ERIC Number: ED329877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-21
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Bias in the Evaluation of Male and Female Police Officer Performance.
Shoenfelt, Elizabeth L.; Mendel, R. Max
This paper reports on a study undertaken to evaluate the likelihood of anti-female bias in performance appraisals. Based on investigative reports, depositions, and eye-witness accounts in the subsequent litigation, four versions of a written scenario were prepared of an actual arrest sequence in which a male training officer was shot, and the female trainee-partner was fired for cowardice. The names and pronouns used to describe the two officers were altered. One of the four scenarios was randomly selected and sent to the police chief in each of the 226 U.S. cities with populations greater than 80 thousand. The respondents were asked to complete a behaviorally-anchored performance rating form by selecting one of seven possible administrative actions ranging from termination to a meritorious performance award recommendation. The data revealed that police departments did permit gender to influence their assessment. It was found that for precisely the same actions, police departments were significantly more likely to terminate female trainees than male trainees. Given the inconsistent pattern of findings in the literature, the demonstration of gender bias in this study suggets three potential moderators worthy of further investigation. Gender bias may be more likely: (1) in situations involving strongly gender stereotyped performance settings (e.g., dangerous situations involving physically demanding actions); (2) where team performance forces the rater to apportion responsibility for outcomes among team members; and (3) where performance judgments are directly linked to specific administrative actions. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 20-23, 1991).