Forensic psychology offender profiling approaches -New Syllabus

  • Created by: _marxlee
  • Created on: 17-04-17 16:16
What is the aim of the bottom up approach?
To generate a picture of the offender through systematic analysis of evidence at the crime scene
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True or false? The bottom up approach is much more grounded in psychological theory
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What is the computer program called that identifies correlations across patterns of behaviour?
Smallest space analyis
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What is the aim of investigative psychology?
To establish patterns of behaviour that are likely to co-occur across crime scenes.
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Why is this necessary for investigative psychology?
To develop a statistical 'database' which then acts as a baseline for comparison
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What is meant by interpersonal coherence?
The way an offender behaves at the scene, including how they interact with the victim
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By matching the specific details of an offence against the statistical database reveals what?
Important details about the offender e.g. Their personal history, family background, etc
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What might this reflect?
Their behaviour in more everyday situations. For example, an aggressive person is more likely to commit an aggressive crime
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The significance of ??? And ??? is also a key variable
Time and place
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What is meant by forensic awareness?
Individuals who have been the subject of police interrogation before; their behaviour may denote how mindful they are of 'covering their tracks'
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What is geographical profiling?
Uses information to do with the location of linked crime scenes to make inferences about the likely home or operational base of an offender
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Geographical profiling can also be used in conjunction with what?
Psychological theory to create hypotheses about how the offender is thinking as well as their modus operandi
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What is the centre of gravity likely to include?
The offenders base (often in the middle of the spatial pattern)
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What may it also help with?
Investigators making educated guesses about where the offender is likely to strike next
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What is this process called?
The jeopardy surface
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What was the two models of offender profiling proposed by canters circle theory?
The marauder and the commuter
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What is the marauder?
Offender operates in close proximity to their home base
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What is the commuter?
Offender is likely to have travelled a distance from their usual residence
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What does the spatial decision making offer to the investigative team?
Important insight into the nature of the offence I.e whether it was planned or opportunist
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How was the data examined?
Using smallest space analysis
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What are mental maps?
Peoples internal representations of the external world and are unique to the individual
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What did Canter and Heritige study?
A content analysis of 66 sexual assault cases.
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Several characteristics were identified as common in most cases such as...
The use of impersonal language and lack of reaction to the victim
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What can this lead to?
An understanding of how an offenders behaviour might change over a series of offences or in establishing whether two or more offences were committed by the same person
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How does this support the usefulness of investigative psychology?
It shows how statistical techniques can be applied
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What did Lundigran and Canter study?
Information from 120 murder cases involving serial killers in the USA
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Smallest space analysis revealed what?
Spatial consistency in the behaviour of the killers
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What created the centre of gravity?
Location of each body disposal was in a different direction from the previous. The offenders base was invariably in the centre of the pattern
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The effect was more noticeable when...
Offenders travelled short distances
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What is the wider applications of the bottom-up approach?
Techniques such as smallest space analysis and the principle of spatial consistency can be used in the investigation of crimes such as burglary and theft as well as more serious offences of murder and ****
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What did Copson study find?
Surveyed 48 police forces and found that the advice provided by the profiler was judged to be useful in 86% of cases but in only 3% did it lead to accurate identification of the offender
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Where did the top down approach come from?
US as a result of work carried out by the FBI in the 1970s. Drew upon data gathered from in depth interviews with 36 sexually motivated serial killers including Ted Bundy and Charles Manson
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What are the two categories which murderers or rapists are classified in?
Organised or disorganised
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What is the distinction between organised and disorganised offenders?
Serious offenders have a particular way of 'working' and that these generally correlate with a particular set of social and psychological characteristics that relate to the individual
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Name the characteristics of organised offenders
Evidence of having planned the crime, victim is deliberately targeted, maintain high level of control during the crime, little evidence left behind, above average intelligence, skilled professional job, socially+sexually competent, married+kids
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Name the characteristics of disorganised offenders
Little evidence of planning, crime scene reflects impulsive nature-body still at scene, very little control, lower than average IQ, unskilled, unemployed, history of sexual dysfunction, failed relationships, live alone, close to where offence happend
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What are the four main stages in the construction of an FBI profile?
Data assimilation, crime scene classification, crime reconstructor, profile generation
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What happens at data assimilation?
Information is gathered from the crime scene+other sources about what happened. Look at photos of scene, forensic evidence, police reports etc.
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What happens at crime scene classification?
Decision is made regarding whether the criminal appears to have planned the act or acted hastily and in an unplanned way
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What happens at crime reconstructor?
Hypothesis are generated about what probably happened during the crime scene e.g. V behaviour and the sequence of events
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What happens at profile generation?
Rough sketch of the criminal is developed including social groups, appearance, and likely behavioural traits.
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What is a negative of the top-down approach?
Only really be used in crimes of murder and ****. More common offences such as burglary do not lend themselves to profiling because the resulting crime reveals very little about the offender
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How can this approach be seen as too simplistic?
It is likely that criminal do not fit neatly into either category, therefore making the prediction of their characterisitcs difficult. Likely there will be more types, and the distinction is too restrictive.
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What did Holmes suggest?
There are four main types of serial killer: visionary, mission, hedonistic, and power/control
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What did Robbert Keppel and Richard Walter suggest?
They focus on the different motivations killers might have rather than trying to determine specific 'types'
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What is a negative in relation to the sample which created the top-down approach?
It was developed using interviews with 36 sexually motivated murderers in the US. It could be argued that this sample is too small and unrepresentative to base the typology system to.
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What is wrong with the classification system being constructed based on self report data from convicted killers?
There could be issues with the validity of the data gathered from the interviews
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True or false? The bottom up approach is much more grounded in psychological theory



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What is the computer program called that identifies correlations across patterns of behaviour?


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Card 4


What is the aim of investigative psychology?


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Why is this necessary for investigative psychology?


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