Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Wilson, P., R. Lincoln and R. Kocsis 1997 Validity, Utility and Ethics of Profiling for Serial Violent and Sexual Offenders, Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 4(1), 1-11.
This article is published in "Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law"
For more information see Australian Academic Press


Despite its apparent popularity, criminal personality profiling has been poorly evaluated as either an investigative aid or a conceptual tool. This article documents some aspects of the development of offender profiling. Importantly, it identifies and differentiates the different styles of profiling and their distinct conceptual orientations. The literature is also reviewed to extract what conclusions can be drawn with respect to the validity, utility and ethics of offender profiles in criminal investigations and what this may mean for psychology, psychiatry and the law in general.



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