SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Warren, P. (2011). Perceptions of police disrespect during vehicle stops: A race-based analysis. Crime & Delinquency, 57(3), 356–376. doi: 10.1177/0011128708316177

Summary: Blacks and Whites perceive American social institutions in very different terms, and views of the police are no exception. Prior research has consistently demonstrated that race is one of the most salient predictors of attitudes toward the police, with African Americans expressing more dissatisfaction than Whites. The purpose of this research is to evaluate this issue by examining the relative influence of vicarious experience and more general trust in social institutions on Black–White differences in perceptions of disrespect by the police. Using survey data from the North Carolina Highway Traffic Study, the results suggest that vicarious experience and more long-standing trust in social institutions influence the likelihood that respondents will perceive police as disrespectful.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is “vicarious experience” and why is it significant with relation to citizen’s perceptions of the police?
  2. Which variables had a negative impact on perceptions of disrespect by police?
  3. What does this research suggest has an impact on citizen’s perceptions of police encounters beyond the encounter itself?


Article 2: Beauregard, E. & Mieczkowski, T. (2012). From police interrogation to prison: Which sex offender characteristics predict confession? Policy Quarterly, 15(2), 197–214. doi: 10.1177/1098611112442814

Summary: The study aimed to examine sex offender characteristics associated with a decision to confess. Based on the analysis of 624 sex offenders, our findings showed that, depending on the type of sex offender, different characteristics are associated with their likelihood of confessing during the police interrogation. Moreover, distinguishing between those who fully confess and those who only confess partially yielded mixed findings. Finally, our results showed that confession was not static and that offender characteristics were associated with a decision to confess once admitted to the prison. The findings are discussed in light of the implications for interrogation strategies.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What do the authors suggest as an explanation for the inconsistent findings in the research on offender characteristics and confessions?
  2. How were the findings of the present study different for child molesters and rapists?
  3. What do the authors mean when they say “look beyond the offense committed and establish a ‘profile’ of the individual based on his characteristics?”