Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management
This study tests the expectancy disconfirmation model using survey data from citizens who recently had police encounters. We find support for the expectancy disconfirmation model's primary hypothesis that increased disparity between expectations of police performance and actual service inversely affects citizen satisfaction with the way the police handle encounters. This finding persists for both voluntary (e.g. breaking and entering victims) and involuntary (e.g. traffic citations) police encounters. Our results also suggest that the scope of the expectancy disconfirmation model is limited. For example, the disparity between expectations and actual service is not correlated with citizen satisfaction with the police in general. Overall, the results show that the expectancy disconfirmation model is useful in that it provides conceptual guidance in an area of research that has been relatively void of theory, and can also help identify needed changes in police practices.