Authoritarianism The personality type is defined by nine traits that were believed to cluster together as the result of psychodynamic, childhood experiences. These traits are conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-intraception, superstition and stereotypy, power and “toughness,” destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and exaggerated concerns over sex.  In brief, the authoritarian is predisposed to follow the dictates of a strong leader and traditional, conventional values. Suspicion magination of anything to be the case or to be likely; a vague notion of something Hostility a hostile state, condition, or attitude; enmity; antagonism; unfriendliness Insecurity lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt Conservatism the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change Cynicism distrusting or disparaging the motives of others showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one’s actions, esp. by actions that exploit the scruples of others
There are six different types of police personality traits listed in my texts: Authoritarianism, suspicion, hostility, insecurity, conservatism and cynicism. An officer that holds the authoritarianism trait can have a great influence with society and the ability to handle situations that call for an authoritative figure to take action. This type of officer would be good at holding administrative positions within the department or in during a situation time where chaos is guaranteed.
The officer may be able to bring things in order before a situation escalates and people get hurt or killed. A downside to having this trait is if the individual officer does not know how to turn it off during a situation where a dominate authority figure is only going to make matters worse. Suspicion is when an officer holds a certain amount of disbelief and mistrust for those he or she encounters. This type of trait can have both a negative and positive effect on an individual’s career as a police officer.
Being suspicious can prevent an officer from letting his or her guard down causes the officers to be more aware of people in any situation. One of the easiest ways for criminal to overtake an officer and kill them is when the officer lets their guard down for a brief moment. Officers who are suspicious would also do well as detectives. The negative effects a suspicious trait can have on an officer are: officers are skeptical and disbelieve most of what one says.
This can cause members of the community to dislike the officer therefore causing individuals in society to be uncooperative with that particular officer. The hostility trait is when an officer uses aggression or shows a lack of sympathy towards certain members of society as a result of the criminal activities the officer is faced is expected to deal with on a day to day basis. Family problems, alcoholism and drug abuse can also cause this type of trait to develop. Any officer who acquires this sort of behavioral trait is sure to have complaints brought against them by individuals throughout society.
This can lead to reprimand by the department for unprofessional and informal behavior and can cause a lack of trust with members of the community in which the individual officer is paid to serve and protect. Insecurity is a lack of confidence one may have in his or her own self or for the department in which they work for. This can affect an officer’s job in an extremely negative way. Officers who lack any type of self-confidence may show signs of this to suspects or criminals, consequently this can result in a suspect or criminal having no respect for the officer’s authority.
Some officer’s may not want to partner up with an officer who holds this trait for being in fear that during a time of need or crisis, their partner may not be able to perform proper police duties which could lead to an injury or death. Officers who follow the “conservatism” personality trait will either accept changes in their police department and within society or will hold an unwillingness to give a positive response to the new changes in both the police department and society from either a political or non political view.
This type of attitude will either make or break the individual officer as a result of having a one sided way of thinking. If an officer comes to realize he or she does not like the new rules and regulations of a department and disagrees with certain changes within the community, the officer is already starting out with a negative attitude that can result in future work issues. Cynicism is when an individual police officer believes that there is no hope for the world due to the crime that occurs on a daily basis.
Officers who are cynical also believe they are unsuccessful in their duty as a result of criminals receiving lenient court decisions and plea bargains from district attorneys. This type of thinking can result in an officer’s development of stress, therefore leading to depression. Police officers may also become influenced to use methods such as the Dirty Harry problem, thereby causing the officer to relate towards unprofessional alternatives such as police brutality or threatening an individual for retaliation.