Cognitive Psychology and Modern Policing Essay

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The intention of this essay is to explore the area surrounding how cognitive psychology has affected or disaffected policing practices and the positive or negative outcomes of it. To do this, a deeper understanding of the terms cognitive and psychology, along with their interactive relationship had to be expounded.

The scope of cognitive psychology is vast in relation to the public and police, particularly due to the fact that it is an individual process with many external mitigating factors. Therefore I have attempted to narrow the field and concentrate on a couple of specific examples of the use of cognitive psychology, while attempting to explain the theories behind the processes.

What is psychology? In basic terms it is simply
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That in and of itself does not necessarily mean that it is specifically talking about childhood, (although the majority of our personality is developed during that period). Strong traits are also developed as an adult, through peer pressure and indoctrination. This can also be reinforced in an organisation in the form of institutionalisation.

An example of this would be the case of David and Lucille White, a middle aged couple, who in 1982, received aggravated and exemplary damages of £51,392 in the High Court, for wrongful and malicious prosecution. One night in September 1976, two police officers watching a house saw three youths coming out of the front door at 12:45am. `Suspecting a burglary', they radioed for assistance and were joined by fifteen more officers. No search warrant was produced; one member of the household was knocked unconscious with a truncheon blow to the head. Lucille also had a truncheon blow to the head when she appeared in her dressing gown and Daniel (beaten so badly he had nine weeks off work), was arrested, taken to the station, held for four to five hours and charged with assaulting police officers.

When acquitting the Whites' at court, Justice Mars-Jones described the police actions as `Monstrous, wicked and shameful'. (Harrison 1983:355)

Here is a clear example of developed behaviour (use of physical

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