When Fatigue Turns Deadly: The Association Between Fatigue and Racial Bias in the Decision to Shoot Academic Article uri icon


  • Racial bias in the decision to shoot can be minimized if individuals have ample cognitive resources to regulate automatic reactions. However, when individuals are fatigued, cognitive control may be compromised, which can lead to greater racial bias in shoot/don't-shoot decisions. The current studies provide evidence for this hypothesis experimentally using undergraduate participants (Study 1) and in a correlational design testing police recruits (Study 2). These results shed light on the processes underlying the decision to shoot and, given the high prevalence of fatigue among police officers, may have important practical implications.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013