Validity, utility and ethics of profiling for serial violent and sexual offenders

Paul Wilson, Robyn Lincoln, Richard Kocsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
185 Downloads (Pure)


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 psychiatry, psychology and the law in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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