University of Twente Student Theses


Polarization : identifying extreme attitudes

Prins, S.B. (2018) Polarization : identifying extreme attitudes.

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Abstract:This study attempts to scrutinize attitudes that police officers share within their work environment on potentially polarizing discourse. As in every layer of society, polarizing events have the potential to escalate certain conflicts and may lead to increasingly stronger attitudes. Possible dangers include a clash of personal preference versus policy, of which civilians’ perception of police partiality may be the result. Written commentary of Dutch police officers were investigated for clues on the presence of polarization through linguistic analysis and administered surveys. Main goal was to detect which possible linguistic variables are optimal in detecting polarization. Surveys that were administrated included part of police commentary to detect which attitudes are perceived as polarized. Potential persuasive effects were explored as participants’ attitudes may polarize themselves as well. By combining survey results and linguistic analysis the current study revealed that clues are present that the debate within the Dutch police force may have become polarized. Potent predictors for polarization include words that reflect anger and references to other people. Some officers seem to struggle to reconcile personal opinions with policy. Results are not generalizable to the entire Dutch police force.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Politie Nederland, Amsterdam, Nederland
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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