Date of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

W. Paul Deal


Personality is considered a relatively stable construct. However, research indicates personality is more malleable when facing adverse life events and as an individual ages across the lifespan. Some research suggests personality could be used to predict performance. The current study seeks to examine changes in personality characteristics following law enforcement academy completion. Given the demands of a job in law enforcement, one would expect certain changes to occur. The law enforcement academy curriculum includes topics such as, justification-use-of-force, confessions, and arrests, in the first week alone. The curriculum reflects the reality law enforcement professionals will face. It is a dangerous and stressful job. Participants include cadets from a University based law enforcement academy located in a mid-sized midwestern town. As part of a larger study examining the relationship between law enforcement graduates/probationary officers and field training officers, cadets in the law enforcement academy were administered several instruments at the start of their training and immediately prior to graduation. These included a demographic survey (gender, age, ethnicity, and education), the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-2, and the NEO Personality Inventory-3. We hypothesized there will be changes in personality traits and facets associated with academy training, particularly in the areas of agreeableness and extraversion.


law enforcement, personality traits, Big Five, personality stability, adverse life events, law enforcement training, law enforcement academy, police

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


© Randi A. Mitchell

Open Access