Forensic psychology: Criminal personality profiling.
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 01/2007; 34(4):437-453. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This chapter will focus on international case law concerning criminal profiling and the legal framework of (novel) evidence admission. Various cases from US, Canadian, Australian, UK, and German courts will be considered to show how they legally evaluate criminal profiles offered as evidence or, in the case of Switzerland, how such profiles would presumably be treated. It is argued that criminal profiling is currently with good reason failing the legal tests for admissible expert evidence and that judges should therefore not admit criminal profiles, not even as circumstantial evidence.ERA - Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences. 01/2009;
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ABSTRACT: There is a belief that criminal profilers can predict a criminal's characteristics from crime scene evidence. In this article, the authors argue that this belief may be an illusion and explain how people may have been misled into believing that criminal profiling (CP) works despite no sound theoretical grounding and no strong empirical support for this possibility. Potentially responsible for this illusory belief is the information that people acquire about CP, which is heavily influenced by anecdotes, repetition of the message that profiling works, the expert profiler label, and a disproportionate emphasis on correct predictions. Also potentially responsible are aspects of information processing such as reasoning errors, creating meaning out of ambiguous information, imitating good ideas, and inferring fact from fiction. The authors conclude that CP should not be used as an investigative tool because it lacks scientific support.Criminal Justice and Behavior 01/2008; 35(10):1257-1276. · 1.71 Impact Factor