Psychological Profiling

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Psychological profiling is “a set of techniques used by law enforcement agencies to try to identify perpetrators of a serious crime,” (“Psychological profiling”, 2016, para. 1). Psychological profiling is sometimes referred to as criminal or behavioral profiling, depending on the preference of the person using the term (Beddows, 2015, para. 5). Profiling correlates information found at crime scenes with “known behaviours [sic] and personality attributes derived from past crimes of other criminals who demonstrated similar traits,” (Wafler, para. 1). The first recorded instance that psychological profiling was used was in the 1950s on a bombing case in New York City spanning over fifteen years (Beddows, 2015, para. 2). Ever since the late fifties, …show more content…
Firstly, profilers collect as much information from the crime scene as possible in order to decrypt how, why, and when the crime happened; this step is called profiling inputs. The next step is named decision processing and puts the crime into specific classifications based upon the nature of the offense. The third step in the process is known as crime assessing. This step involves the recreation of the crime from moments before and after it occurred. The criminal profile is the fourth step in this process; at this point, the profilers “hypothesize about the type of person who committed the crime. The preliminary description will usually include details relating to the suspect’s sex, age, race, occupational skills, IQ, social interests, mental health status and family background,” (Webb, 2016, para. 30). Lastly, the fifth step is investigative use. This step is accomplished by constructing a detailed written profile of the unsub so that the investigators can focus on suspects who match the analysis (Webb, 2016, para. 26-30). The methodology of psychological profiling is carefully followed and leads to successful profiles of dangerous …show more content…
The most successful profilers have had to work through various cases in order to gain experience and have something to relate the crime scene to. An understanding of serial crime as well as the methodology and origin of psychological profiling is a basic requirement for excelling in the field. Psychological profiling is a relatively new practice, but has and will continue to be heavily depended upon for the solving of heinous crimes. The most experienced profilers are located in the subcategory of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Behavioral Analysis Unit. The origins of psychological profiling are a critical piece of information to learn the basis of behavioral analysis. The methodology of profiling is essential to successfully profiling a criminal. Serial crime is constantly evolving, which is why profiling is an intrinsic skill to possess in order to maintain

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