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Ch. 4: Criminal Profiling Pt. 1

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York University
PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Ch. 4: Criminal Profiling Pt. 1 Thursday, May 10, 20121:00 PM Criminal Profiling: Brief Overview - Criminal profiler-- psychological consultant or investigator who examines evidence from crime scenes, victims, witnesses ○ "Retroclassification"-- goal: to construct accurate profile/description of perpetrator ○ Draws inferences about perpetrator's personality, behavior, motivation - Techniques pioneered by FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, Quantico, Virginia, 1970s Want to be a criminal profiler? - Few criminal profiling jobs ○ Approximately 12 in US, maybe 1 in Canada [all trained by FBI] - Training controlled by law-enforcement in US & Canada - Profilers mostly psychologists in UK & Netherlands - Expert testimony not admissible at trial-- does not meet court standards ○ "The key attribute necessary to be a good profiler is judgement-- a judgement based primarily on the analysis of facts and figures, but on instinct…" (Douglas & Olshaker, 1997, p. 15) ○ [Criminal profiling is not admissible in court] Why developprofiles? 1. To solve mismatches between physical info from crime scene with characteristics of specific suspect, e.g., - JeffreyMacDonald - Wife & 2 young children brutally clubbed & stabbed - Cyril Wecht: Physical evidence fit, psychological profile did not 2. To overcome false stereotypes/simplified assumptions about… - Motives: Why criminals do what they do?  "...they're stupid", "they hate", "it's what they know best" (Weisman, 1980)  [Edmund Kemper-- smart]  [Ted Bundy-- came from a good home] - Personalitytypes - ?murder, ?rape, ?fraud - Backgrounds-- impoverished backgrounds or broken homes?  Interviews with 36 male murderers (Ressler et al, 1988) □ >50% from largely "intact" families (some dysfunctionality) □ IQ scores: 20% < 90, 50% within normal range, 30% > 120 StereotypesaboutCrimeStatistics - #1 Criminal killer in Canada = impaired driving - "According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, MVCs are the leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 1 and 34 years and the 8th leading cause of death across all ages… The World Health Organization has estimated that by the year 2020 MVCs will rank second..." - Impaired driving: 74,331 (charges laid) in 2002 [DON'T NEED TO KNOW THE NUMBER] - Sexual Assault: 22, 136 (~6% of sexual assaults reported) - Sexual Assault: 22, 136 (~6% of sexual assaults reported) - Arson: n = 13,504 (deaths unknown) - Homicides: n = 605 (approx. 25% involved firearms, mostly gang-related, 22% involved knives, 18% physical force) Profiling: WhichCrimes? [ON TEST] - Serial rape, serial homicide, serial arson, serial bombing - Arsonists-- few caught, few witnesses, little evidence - Classification by behavior (Douglas et al., 1992)  Serial arson-- 3 or more fires at different times, emotional cooling off period, targets generally random  Spree arson-- 3 or more fires in succession, no cooling off period  Mass arson-- 3 or more fires in the same location in limited period  [difference between spree and mass is that mass is in the same location]  Organized-- set fires after stress trigger, planned, methodical, target selected  Disorganized-- opportunists, target random, more evidence than organized arson - Classification by motive [MUST KNOW WHICH MOTIVE IS MOST POPULAR]  Vandalism, profit, excitement, revenge, crime concealment  [REVENGE IS MOST COMMON] - Profile-- "young white male-- loner with history of problems" (p. 73) What is a Criminal Profile? - "…biographical sketch of behavioral patterns, trends, and tendencies." (p. 75, text) - May include: - Personality & motivations of offender, - Signature - Sex, age, race, - Something called sociopsychological profile Jack the Ripper: First ModernExample [deductive reasoning] - Autopsies by Dr. Phillips & Dr. Bond - "A man of great physical strength" (because he subdued victims easily) - "A man of great coolness and daring" (because crimes committed in public places) - "… likely to be a quiet, inoffensive looking man probably middle-aged and neatly and respectably dressed" (because he did not call attention to himself) - "...habit of wearing a cloak or overcoat" (because he hid blood on clothes and hands) - "solitary and eccentric… without regular occupation" (because too corrupt to interact with others) [probably false] Threeapproachesto Criminal Profiling 1. Profiling Historical and Political Figures 2. Profiling Offenders' Common Characteristics 3. Profiling Offenders from Crime Scene Characteristics [this one tends to be used most by FBI] Approaches: OffenderCharacteristics - Similarities in personalities, backgrounds, & behaviors of offenders acrosssimilar crimes-- inductive - Similarities in personalities, backgrounds, & behaviors of offenders acrosssimilar crimes-- inductive profiling - E.g., Miss Marple-- similarity in crimes = similarity in offender characteristics - E.g., childhood experiences  (un)reliability of self-reports  Childhood abuse not reliable predictor of antisocial behavior - MMPI-2-- prisoners, military, law enforcement [are given this test]  Does not differentiate among types of offences [this is important] MMPI-2 Clinical Scales Validity Scales 1. Hypochondriasis 1. L: AKA "lie scale," 2. Depression 2. F: "faking good/bad" 3. Hy
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