Uploaded by Ramin Hashimi

Discussion WK2

Discuss the variety of ways in which Investigative Psychology
differs from other approaches to offender profiling.
Post-modern interpretations of Investigative Psychology and
its differentiation from the influence of pop culture on
offender profiling.
It is essential to unravel the roots of early Offender Profiling to understand the
practical applications and the salience of Investigative Psychology in a post
modernistic society that has distanced itself from pop culture influence.
The earliest applications of profiling presented the notion that the actions of
individuals were dependent on the description of relevant behaviours relating to
their characteristics. It was also conceived that criminals were deviants, with a
distinct set of physical and mental characteristics which separated them from the
norms of society (Canter & Young, 2009).
These were viewed as some of the first systemisations of profiling and expanded
upon by the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit in the 1970’s to develop an objective
use of information to help identify and prosecute offenders. Whilst this information
is important to give some indication of the dynamics of a suspect, it certainly does
not portray an infallible representation of a perpetrators psyche. This information is
sensitive to subjective inference rather than a reliance on statistical data, and
therefore does not always protrude universality between cases.
Investigative Psychology attempts to go beyond the scope of Offender Profiling; It
is often viewed as a direct evolution of Offender Profiling. IP attempts to integrate
the domains into a social science that is centred around classical research
methodologies to allow for conceptual statistical data to be captured, analysed and
applied in a real-world setting. Offender profilers offer an objective based
approach in their methodology, which is usually based on the hunch of
experienced investigators. These applications hold no ground in the scientific
community. On the other hand, Investigative Psychologists implement and develop
empirical frameworks for differentiating criminals. Models of behaviour were
developed to identify strong statistical significant correlations between different
types of arsonists and the typology of their crimes, with the ability infer what type
of arson certain individuals were more likely to commit. These models have been
applied to other aspects of serious and violent crimes such as serial murder and
terrorism. Furthermore, the implications from Investigative Psychology resonate
beyond criminality. Theories and models can be applied in other areas of
psychology and social sciences that emphasis focus on problem solving (Canter &
Youngs, 2009).