This article, by Alexander B. Smith, Bernard Locke, and William F. Walker, was written in 1969. The article built on research that examined the difference between police officers with college educations and those without college educations. At the time the article was written, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice had recently set up a program for New York City police officers who wanted a college education, but a college education was not required for promotions. The article cited earlier research that found that college-oriented police officers are less authoritarian that those who are not college-oriented.
This article examined whether police officers who had just begun college were more authoritarian in their attitudes than freshmen at college who were not police officers. The study used two groups of students at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and administered a modified form of the Dogmatism scale by Rokeach (1960) and a scale by Piven (1961). The results were that the police officers scored significantly lower than other freshmen on the authoritarian scale. Data from this study were compared to earlier studies, and it was determined that police officers in college and non-police officer college students scored significantly lower on authoritarianism scales than did police officers not attending college. You can think about the implications of this study. Does it mean that police officers in training would benefit from attending college, as they might learn to be less authoritarian?