Author(s)

Rebecca Sarah Mark

Date Approved

5-23-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Subject(s)

Psychological tests;Law enforcement;Employee selection

Disciplines

Criminology and Criminal Justice | Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to examine the consistency of the use of the psychological evaluation as part of the law enforcement candidate selection process. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) provides guidelines for the psychological evaluation, but research has found that law enforcement agencies use a variety of procedures with no consensus as to what should be used and why (Dantzker, 2011). Research has also found that very few applicants pass the psychological evaluations and that law enforcement agencies may be screening out candidates who would have been successful police officers (Chang-Bae, 2006; Dantzker, 2011). The current study examined the psychological evaluation used by the ten largest law enforcement agencies in the United States. A survey consisting of questions related to the law enforcement employee selection process was sent to the selected law enforcement agencies. Results showed that there was variance in the psychological evaluation procedure, with three different tests being used among the ten agencies, 50% of the agencies using more than one test, and 29% of the agencies using a licensed psychologist to administer the evaluation. The results have implications for candidates who could be screened in by one agency but screened out by another to do the same job.

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