Performance under pressure with the Police with Dr. Raôul Oudejans

Raôul Oudejans has been researching performance under pressure in the Police for 15 years. For example: how does stress and fear affect shooting performance? How does stress affect the apprehension and self-defense skills of police officers? Or what are the effect of “stress” on gaze behavior (visual attention). We also talk about the ‘embodied choice framework’ (your body is part of DM!), planned disruptions and the ‘The integrated model of anxiety and perceptual-motor performance’. Partly under his guidance, PhD dissertations on performing under pressure with the police came about by Arne Nieuwenhuys, Peter Renden and recently Lisanne Kleygrewe on Police VR training, among others. So time to talk to Raôul himself! With the main question: how to prepare police officers to perform under pressure? And the answer is amazingly obvious but that does not make it easy to implement.

Podcast Video


Yes or No questions

Do police trainers need to follow a sport psychology course?

How is science used in police training?

Structural implementation in police education

Training for Excellence program and the implementation challenge

Dissertation A. Nieuwenhuys: Effects of anxiety on police officers’ shooting behavior under pressure

Dissertation P. Renden: Police performance under pressure: Arrest and self- defence skills

Dissertation L. Kleygrewe: Immersed in Training: Advancing Police Practice with Virtual Reality

Is stress the same as anxiety?

The integrated model of anxiety and perceptual-motor performance

Stress and attention

Knife attacks, anxiety and motor behavior

VR Police training for high stress situations

Planned disruptions

Terrorist knife attack Amsterdam CS

Gaze behavior , visual attention

From external v.s. internal focus of attention to task relevant v.s. task irrelevant visual attention.

Quiet-eye training 

Embodied choice framework (your body is part of DM!)