23 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 2, 2016
This paper draws upon recent work in the field of legal socialization (Trinkner & Tyler, in press; Tyler & Trinkner, in press) to expand previous conceptualizations of appropriate police behavior beyond procedural justice. The focus of the current study is on the role of bounded authority – i.e. respecting the limits of one’s power – and its association with perceptions of police legitimacy, legal legitimacy, and compliance. Using survey data from a nationally representative sample of US adults, we show that concerns over bounded authority, respectful treatment, and neutral decision-making combine to form a strong predictor of police and legal legitimacy. Additionally, legal legitimacy is associated with greater compliance behavior, even while controlling for personal morality and perceived likelihood of sanctions. Our conclusions address some future directions of research, particularly in the extension of procedural justice theory.
Keywords: Procedural justice, Legal socialization, Legitimacy, Public contact with the police, Trust, Compliance, Policing by consent
JEL Classification: K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Trinkner, Rick and Jackson, Jonathan and Tyler, Tom, Expanding ‘Appropriate’ Police Behavior Beyond Procedural Justice: Bounded Authority & the Legitimation of the Law (October 2, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846659 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2846659