About this sample
About this sample
Words: 961 |
5 min read
Published: Oct 25, 2021
Words: 961|Pages: 2|5 min read
Kocsis (2003) describes criminal profiling (CP) as the process of investigating behaviour patterns with the intention of building a profile of the possible perpetrator. This method of investigation uses evidence from the crime scene as well as any information about the crime to generate a portrayal of the possible criminal offender (Muller, 2000). Douglas et al. (1986) state that CP is not about determining the identity of the offender but to create a profile that assists in the investigation by allowing the investigators to narrow down their list of suspects by trying to figure out the perpetrator’s different personality traits. Profiling is more commonly used in crimes where the suspect shows some form of psychopathy such as homicides, sexual assault, etc. Hazelwood (1983) believed that the offender’s behaviour will reflect their personality and that analysing their attitude could enable the investigators to narrow down their list of suspects. In order to develop a profile, researchers would have to assess different aspects of the investigation such as: the criminal act, the crime scene, police statements, and post-mortem reports. An interview with the victim should also take place and it is said to be the most important step in developing the profile. Profilers believe that a profile is most useful at the beginning of a criminal case as it allows them to determine in which path the investigation should go.
As mentioned previously, a profile is made with the intention of helping the police and pointing them in the right direction (Douglas et al., 1986). To be useful, a criminal profile is required to provide more information other than just describing the acts performed by the offender. It also needs to be as accurate as possible by separating the possible perpetrator from the rest of the population and allowing investigators to act upon it. A study by Copson (1995) shows that police officers would request help from profilers again if needed throughout other investigations as it allows them to have a second opinion on the case. Out of 184 participants, 78.3% stated that CP did not assist in solving the case, however 53.8% agreed that it allowed them to learn more about the perpetrator and the crime itself. In addition to this, 82.6% of the participants also said that profiling proved to be practically useful (Copson, 1995). Despite these results, a study by Bartol (1996) showed us the opposite. It was found that 70% of the participants, all police psychologists, seemed to question the usefulness and validity of profiling. Torres et al. (2006) believe that the results obtained were negative due to the participants not taking part in the production of profiles.
While CP is proved to be useful in different criminal cases, people are still questioning its validity. This is due to the lack of studies to validate it (Cook & Hinman, 1999). Pinizzotto and Finzel (1990) conducted a study to try and understand more about the reliability and validity of profiling. Within the 28 participants, 4 were profiling experts, 6 were police detectives, 6 were detectives, 6 were clinical psychologists and 6 were undergraduate students. Each group was asked to produce a profile for both a homicide and a sexual assault case. These profiles were then given to a group of detectives that were not involved in the study, and they were asked to rate the profiles, depending on the usefulness and utility. The detectives placed police detectives first, followed by profiling experts, detectives, clinical psychologists and finally, undergraduate students. A more recent study was performed by Kocsis (2003) where different groups of individuals (including profilers, psychologists, students, etc.) were asked to predict different criminal characteristics by using data and evidence obtained from a crime scene of a homicide that had been previously solved. There was no significant difference found in the accuracy rate between the different groups, with the profilers scoring a rate of 46%.
To conclude, profiling has been proved to be useful in different criminal cases, however, there is not enough empirical scientific evidence that proves its validity. The use of criminal profiling has been increasing throughout the years, which means more research should be done to determine its validity.
Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled
Where do you want us to send this sample?
Be careful. This essay is not unique
This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before
Download this Sample
Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts
Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.
Please check your inbox.
We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!