Helms School of Government


Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)


Angela Swan


ALICE, self-efficacy, Violent Critical Incidents (VCI), active shooter, active assailant, Self-Efficacy Theory (SET), Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), survivor


Social and Behavioral Sciences


According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), since 2000, there has been a significant increase in active shooter events throughout the United States. The assailants frequently chose targets or establishments with the highest mortality rates, such as schools/universities, businesses, government agencies, houses of worship, and healthcare facilities. Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate (ALICE) is part of Navigate360’s collection of active assailant preparedness solutions, which teaches civilians how to protect themselves during Violent Critical Incidents (VCIs). The problem addressed in this study was the lack of available research regarding the effectiveness of courses, such as ALICE’s Active Shooter Response training, on participants’ perception of self-efficacy and the successful utilization of the principles during an actual VCI. This transcendental phenomenological study aimed to understand the influence of ALICE-trained participants’ self-efficacy in surviving an active shooter incident. The theories guiding this study were Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (SET) (1977) and Social Cognitive Theory (1986). SET posited that one’s self-confidence was the motivator for future performance. In the context of this research, if ALICE-trained individuals believed that they could successfully endure, their perseverance contributed to their ability to survive. Data collection incorporated interviewing survivors of active assailant incidents that previously attended the ALICE training. This research provided empirical data on the efficacy of ALICE principles in changing attendees' mindsets and how this change affected survival outcomes.