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Research suggests simply wearing a police uniform changes the way the brain processes information

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posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 03:37 PM
(Didn't find this posted yet, if so, then close and redirect as needed)
(The title above was truncated/edited due to ATS length restrictions)

This is a research study published Feb 2017. It is an interesting read with regards to the behavior of someone wearing a police uniform. Even if the wearer is not a real LEO, just donning the uniform seems to change the thought process, as proven by the research study.

Link to Full Research Article: Status profiling: Research suggests simply wearing a police uniform changes the way the brain processes information

The main concept of the study was:

During one experiment, participants were asked to identify a simple shape on a computer screen and were distracted by images of white male faces, black male faces, individuals dressed in business suits and others dressed in hoodies. Researchers tracked and analyzed their reaction times to compare how long they were distracted by the various images.

Seeing the images, and recording the attention spans paid to each image provided the data. One interesting aspect discovered was

Researchers were surprised to find no difference in reaction times and no evidence of racial profiling when the distractors were white or black faces. This is surprising, they say, because previous research, much of it conducted in the United States, has revealed that many people associate African Americans with crime. While more work is needed to explore this further, Obhi suggests the apparent lack of racial bias in the current study might highlight a potentially important difference between Canadian and American society.

Using this as a basis, the clothing actually played more of a part in the profiling than the color of skin.

The differences, however, were revealed when participants were distracted by photos of individuals wearing hoodies. Reaction times slowed, indicating that the images of hoodies were attention-grabbing. Critically, this bias towards hoodies only occurred when participants were wearing the police-style garb. "We know that clothing conveys meaning and that the hoodie has to some extent become a symbol of lower social standing and inner-city youth," says Obhi. "There is a stereotype out there that links hoodies with crime and violence, and this stereotype might be activated to a greater degree when donning the police style uniform. This may have contributed to the changes in attention that we observed. Given that attention shapes how we experience the world, attentional biases toward certain groups of people can be problematic."

Does this indicate that if you wish to avoid being profiled by LEO's, don't go around in a hoodie (unless the weather matches the nee for that type of outerwear)? The hoodie allows criminals to hide their face and other features easily during a crime, while removable before and after.

So, in summary, perhaps LEO's need more training on the state of fashion in their locality to understand what is, and is not, in vogue at any given time to avoid being accused of racial profiling?

McMaster University. "Status profiling: Research suggests simply wearing a police uniform changes the way the brain processes information." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2017.

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 03:53 PM
a reply to: Krakatoa

Police are trained to be observant, and that level of observation depends on many factors. Some will include race while others will not.

If something looks weird, different, out of place , not right, goofy, etc etc its going to attract attention.

A study wasnt necessarily needed as all anyone has to do is ask a police officer but cest la vie.

As for police uniforms studies ahve been done on color and what not with interesting results.
edit on 28-7-2017 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 04:12 PM
a reply to: Xcathdra

Oh, I agree they are trained. However, as you noted, the uniform itself does seem to make a difference. This study merely conforms, with scientific data, that even just wearing a uniform will impact your perception of someone. That, IMO, is an interesting finding. It has been a common assumption, but now has been confirmed with data.

As for the perception of people viewing someone in a uniform, that is another study altogether.

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 05:01 PM
a reply to: Krakatoa

Certainly make you feel dirty.

On a more serious note i imagine it would certainly enable the wrong sort of person towards the uniform complex.
edit on 28-7-2017 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 05:22 PM
The uniform makes them feel like a target and forces their brain into survival mode where if they see a cloak then they are looking for a dagger. Which means everyone subconsciously associates hoodies with hidden threat.

edit on 28-7-2017 by FocusedWolf because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 06:22 PM
I like the hoodie look. It doesn't make me feel threatened at all. Quite the opposite. It is mysterious in nature to me. My eyes are drawn to it because I want to see whats behind the hoodie. & i like mysteries.

Paying attention to my surroundings and anyone approaching, watching their body language should hopefully give cues toward a persons intent. Simply wearing a hoodie can't make such a determination for me.

Now... on the other hand, a uniformed cop...will make me uneasy...lets say if I'm speeding down the highway. lol
But again, isn't that because of my action that I became uneasy, I was speeding ? My mind has simply cataloged that the uniformed police officer is the one who is going to possibly pull me over and give me a ticket.

BTW... I wear neither... a police uniform nor hoodies... except my avvy...


edit on 28-7-2017 by leolady because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 06:26 PM
Makes me think of the Hawthorne effect.

posted on Jul, 28 2017 @ 07:11 PM
a reply to: Krakatoa

I just think it works both ways although I doubt their is scientific data to support it. "Criminals" also change the way they observe people, studying them and their habits / actions / mannerisms, just as police do. Trying to blend in and not be noticeable, as criminals do, believe it or not, can be noticeable to a trained cop by an untrained criminal. Going out of your way to blend in stands out. A cop in plain clothes can be identified by criminals / observant people as well based on mannerisms. The next time you walk into a restaurant look for the person sitting in an out of the way area who faces the doors / front who doesnt have their back to the doors. Chances are its an off duty officer or someone with some form of training.

As for wearing a uniform yeah it changes the way you operate. You are visible and everyone is watching / listening / observing you. They drill that in at the academy and on the job since people will bitch about the smallest things (# of officers eating at the same time, dirty uniform, driving habits etc). You become very, for lack of a better term, self conscious. By extension you become hyper vigilant / observant of everyone / everything around you. Police are trained to play the "what if" game at all times. When you go on meal break you subconsciously run scenarios thru your melon about what you would do "if" this or that happens, which results in changes in how you view your surroundings and again by extension, people in those surroundings. People who are conceal carry holders arent always the best at the conceal portion. Do I view them as a potential threat? absolutely. "If" something happens and they are present are they a part of whats occurring, are they a simple bystander, are they trying to be helpful in a critical situation? Whatever does or does not happen i know where they are at and what they are doing. Not because they are breaking the law but because im in a uniform and a potential target - whether intentionally or accidentally.

Dont get me wrong, its an interesting study however I dont see anything ground breaking with it.

Just my 2 pesos.
edit on 28-7-2017 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-7-2017 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

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