What skills are required for effective offender profiling? An examination of the relationship between critical thinking ability and profile accuracy

  • Bennell C
  • Corey S
  • Taylor A
 et al. 
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Claims have been made that critical thinking is a necessary skill for constructing accurate offender profiles. However, in studies purporting to demonstrate this, critical thinking ability amongst participants has never been adequately assessed, making it impossible to draw any valid conclusions about the importance of this skill for profiling. In order to empirically examine the relationship between critical thinking ability and profile accuracy, participants (n = 36) in the current study completed a mock profiling exercise and the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal--Form S (WGCTA-S). Profile accuracy scores were calculated for each participant and correlated with his or her scores on the WGCTA-S. Although the majority of participants were found to be adequate critical thinkers, no significant relationship was found between critical thinking ability and profile accuracy. Potential explanations for this finding are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Critical thinking
  • Offender profiling
  • Serial homicide

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  • Craig Bennell

  • Shevaun Corey

  • Alyssa Taylor

  • John Ecker

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