Forensic psychology: Criminal personality profiling.

Journal of Police Science & Administration 02/1984;

ABSTRACT Describes the process of psychological profiling, which focuses attention on individuals with personality traits that parallel traits of others who have committed similar offenses. Close examination of the crime scene and the extrapolation of certain relevant psychological material leads to a profile. However, not all crime scenes are appropriate for profiling; only where psychopathology is evidenced will the scene lend itself to being profiled. Certain crimes are most appropriate: sadistic torture in sexual assaults, evisceration, postmortem slashings and cuttings, postmortem explorations, motiveless arson, lust and mutilation murders, ritualistic crimes, and rapes. Research has shown that psychological profiling is useful in focusing the investigation properly, helping to locate possible suspects, identifying suspects, and assisting in the prosecution of suspects. Psychological profiling is one investigative tool among many and is not a magical solution, but it is an attempt to use behavioral and psychodynamic principles of psychology in an applied setting. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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    ABSTRACT: The use of criminal profiling (CP) in criminal investigations has continued to increase despite scant empirical evidence that it is effective. To take stock of the CP field, a narrative review and a 2-part meta-analysis of the published CP literature were conducted. Narrative review results suggest that the CP literature rests largely on commonsense justifications. Results from the 1st meta-analysis indicate that self-labeled profiler/experienced-investigator groups did not outperform comparison groups in predicting offenders' cognitive processes, physical attributes, offense behaviors, or social habits and history, although they were marginally better at predicting overall offender characteristics. Results of the 2nd meta-analysis indicate that self-labeled profilers were not significantly better at predicting offense behaviors, but outperformed comparison groups when predicting overall offender characteristics, cognitive processes, physical attributes, and social history and habits. Methodological shortcomings of the data and the implications of these findings for the practical utility of CP are discussed.
    Criminal Justice and Behavior 03/2007; 34(4):437-453. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Examined outcome and process differences in criminal personality profiling among 4 profilers (PFs), 12 detectives, 6 psychologists, and 6 undergraduates, using closed police cases (1 sex offense, 1 homicide). In the written profile task (the task that is more representative of what PFs actually do), PFs wrote more detailed and valid profiles than other Ss for both cases. An analysis of correct responses concerning the known sex offender for the sex offense case revealed that PFs scored significantly better than other Ss on a variety of measures; similar results were not revealed for the homicide case. PFs did not appear to process this material in a way qualitatively different from other Ss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
    Law and Human Behavior 01/1990; 14(3):215. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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