Visual Versus Narrative Case Material: The Impact on Criminal Psychological Profiling

Richard N. Kocsis*, Gillian Z. Heller, Andrew Try

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Although some literature has emerged to examine the validity and constituent skills required for psychological profiling, little research has scrutinized how the technique works. This study examined the effects of case material on profiling proficiency. This was accomplished by alternating the case material available to participants in a profiling exercise. Groups of participants were presented with either a full case package, only narrative or visual case material, narrative material with a written description of the visual material, or a control condition where no case material was provided. All participants then completed a profiling exercise designed to measure the accuracy of their predictions. The results found that profiling proficiency is influenced by the amount of case material available, with optimal proficiency likely achieved by the presence of all forms of material. A trend was also observed where participants supplied with only the narrative case materials surpassed those with visual materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-676
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


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