What Are the Different Types of Profiling?

The main types of profiling are psychological profiling, victimology and criminal profiling. All types of profiling involve using specific clues about a crime and using those clues to narrow the range of suspects.

Psychological profiling involves looking at clues in a crime scene to discover if the circumstances suggest a psychological disorder. For example, if there are seemingly random victims who are attacked in similar ways, it may show a particular psychological disorder. For example, criminal acts that systematically target the eyes may point to a perpetrator who is autistic because people who suffer from autism spectrum disorder frequently do not make eye contact.

Victimology focuses on the victim rather than the perpetrator. For example, if the criminal targets people with blue eyes and dark hair, the police can use that information to predict future victims. Another example is when the perpetrator targets victims who all work in a particular location or have certain activities.

Criminal profiling uses crime scene clues to figure out something about the criminal. For example, if the crime occurred in a location with many drug dealers, the profiler may deduce that the criminal is a drug dealer. Additionally, witnesses who identify markings linked with gang affiliation lead investigators to look for criminals who are members of that gang.