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Police Psychology

  1. Dave Corey1,
  2. Audrey Honig2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0692

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Corey, D. and Honig, A. 2010. Police Psychology. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau

  2. 2

    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Police psychology aims to assist law enforcement personnel and agencies in carrying out their functions and missions with optimal effectiveness, safety, health, and conformity to laws and ethics. Its nearly 100-year history dates back to Lewis Terman's testing of San Jose police applicants in 1916, although it was more than 50 years later that its modern era began. Two events in 1968 spurred police psychology's rapid development in America: broad federal funding of hundreds of psychological studies and programs by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the decision by the Los Angeles Police Department to hire Dr. Martin Reiser as the first full-time police psychologist in a major law enforcement agency. These events and the activities they spurred contributed to “the steady evolution of an expanding police psychology that has had a major influence on law enforcement” (Scrivner & Kurke, 1995, p. 6).


  • police;
  • police psychology;
  • police stress;
  • law enforcement;
  • public safety