Body camera footage leads to lower judgments of intent than dash camera footage

Broderick L. Turner*, Eugene M. Caruso, Mike A. Dilich, Neal J. Roese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Police departments use body-worn cameras (body cams) and dashboard cameras (dash cams) to monitor the activity of police officers in the field. Video from these cameras informs review of police conduct in disputed circumstances, often with the goal of determining an officer’s intent. Eight experiments (N = 2,119) reveal that body cam video of an incident results in lower observer judgments of intentionality than dash cam video of the same incident, an effect documented with both scripted videos and real police videos. This effect was due, in part, to variation in the visual salience of the focal actor: the body cam wearer is typically less visually salient when depicted in body versus dash cam video, which corresponds with lower observer intentionality judgments. In showing how visual salience of the focal actor may introduce unique effects on observer judgment, this research establishes an empirical platform that may inform public policy regarding surveillance of police conduct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1206
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 22 2019


  • Attribution
  • Body camera
  • Dash camera
  • Intention
  • Visual salience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Body camera footage leads to lower judgments of intent than dash camera footage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this