Methodological challenges in the measurement of police cynicism : a critique of the Niederhoffer's police cynicism scale as applied in the South African Police Service (SAPS)

Mokotedi, Prince Nkitsing (2010-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Sociology and Social Anthropology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Niederhoffer developed a scale in the early 1960s to measure the level of cynicism among police officials. Niederhoffer concluded that cynicism is prevalent among police officials and that professionalization of the police occupation is the root cause of cynicism. The Niederhoffer scale was subjected over years to a number of methodological tests. It was found to be multi-dimensional whilst some authors found that the scale is invalid. In this study, we confirmed these findings to some extent in that it was found that the Niederhoffer’s scale is indeed multi-dimensional and that it has a low internal reliability. This study also replicated some of Niederhoffer’s substantive hypotheses which were supported by our empirical data. The various dimensions of scale were also correlated with an Attitude Towards Organizational Change scale. It was found that cynicism is related most strongly to both fear of change and acceptance of change.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die vroeë 1960’s het Niederhoffer ‘n skaal ontwikkel om die vlakke van sinisme onder polisie-amptenare te meet. Niederhoffer vind sinisme onder polisie-amptenare en skryf dit toe aan die professionalisering van dié beroep. Niederhoffer se skaal is geruime tyd al aan ‘n aantal metodologiese toetse onderwerp en die bevinding was dat dit meerdimensioneel is, hoewel sommige outeurs dit ongeldig bevind het. In hierdie studie is ook bevind dat Niederhoffer se skaal meerdimensioneel is met ‘n lae interne betroubaarheidstelling. Die studie herhaal sommige van Niederhoffer se hipoteses en bied steun aan die meeste van sy hipoteses. Die verskeie skaaldimensies is met die Houding Teenoor Organisatoriese Verandering-skaal in verband gebring en die bevinding is dat sinisme aan beide vrees vir verandering en aanvaarding van verandering verwant is.

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