Journal Article

Perception of Risk and the Decision to Use Force

Itiel E. Dror

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 1, issue 3, pages 265-272
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online September 2007 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Perception of Risk and the Decision to Use Force

Show Summary Details


The quality of policing depends on making sound decisions. Many cognitive factors are involved in decision making and these must be understood and harnessed so as to enhance the quality of decisions taken by police officers. In this paper, I discuss two different decision-making systems (deliberative and experiential), and how decision factors (such as complexity), internal factors (such as expectations), and external factors (such as time pressure) all come together in deciding whether or not to use force. Providing proper training and correctly utilising technology can enhance an officer's ability to make sound decisions.

Journal Article.  4004 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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