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Essay about Psychological Profiling

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Psychological profiling of offenders and their motives has been a growing practice, especially throughout homicide crimes. The main issue with profiling is the accuracy that it can provide or does provide or doesn’t provide. It isn’t an exact science, it is probably thought of more of as an intuitive ability. In the article, Investigative Experience and Accuracy in Psychological Profiling of a Violent Crime, Kocsis, R., Hayes, A., and Irwin, H actually empirically assess the accuracy of criminal profiling.
Their data consisted of multiple groups, to include four groups of police officers. One group was comprised of homicide detectives, another group comprised of new detectives in training, new police recruits, another group comprised of senior detectives, a group of people simply interested in this sort of material, and a final group which was comprised of chemistry students. Each group though, had no idea of any additional details about the crime committed, other than what was provided to them, and the crime had already been cracked and closed, so their responses could be compared to the actual answers and outcome of the crime and the offender they were attempting to profile.
All of the groups received the same information and questions. The first group of information was about the crime scene, to include pictures. The second group of information was actually questions asked about the possible past of the offender, habits, and behaviors. There was a third group but that was simply to make sure that none of the participants had any other information than what was provided to them.
The outcome wasn’t what was expected, and that was the data pointing to the chemistry students having the most accurate profiling of the offender, ov...


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...certain guy. These articles do not discount the value of profiling though, and that is not the purpose. The purpose was simply to see what attributes it lends to criminology and what can be improved upon, and what it lacks. Three factual groups that are addressed in the two articles, despite the reasons for the articles, they both came to the same point about profiling: the difficulties, the accuracy, the bias components, and the future possibilities.




Works Cited

Farrell, A., Keppel, R., and Titterington, V. (2011). Lethal Studies: Revisiting What We
Know About Female Serial Murderers. Homicide Studies, Vol. 15, 228-252. DOI:
10.1177/1088767911415938
Kocsis, R., Hayes, F., and Irwin, H. (2002). Investigative Experience and Accuracy in
Psychological Profiling of a Violent Crime. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Volume 17, 811. DOI: 10.1177/0886260502017008001



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