Behavioural evidence analysis: Ideo-deductive method of criminal profiling

Wayne A. Petherick, Brent Turvey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


In the previous chapter, we learned that idiographic (individual case) study is the type that results in knowledge about the characteristics of a particular case. This is useful when trying to understand the unique characteristics, dynamics, and relationships between a particular crime scene, victim and offender. Idiographic offender profiles, therefore, are characteristics developed by studying or examining a single case. Furthermore, while nomothetic profiles are abstract, idiographic profiles are concrete. That is to say, an idiographic profile represents an actual offender that exists in the real world. The nomothetic profile is an average, or a prediction; it does not actually exist as a particular offender walking around and breathing in the real world. idiographic profilers, however, use both nomothetic and idiographic information to render the conclusions in their profiles. The trick is using nomothetic information in theory generation and not presenting it as a firm or deductive conclusion. ¹ This concept will be repeated frequently throughout this book.
¹ See note in book.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCriminal profiling
Subtitle of host publicationAn introduction to behavioural evidence analysis
EditorsBrent E Turvey
Place of PublicationBoston
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780123741004
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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    Petherick, W. A., & Turvey, B. (2008). Behavioural evidence analysis: Ideo-deductive method of criminal profiling. In B. E. Turvey (Ed.), Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioural evidence analysis (3rd ed., pp. 133-153). Elsevier.