Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died after a confrontation with police during a traffic stop earlier this month in Memphis, has become the latest face in a racial justice and police reform movement fueled by a string of similar cases in which Black men have died from injuries sustained while being taken into custody.

While these cases have spurred calls for greater law enforcement investment in diversity training, new research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that the day-long implicit bias-oriented training programs now common in most U.S. police departments are unlikely to reduce racial inequity in policing.

“Our findings suggest that diversity training as it is currently practiced is unlikely to change police behavior,” said study lead author Calvin Lai, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Officers who took the training were more knowledgeable about bias and more motivated to address bias at work,” Lai said.” However, these effects were fleeting and appear to have little influence on actual policing behaviors just one month after the training session.”

Published Feb. 3 in the journal Psychological Science, the study evaluates the experiences of 3,764 police officers from departments across the nation who participated in one-day bias training sessions provided by the non-profit Anti-Defamation League.

Read more in the full news release: Washington University newsroom.

Article: The Impact of Implicit-Bias-Oriented Diversity Training on Police Officers’ Beliefs, Motivations, and Actions (https://doi.org/10.1177/09567976221150617)