The “Good Cop, Bad Cop” routine is a common tool for those dealing with miscreants and troublemakers. Does it actually work?
The routine is designed to instill a sense of fear, which leads to compliance when fear changes to relief. For example, a school administrator or teacher may outline the standard punishments for an infraction before using a more personal, adapted approach for the situation.
A recent study on the topic shows that the routine does cause some mental confusion, which could lead to the desired results; however, actual results are a little mixed. It may work in some cases, and it may not. Still, reminding students of the possible consequences of their actions is an effective tool for educators and disciplinarians, although asking students to think of the consequences is a more reflective, learning-based approach that is probably even more effective.
Image: Project Azazel