, well-adjusted individuals. Prediction of supervisory ratings was found to be superior for the equation specifically designed to predict police effectiveness as compared with a more general index of leadership. Support for a general set of personality characteristics (dominance, functional intelligence, and autonomous achievement) predictive of police effectiveness is indicated from the present results.


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