Skip to main content
Photo: Shutterstock

New project measuring adaptability in police contexts


The ability to adapt to changing situations is vital for law enforcement officers who are charged with the objective of establishing contact and building relationships with sources in criminal environments (i.e., covert law enforcement). Not only do these officers have to maintain a guise of adhering to a criminal conduct, they have to react fittingly to novel and uncertain situational demands.

Simon Oleszkiewicz, University of Twente, and Erik Mac Giolla, Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg have received funding from the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) to develop a behavioural measure of adaptability relevant for police contexts. The research will create a better understanding of the role of adaptation in goal achievement, which may also contribute to develop training of adaptive skill in a more systematic fashion in the police force.

To examine adaptive behaviour, the researchers have developed a novel experimental set-up inspired by observations of the training at the Los Angeles Police Department.

More information:
Erik Mac Giolla, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg.
Simon Oleszkiewicz, PhD, Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety, University of Twente.

The CREST press release:

Read more about the project: