College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Psychology

First Advisor

Vincent B. Van Hasselt

Second Advisor

Lenore E. Walker

Third Advisor

Ryan A. Black

Keywords

active listening skills, communication, crisis negotiations, CRT, hostage negotiations, law enforcement, law enforcement, psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of active listening skills on perpetrator response style in crisis negotiations. The extant literature boasts the utility of negotiations in crisis situations for law enforcement that came about in response to cataclysmic events such as the Attica Prison Riots (1971), Munich Massacre (1972), and the Williamsburg incident (1973). Various crisis negotiation models assert the importance of active listening skills in crisis negotiations; given the recent and voluminous media attention on police, this research aimed to provide further support for a cultural shift in police departments around the country to provide their officers with crisis negotiation training. These trainings allow officers to expand their arsenal of tools that decreases their need to rely on a tactical response when verbal de-escalation may be warranted to minimize risk to both officer and subject. The proposed study coded and analyzed audio recordings from the first 20 minutes of 12 simulated negotiations. The author proposed: (1) an increase in the proportion of active listening skills within the first phase of the negotiation would be associated with a decrease in the proportion of negative perpetrator response style in the second phase of the negotiation, (2) an increase in the proportion of active listening skills within the first half of the negotiation would be associated with an increase in the proportion of positive perpetrator response style in the second half of the negotiation, (3) an increase in the proportion of problem-solving utilized during the first phase of the negotiation would be associated with an increase in the proportion of negative perpetrator response style in remainder of the negotiation, and (4) an increase in the proportion of emotional labeling, paraphrasing and summarizing, and open-ended questions utilized during the first half of the negotiation would be associated with an increase in the proportion of positive perpetrator response style in the second half of the negotiation. While no significant results were identified via Pearson’s correlations, scatterplots were constructed for visual inspection of the data, which indicated potential support of hypotheses II and IV when considering the limitations of the study.

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS