Behavioral science is all about better understanding criminals and terrorists—who they are, how they think, why they do what they do—as a means to help solve crimes and prevent attacks. The art of what is sometimes called “profiling”—popularized in movies like Silence of the Lambs—was developed by FBI behavioral analysts and has been around for years. The Bureau began to more systematically apply the insights of psychological science to criminal behavior in the early 1970s. In 1974 The Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) was created to investigate serial rape and homicide cases.
There were originally eleven agents and it was a part of the Training Division. By 1984 they split into the Behavioral Science Unit and the Behavioral Science Investigative Support Unit. The Behavioral Science Unit became primarily responsible for the training of FBI National Academy students in the variety of specialized topics concerning the behavior and social sciences, and the Behavioral Science Investigative Support Unit became primarily responsible for the investigation of criminals.
A decade later, The Critical Incident Response Group integrated the FBI’s crisis management, behavioral, and tactical resources within one entity. The name changed again to the Investigative Support Unit and by 1997 the program evolved into the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Behaviorism was largely established through the influential work of three theorists: Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B. F. Skinner. Pavlov discovered the conditioning reflex during his studies with dogs, establishing classical conditioning as a learning method.
Science Unit Project By: Danny Luo 1) Describe what you believe are the top 4 WMAP mission results and its significance (there’s more than what is discussed in class!) The number one result of the mission is that the NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has mapped the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, the oldest light in the universe (from the big bang) and produced the ...
His research demonstrated that an environmental stimulus (i. e. ringing bell) could be used to stimulate a conditioned response (i. e. salivating at the sound of the ringing bell).
John B. Watson extended Pavlov’s theory to apply to human behavior, publishing his landmark article Psychology as the Behaviorist View It in 1913 and establishing behaviorism as a major school of thought. B. F. Skinner later introduced the concept of operant conditioning in which reinforcement leads to a desired behavior.
These concepts continue to play influential roles in behavior analysis, behavior modification, and psychotherapy. Behaviorism was once a very prominent school of thought within psychology, although its dominance began to decline during the 1950s as psychologists became more interested in humanistic and cognitive approaches. However, behavioral techniques are still widely used today in psychotherapy, counseling, education, parenting and criminal profiling.
In the mid twentieth century, some mental health professionals made a study of murderers and in their published works; the motives and backgrounds were often clarified. Psychiatrist Karl Berg questioned German serial killer Peter Kurten in prison in 1930 after he was charged with numerous counts of assault and murder. James Melvin Reinhardt, a psychiatrist and professor, published his interviews with spree killer Charles Starkweather in 1960. These reports were not behavioral profiles but attempts to understand the crimes.
Yet the detailed analyses done contributed some structure and ideas to the development of profiling. As murder rates rose in the 1950s and 1960s, along with an increasingly larger percentage of them being stranger murders, the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, received expanded jurisdiction. The area of serial crime (called pattern or repetitive crime) needed immediate attention. Notorious killers such as Ed Gein, Albert DeSalvo, Charles Schmid, John Norman Collins, and Harvey Glatman had been caught by 1970 and all were either convicted of, or suspected in, numerous murders.
... behavior. Unfortunately, current research can offer no better than one accurate prediction in three (Miller, 1987). Applying the term serial to murder ... Without the specific number accounted for, the crime is labeled simply as homicide. Serial murder, as a phenomenon, encompasses an extremely ... path. Once someone who happens to fit the correct profile (of an easy victim) for that offender stalking and ...
DeNevi and Campbell quote figures that indicate that there had been five known serial killers during the period from 1795 to 1850 [a low estimate], the next 50 years brought 20, another half century increased that to 33, and finally between 1951 and 1993 there were nearly 400 [probably a high estimate]. Something had to be done, so a new unit was formed to take on this task. The unit also focuses on developing new and innovative investigative approaches and techniques to solve crimes by studying offenders and their behaviors and motivations, collectively known as Perpetrator-Motive Research Design.
Some of this research is conducted in partnership with outside researchers and through interagency agreements with the Department of Justice and its Office of Justice Programs. Some current research initiatives include: global hostage-taking research and analysis project; homicide clearance; reliability and validity of official crime statistics; gangs and gang violence; emerging technologies and policing; future of law enforcement, guidelines for interviewing juveniles; countering terrorism; juvenile crime; and spirituality and the law.
How does the media and television undermine the efforts of law enforcement around the country? In 2002, over a three-week period, people living along the I-95 corridor from Maryland to Virginia were getting shot and killed as they performed mundane tasks such as getting gas. The nation went into a frenzy over this serial sniper and the profilers were called for their professional opinions. With no behavior to assess except for accurate marksmanship, commentators shot from the hip and offered all sorts of ideas about the “white loner with military background driving a white box truck or van. One media darling with no profiling background even said that the box truck was now ditched in a lake somewhere. It soon became clear that the offender was listening to what the commentators and police were predicting, because whatever was concluded about “him” was soon undermined. “He doesn’t shoot children” – then he did. “He doesn’t shoot on weekends” – then he did. So that was a bit of additional behavior, as were the quick getaways that suggested two people working together. The B. A. U. ointed out that when there were few clues in a case, people would develop “tunnel vision,” such as believing that the sniper drove a white van, which was based only on a witness report. No one really knew if a white van was involved, yet the media and the investigators clung to it. They also clung to the notion from a profile offered on television that the shooter was white (because most lone snipers up to this point have been white).
So far, there’re various media for people to choose and access the information such as television, radio, Internet, or even mobile phone, consequently, media have a full capacity to set a social subject for mass audience to think and talk about. Often, media do not deliberately set the agenda and determine the pros and cons of that particular issue, so it repeatedly causes bad consequences ...
But it turned out that they were wrong about the van, the offender’s race, and the idea that they could publicly spout whatever they wanted without inflaming this UNSUB to keep killing.
The “shooter” turned out to be a team of black men and one of them later admitted that he shot certain people after watching the police chief on news programs try to anticipate what he would or would not do next. At first, the idea of an association between real-life behavioral analysts and fictional detectives made the little-known world of the profilers intriguing. People who loved those tales wanted to know more about the FBI’s approach, and books like The Silence of the Lambs cemented the connection.
Yet with recent cases like the one above, the Beltway Snipers and the Baton Rouge Killer, references to fiction have helped to foster a media backlash that makes profilers appear to be amateurish characters stumbling around in a story they can’t quite grasp. They’re still doing the same type of analysis they always did, making both hits and misses, but the media has changed its focus to how short they fall from the image of the flawless detective. Once they were heroes; now they’re the Keystone Kops. With increasingly more media distortions occurring, it’s important to re-examine what behavioral profiling is … nd isn’t. Profiling does not involve special vision. It utilizes what we actually know about criminal behavior. Behavioral clues are interpreted within that context. Profiling is here to stay, because it’s often effective and sometimes surprisingly exact. While it’s not going to provide the public with immediate and flawless information about ongoing crimes, it will serve law enforcement, as it was always intended, in helping to narrow down leads and catch offenders. Even Sherlock Holmes sometimes made mistakes, but we nevertheless remember him for his incisive observations.
The purpose of this paper is to point out the employers versus the employees’ point of view in regards to the analysis of law, ethics, and social responsibility. Not since the industrial revolution has there been such a shift in how business and commerce is being done. Social Media and User Generated Content shifts the paradigm of business away from product seeking customers’ commerce to the ...
If the media would only learn what profilers actually do rather than expect them to be what they aren’t, we might have the same appreciation for their work. To a lesser extent, historical theories continue to provide a basis for additional research. Among them are Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development John B. Watson’s, Ivan Pavlov, and B. F. Skinner’s behaviorism. Human development can be viewed as the process of achieving an optimum level of health and well-being. It is studied by that branch of psychology (Developmental) that deals with changes in behavior occurring with changes in age.
Finally, by knowing the motivations and the expressions of various human behaviors we can choose appropriate behavior for ourselves and be better able to influence and explain the behaviors of others. WORKS CITED Holden, H. M. (2008).
FBI 100 years: An unofficial history. Minneapolis: MBI Publishing Company. McCrary, Gregg (2004) The Unknown Darkness: Profiling the Predators Among Us. Harper Collings Publishers Winerman, L. (2004).
Criminal profiling: The reality behind the myth. Monitor, 35(7).
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