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Criminal profiling (sometimes referred to as psychological profiling) is an investigative tool that can be used to help investigators profile and identify (in some cases) unknown criminal subjects or offenders. The overall goal of criminal (psychological) profiling is to help identify a person’s mental, emotional, and personality characteristics as manifested in things done or objects left at the scene of a crime by a suspect (Berg, 2008). Possessing knowledge of criminal profiling can prove to be a useful tool for an investigator, especially in those cases when the investigator has reached a dead end with an investigation in which there are no identifiable suspects. To prepare yourself for your future investigative career, you decide to investigate the value and uses of criminal (psychological) profiling.

Assignment Guidelines

  • Address the following in 750–1,000 words:
    • Discuss the history of psychological profiling.
      • Is there any empirical evidence that profiling is effective? Explain.
      • What are the types of crimes for which profiling seem to work the best? Explain.
    • List and describe the various steps used in the process of constructing a psychological profile.
    • How does information collected about the victim play a role in the identification of a suspect using psychological profiling? Explain.
    • What are the differences between psychological profiling, crime scene profiling, and offender profiling? Explain.
  • Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

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