home
RSS
Cops more forgetful after chases or altercations
March 20th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Cops more forgetful after chases or altercations

Police officers who engage in at least 60 seconds of intense physical energy while involved in a combative encounter may suffer memory loss, according to a newly published study in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers found that officers chasing down a suspect or engaging in a physical altercation with someone can often forget details of the incident, including being unable to identify the suspect from a lineup.

The study's lead author, Dr. Lorraine Hope, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, said the study's findings are a "warning" to officers, police chiefs and even the court system.

"Police officers are often expected to remember in detail who said what and how many blows were received in the midst of physical struggle or shortly afterwards," said Hope. "The results of our tests indicate it may be very difficult for them to do this."

The study followed 52 police officers - 42 men and 10 women - in Winnipeg, Canada, who had been on the job about 8 years. All exercised regularly and were considered fit and healthy.

The officers were split into two groups; both groups attended a briefing and got information on three armed robberies. They viewed a six-person lineup of color pictures. The group was split into pairs where one officer rigorously assaulted a punching bag until he was visibly tired, the other did not. They were then taken to a trailer set up to represent a realistic "home" environment complete with a "target" individual who had access to multiple weapons strategically placed around the room.

Each officer went through a scenario where there was a brief but angry verbal confrontation with that person. Shortly after the scenario was over, officers were given three memory tests. They were asked to recall details of their initial briefing, the encounter - and then shown the lineup photographs.

Researchers found the group that physically exerted themselves remembered less information from the original briefing and the encounter with the target individual. In fact, more than 90% of the officers in the non-exertion group could recall at least one detail about the target. Barely a third of the officers who were involved in the physical activity remembered seeing the target person at all.

"As exhaustion takes over, cognitive resources tend to diminish." Hope said. "The ability to fully shift attention is inhibited, so even potentially relevant information might not be attended to. Ultimately, memory is determined by what we can process and attend to."

Sgt. Jason Anderson, a use of force instructor with the Winnipeg Police Service said the research will help training officers learn more about what can happen under adverse conditions.

"It will allow officers to understand that they are not 'wrong.' 'lying.' or lacking 'what it takes' because they cannot remember certain aspects of a volatile, life threatening hand-to-hand physical combat encounter," said Anderson.

The study, he said, reinforces the idea that it's OK to say, "I don't remember" or "I can't recall."

"That is simply reality," said Anderson.  "I don't care how good of shape you're in, when you reach your personal physical breaking point or extreme exhaustion, your sole focus is on remaining conscious and alive.  Your memory will be adversely and dramatically effected during a combat encounter."

All the study participants remembered seeing the angry suspect in the trailer. But the non-exerted officers provided a "significantly more detailed description" of him and made half as many errors in recall as those who were exhausted, the study said.

"These observers were also twice as likely to correctly identify the suspect from a line-up," according to the research. There was no difference in how the officers registered threat cues.

The study is the first of its kind to test eyewitness recall after physical exertion, researchers said.  Anderson believes  it will have far-reaching implications for law enforcement and court cases.

"Law enforcement can now back up our subjective beliefs and observations for the first time using science to support us,"  Anderson said.   "It is OK to say, 'No, I do not recall the color of his hat,' 'No, I can't remember what he or that bystander said,' 'No, I don't recall how many punches, knee strikes, elbows, etc., that I delivered or exactly where I delivered them."

Anderson said that ultimately, "under extreme exhaustion and attack, officers are trying to go home. They are trying to stay alive.  People need to be educated on the realities of these encounters.  This study is an extremely important tool in this education."

The Winnipeg Police Department has not made any changes based on the study results, but uses the findings when training recruits.


soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. slot games

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://www.sarjanaku.com

    December 4, 2020 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. ??

    I'm really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it's rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

    my blog ... 토토사이트

    December 8, 2020 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. detectives privados arganda del rey

    detectives privados orihuela

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-dos-hermanas-sevilla.html

    December 10, 2020 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. anibwoocodxu

    http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya2/ – Amoxicillin 500 Mg Amoxicillin 500mg Capsules yki.xpam.thechart.blogs.cnn.com.tfb.bk http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya2/

    December 14, 2020 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. exufezos

    http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya2/ – Amoxicillin Amoxicillin No Prescription wld.ramw.thechart.blogs.cnn.com.bvx.mq http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya2/

    December 14, 2020 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sylvester

    Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is additionally recognized,
    is a vital active ingredient in herbal cannabis.

    Cannabidiol is referred to as a really effective all-natural treatment for a selection of conditions consisting of
    cancer, seizures, nausea or vomiting, AIDS, anxiety and
    also glaucoma. It has actually been located to effectively
    alleviate the signs and symptoms of nausea, chemotherapy as well as menopause.
    The huge bulk of clinical marijuana individuals do not know about this
    little-known but extremely beneficial natural herb, not to mention how to get it.
    If you have been suggested making use of cannabidiol,
    find out a couple of things about this miraculous compound prior to
    you purchase it from the neighborhood medication store.

    Here is my webpage: cbd oil near me

    December 15, 2020 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Bernadine

    Sure I could text them pictures, but I thought there should be a simpler way.
    Some perform 'one stop' box in places you pay a set fee, install the discs,
    follow the instructions and utilizing their templates being a starting point, design and optimise for a own requirements.
    Secret #2:Make sure you test your market with pay per click marketing traffic
    first to make sure it is possible to get enough visitors in your site.

    Feel free to surf to my blog: background check

    December 17, 2020 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sitemap

    Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to take a look.
    I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be
    tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and brilliant design and style. https://www.doming-label.xyz/sitemaps.xml

    December 17, 2020 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Norris Callison

    It's hard to say

    https://www.fmyykj.com

    December 17, 2020 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bailey

    I always spent my half an hour to read this
    web site's articles every day along with a cup
    of coffee.

    Here is my homepage: live online forex trading room

    December 19, 2020 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Hwa

    Wonderful site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!

    My blog post; เสื้อลูกไม้

    December 19, 2020 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Reva

    This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger.
    I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of
    your great post. Also, I've shared your site in my social networks!

    Also visit my homepage: seo content marketer

    December 26, 2020 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. olene kadar mokoka

    thank you admines

    http://www.izmirreikikurslari.com/

    December 31, 2020 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Christena

    Thanks for every other informative blog. The place else could I get that kind
    of info written in such an ideal means? I've a venture that I am simply now working on, and I have been on the look out for such
    information.

    my webpage – car insurance ontario how much

    January 4, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Angela

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a
    sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

    My page :: freerapid downloader alternative

    January 6, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. forex copier multi account

    I can't wait to learn how to trade forex

    https://images.google.sn/url?q=https://www.thesufitrader.com/

    January 8, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Kerry

    Heya i'm for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out much.
    I am hoping to provide something again and aid others like you aided me.

    Check out my page; numbered silicone wristbands

    January 8, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. ?????

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your blog? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from
    some of the information you provide here. Please let me know
    if this ok with you. Cheers!

    My web site ... 토토검증사이트

    January 8, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. ?????

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I'm quite certain I'll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    Here is my blog post :: 토토사이트

    January 11, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. zortilo nrel

    great post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don't notice this. You should continue your writing. I'm confident, you have a huge readers' base already!

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    January 12, 2021 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. zortilonrel

    Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may I get that kind of information written in such a perfect means? I've a venture that I'm simply now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

    http://www.zortilonrel.com/

    January 14, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. games epic games

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for
    such info a lot. I was looking for this particular information for
    a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    January 19, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Leave a Reply to wycierpiałem


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.