Elaborating the police perspective: The role of perceptions and experience in the explanation of crowd conflict
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2009
Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 39, Issue 6, pages 991–1001, October 2009
How to Cite
Prati, G. and Pietrantoni, L. (2009), Elaborating the police perspective: The role of perceptions and experience in the explanation of crowd conflict. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 39: 991–1001. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.603
- Issue published online: 19 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Received: 27 MAY 2008
Classical theories of crowd behaviour view crowd conflict as deriving from the pathology of the crowd itself. Recent developments in crowd psychology as the elaborated social identity model (ESIM) conceptualize crowd behaviour as a dynamic intergroup process between demonstrators and police. The present study assessed exposure to crowd conflict, adherence to classical views of crowd behaviour, public order policing methods and attributions of responsibility for crowd conflict among 352 Italian police officers. Results showed that exposure to crowd conflict was related to adherence to classical views of crowd, which, in turn, was related to ‘bad practices’ of public order policing and to system-justificatory attributions. Overall, these results offer support and extend the police perspective within the ESIM model. Practical implications for public order policing strategies and training are also discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.