When Fatigue Turns Deadly: The Effects of Cognitive Depletion and Sleep Deprivation on the Decision to Shoot

30 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2012 Last revised: 14 Feb 2013

See all articles by Debbie Ma

Debbie Ma

California State University, Northridge

Joshua Correll

University of Chicago

Bernd Wittenbrink

University of Colorado at Boulder

Yoav Bar-Anan

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

N. Sriram

University of Virginia

Brian A. Nosek

University of Virginia

Date Written: July 18, 2012

Abstract

Racial bias in the decision to shoot can be minimized if individuals have ample cognitive resources to regulate automatic reactions. However, when individuals are fatigued, cognitive control may be compromised, which can lead to greater racial bias in shoot/don’t-shoot decisions. The current studies provide evidence for this hypothesis experimentally using undergraduate participants (Study 1) and in a correlational design testing basic recruits (Study 2). These results shed light on the processes underlying the decision to shoot and, given the high prevalence of fatigue among police officers, may have important practical implications.

Keywords: decision to shoot, fatigue, cognitive depletion, police, racial bias

Suggested Citation

Ma, Debbie and Correll, Joshua and Wittenbrink, Bernd and Bar-Anan, Yoav and Sriram, N. and Nosek, Brian A., When Fatigue Turns Deadly: The Effects of Cognitive Depletion and Sleep Deprivation on the Decision to Shoot (July 18, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2112514 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2112514

Debbie Ma (Contact Author)

California State University, Northridge ( email )

18111 Nordoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330
United States

Joshua Correll

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Bernd Wittenbrink

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

Boulder, CO

Yoav Bar-Anan

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

1 Ben-Gurion Blvd
Beer-Sheba 84105, 84105
Israel

N. Sriram

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Brian A. Nosek

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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