Mitigating the consequences of invasive security practices: a quasi-experiment in an international airport

Badi Hasisi, Yoram Margalioth, Tal Jonathan-Zamir, Gali Perry, Roei Zamir, Noam Haviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Invasive security practices create resentment, especially when targeting minority groups. Many studies of homeland security as well as of general policing practices, emphasized the harm such security checks produce; however, they could not tell us what effect avoiding these practices had on perceptions of trust. Methods: Our study follows a security screening reform in Israel’s Ben-Gurion international airport, a reform that was done to eliminate a specific practice which we found, in a previous study, to cause significant emotional harm. Employing a quasi-experimental design, we tested the effect that avoiding that specific harmful component had on perception of trust among Israeli citizens of Arab ethnicity. Results: We found that eliminating that harmful component of the security screening was highly effective in improving the feelings of Israeli citizens of Arab ethnicity. Conclusion: We found that limited trust and perceptions of unfair treatment are not inevitable feelings among minorities, even in stressful situations such as airport security screening, as they predominantly depend not on background characteristics, but rather on the characteristics of the direct treatment they receive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-628
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Airport security
  • Expressive harm
  • Invasive Checks
  • Person-focused policing
  • Profiling
  • Trust

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