How Does Race Affect Perceptions of Police Trustworthiness?

Min-Hyu Kim, Gregory Porumbescu, Milena Neshkova

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    2 Scopus citations


    While race is often discussed in relation to police, there is still little empirical evidence on the role of race in shaping citizens’ evaluations of government performance. Using an experimental design, this study examines how different levels of police performance affect perceptions of police trustworthiness and to which degree observed effects vary by individual race and across communities with different racial makeups. Specifically, we study the effect of different levels of performance on perceived trustworthiness in two communities—one predominantly African American and one predominantly White—and replicate across two samples: a sample consisting of primarily White participants and another consisting of only African American participants. Results indicate that the interaction between the racial composition of a community and individual race plays a critical role in shaping the effects of performance among White participants, who appeared more sensitive to community context than African American participants. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)343
    Number of pages372
    JournalInternational Public Management Journal
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Oct 30 2018


    • government performance
    • police trustworthiness
    • race
    • Survey experiment


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