Michael Meng, Sven Fath, Jan-Henryk Dombrowski, Sabine Schildein & Bernd Körber

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf & Polizeiakademie Niedersachsen

The influence of social exclusion on hazard detection in police-task situations

Social exclusion leads to aversion behavior: people initially look away from social interactions in their visual surroun­dings. This anticipatory avoidance competes against police officer´s routines. Temporal advantages in self-protection, being vital for survival, may be impaired. Police students of different educational levels and non-police students (N=187) participated in a series of experiments. Affective priming procedures were conducted. Experiments 1 - 3 presented images of police-relevant social scenes that could contain dangerous elements. The aim was to respond as quickly as possible by pressing a button. In an IAPS-Setting Experiment 4 investigated whether the acquisition of visual expertise during police socialization and education is at the expense of the student´s emotional experience. Exclusion priming increased reaction times in hazard detection significantly for non-police student groups but not for police students. Mostly the emotional experience of police students in the Arousal and Valence dimensions did not change over three years of training. Police student’s expertise seems to be able to dominate unconscious visual aversion behavior after social exclusion in hazard recognition without emotional flattening

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