|dc.description.abstract||Individuals, including municipal court judges, experience greater defense of their cultural beliefs when thoughts of mortality are salient. With respect to law enforcement, police may engage in more aggressive and authoritative actions in response to heightened death awareness given their subcultural beliefs of being adept at, and being comfortable with, the use of weapons and force.
To the extent that reminders of mortality are associated with a greater negativity toward those who threaten cultural expectancies, it was hypothesized that police officers who experience a heightened fear of death (FOD) would endorse the use of unnecessary force in arrests. Three-hundred and one active duty police officers completed an online survey to assess their concerns about mortality and their attitudes toward use of force through a questionnaire and arrest scenarios. The results revealed no relationship between FOD and officer decision-making when use of force was presented as a reasonable course of action (i.e., a physically aggressive suspect). However, when use of force was an unreasonable course of action (e.g., a suspect fleeing the scene), officers endorsed more aggressive policing to the extent that death concerns were high.||