Fairness key to police officers gaining civilians’ respect

police officer stopping a motorist on a highway
March 17, 2022

Nobody enjoys being stopped by the police. But civilians who believe the officer interacting with them is attempting to behave fairly are more likely to perceive the officer’s authority as legitimate and cooperate, even if the encounter still results in a citation, suggests a new study coauthored by Yale political scientist and CSAP Director Gregory Huber.

The study, recently published in the journal Science Advances, provides the first evidence that visible efforts by authorities to treat people fairly, regardless of whether they result in punishment — or even when an enforcement decisions is based on a mistake — make people intrinsically more motivated to cooperate and comply with the law.

Read the full story by Mike Cummings on YaleNews.

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