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Conference Paper

Sugarcoating a Bitter Pill - VR Against Police Ethnic Profiling


Van Gelder,  Jean-Louis
Criminology, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Max Planck Society;

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De Vries, P. W., Böing, B., Mulder, E., & Van Gelder, J.-L. (2023). Sugarcoating a Bitter Pill - VR Against Police Ethnic Profiling. In A. Meschtscherjakov, C. Midden, & J. Ham (Eds.), Persuasive Technology: 18th International Conference, PERSUASIVE 2023, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, April 19–21, 2023, Proceedings (pp. 22-35). Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-30933-5_2.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-FAFC-F
Ethnic profiling is a growing concern for police organizations. However, attempts to reduce possible biases toward certain demographic groups have shown little effect, possibly because of the unpopularity of the topic. This study was set up to explore whether a dedicated VR training may contribute to officers’ knowledge, attitude and willingness to communication about ethnic profiling. This was done by comparing effects of the VR training with that of the same training presented in 2D with a smart phone, and a control condition in which no training content was administered. Although no results were found for attitude and communication, the results do show some consistent results regarding knowledge in favour of VR. In addition, VR proved to result in higher ratings of presence, engagement, and enjoyment, indicating that in addition to providing more persuasive content, another strong advantage of VR as part of a training is the experience it affords.