Profiling Essay

2030 Words 9 Pages
One area of psychology and investigation, (an occupation? or shall I say craft?), many ways to refer and interpret it, with a complex past intermingling various areas of study, Profiling, like any other area of study, has both its advantages and disadvantages. Yet, how useful is it as an investigative tool? It certainly isn’t considered as a hard science, however this does not mean that is should be discarded and not taken seriously. Or does it? I say advantages and disadvantages, because whilst my personal position is towards profiling in general, it can only be used in conjunction with other, more deeply studied police work. Here I will discuss mainly its advantages and why I hold the position in favor of criminal profiling, but some …show more content…
With the help of the profilers, David Meirhofer was the first serial killer to be caught using this new method, despite his fooling the police by passing the lie detector test.
What might make all this the more interesting however, is that regardless of all the scrutiny of human behavior involved, no information was collected in the ‘usual’ psychological way. The only information available is that found at the crime scene, and it is only from here that the profilers may find any clues to the personality characteristics and mental processes of the offender. It can thus be labeled as “incomplete, ambiguous and unreliable” (Canter, 2000). In 2001 study, as cited by Snook, B., Gendreau, P., Bennell C. and Taylor P.J. (2008), found criminal characteristics in a profile amounted only to 25%, with 82% of that information unsupported. ‘Unsupported’, does not necessarily mean ‘wrong’ or ‘fake’ though. Intuition is a very strong, albeit not scientific, characteristic in human behavior, both from the criminal, but in this case belonging to the profiler himself. Prior studying of crimes and behaviorism will give a profiler a brilliant lead on how similar criminals might act and, more importantly, think. Then again, this is only one tactic to Profiling, the FBI approach. Here, all available witness found at the crime scene is examined deeply. This might also be the setback to this approach however, as a suspect must be kept in mind and the data collected is limited to what is

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