Offender Profiles

1008 Words 4 Pages
Discussion Bennel’s study examines the effective use of offender profiles during a criminal case. There is strong criticism toward the use of profiling in the justice system because of the ambiguity that surrounds many of the statements made by experts in profiling. Multiple personality traits made up of vague statements are frequently taken into perspective as part of these outlined criminal behaviours. The aforementioned ambiguity creates doubt in what may constitute an aspect of the recommended profile leading to a narrowed suspect pool that does not accurately represent the offender. The current study, similar to participants of the early Barnum studies, suggests individuals may be able to attribute inexplicit characteristics toward a …show more content…
In theory, offender profiling could be a strong asset in the beginning of a situation, and only to limit the number of suspects in a case with a large suspect pool because any later in the investigation the accuracy will begin to sharply decline. The outcome of this experiment indicates that offender profiling is not as reliable a prioritization tool than once believed. This is because of the generalized statements and the obvious results that support the statements given by the profiler to be extremely vague. Considering both suspects were deemed to be appropriate candidates for the crime with no similarities in personality between them it is quite apparent that the use of profiling is very unreliable. It is likely that the offender profile was used as a confirmation tool, in which the detectives unconsciously viewed the descriptors in the suspects profile to match because they believed the suspect they were given was guilty. This is entirely plausible as confirmation bias states that individuals are likely to favour information that conforms to their beliefs. If the participant wanted to believe that their criminal had committed a crime then there was multiple ways to easily connect an ambiguous statement to their profiled suspect out of an unconscious inclination towards …show more content…
Had this not occurred there was the possibility that internal validity of the study would be compromised. Nonetheless, there are several limitations to be considered in the application of this study. First, the experience in profiling versus no experience in profiling provides a limitation on how reliable the application of profiling is in a case. If the participant has no experience their view on how useful profiling is when put into place can be skewed, allowing their belief to improperly represent the facts. A second limitation is the lack of representation found within the sample, as the way in which it was created is extremely biased. It is an example of convenience bias, where an easily accessible police station was chosen due to its locality. Had the sample been generalized in an area that had higher profile crime the idea of profiling may not have been quite so novel a concept. It is unclear if the experience in profiling lead to a view tainted by what could be considered a novel concept, or the biased sample did not accurately represent the use of a profiler. However, future research examining subjects such as a random stratified sample of the population is encouraged to allow for better external

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