Police Psychology Scenario Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2519 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

The importance of identifying instrumental and expressive demands that are made by the suspect are also important components to the process. Instrumental demands are more specific and serve as part of the S.A.F.E. model for de-escalating crisis situations. This model is represented by four "triggers" that are (McMains & Mullins, 2010):

• Substantive demands: The instrumental wants/demands made by the parties (e.g., subject and negotiator)

• Attunement: The relational trust established between the parties

• Face: The self-image of each of the parties that is threatened or honored

• Emotion: The degree of emotional distress experienced by the parties

Expressive demands, on the other hand, are not specific in nature and can be thought of as a combination of the other three factors in the model. For example, a suspect might demand that the negotiators treat them with respect or make some other vague emotional appeal to the team. Such demands are not specific in nature and are often difficult to work with.

Different suspects and different situations can place different values on expressive or instrumental demands. For example, in a hostage situation the subject might have very clear instrumental demands that stand at the forefront of the negotiations. However, someone that is suicidal might place less importance on instrumental demands and make expressive requests of the negotiating team. It is important to note the requests as well as the type of requests made to be better prepared to come to a peaceful resolution.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Police Psychology Scenario: You Are Assignment

One study collected audio tapes of hostage situations in which hostage negotiator requests to the hostage taker were characterized as either high or low probability (Hughes, 2009). The results suggested that hostage-taker compliance to a hostage negotiator's low-probability request was more likely when a series of complied-with high-probability requests preceded the low-probability request. However, two of the three hostage-taking situations ended violently; therefore, the implications of the high-probability request sequence for hostage-taking situations should be assessed in future research. However, the team should also focus on the types of requests that they ask of the subject and look for any patterns that might emerge from their answers.


There is a significant amount of information that is not included in the case. Thus the first step of the negotiation process should focus on intelligence gathering to fill in the holes about what is known about the subject psychological state and their demands. However, that being stated, the team does know that the subject has already killed, has several hostages in close proximity, and has made some initial demands. The demands for food and beer are troubling, to say the least. The other demand, for legal immunity, will most likely be the sticking point. Although it can't be really known at this point, the hostage-taker may be delusional and possibly an inadequate personality.

As a hostagetaker, the inadequate personality is likely to begin negotiating by making excessive demands, or he may refuse to negotiate with the police, preferring that a hostage negotiate for him (Strentz, 1983). This is because he fears further failure; further, because of his dependent needs, the inadequate person is the most likely of any type of hostage-taker to become involved in the Stockholm Syndrome, where the positive feelings of the captives toward the captor are accompanied by negative feelings toward the police. Suicide rather than surrender is also likely for the inadequate personality in such situations.

I think the team's initial strategy should be to accommodate the subject's initial demand of food and beer and buy as much time as possible to get assistance from a psychological expert. These can be considered non-substantive demands and could give the negotiators more time to follow the S.A.F.E. model. However, my impression would be that the subject is most likely leaning towards suicide yet this cannot be known without further intelligence. Furthermore, by creating more time for the negotiation, this also allows time for the school and the library to evacuate completely. If the crisis team could keep the negotiations going past 5PM or later then this would also prevent the likelihood of casualties because most people would be returning from their homes from work. In the immediate area of residential houses, the families of these residences could be evacuated and the residents who are not home could be warned to stay away from the area.

In conclusion, I think the best strategy is to buy as much time as possible. This will hopefully allow for the subject to stabilize some. I think agreeing to the beer and food is a good idea. However, the subject's condition could also get worse if they were to get drunk so a minimal amount of beer should be delivered while they monitor the psychological state. Buying time will also allow for the consultation of a psychologist which will represent a valuable addition to the negotiating team as well as allow the team to take special precautions to evacuate as many people from the area as possible. Therefore, the team should follow the safe model and use time enhancing tactics until more intelligence can be gathered.

Works Cited

Alaxander, D., & Klein, S. (2010). Hostage-taking: motives, resolution, coping and effects. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 176-183.

Cooper, H. (1981). Hostage-takers. Retrieved from National Criminal Justice Reference Service: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=75936

Goldaber, I. (1979). Typology of Hostage-Takers. Police Chief, 21-23. Retrieved from Hughes, J. (2009). A Pilot Study of Naturally Occuring High-Probability Request Sequences in Hostage Negotiations. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 491-496.

McMains, M., & Mullins, W. (2010). Crisis Negotiation (4th ed.). New Providence: Lexis/Nexis/Anderson.

Santmire, T., Kraus, S., Santmire, T., Wilkenfeld, J., Holley, K., & Gledtsh, K. (2002). The Impact of Cognitive Diversity on Crisis Negotiations. Political Psychology, 721-748.

Strentz, T. (1983). Inadequate Personality as a Hostage Taker. Journal of Police Science and Administration, 363-368.

Taylor, P. (2002). A partial Order Scalogram Analysis of Communication Behavior with the Prediction of Outcome. International… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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