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PGU WK 2 Understanding the Role of Logic Reasoning & Argument Criminal Essay


Week 2: Understanding the Role of Logic, Reasoning, and Argument in Criminal Investigative Analysis

Laureate Education (Producer). (2017i). Logic, reasoning, and argument within criminal investigative analysis [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.  Credit: Provided courtesy of the Laureate International Network of Universities.

I never guess. It is a shocking habit — destructive to the logical faculty.
—Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four

Logic, reasoning, and argument are critical aspects of criminal investigative analysis. They are the core of the process of evaluating information associated with a given crime. Understanding the different ways of approaching this information allows one to better understand how to look at each piece of information. Ultimately, it will lead to more accurate conclusions.

This week, you continue to explore your character from Week 1 as you assess his or her approach to profiling. You also apply profiling approaches as you analyze a current high-profile case in the news.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Evaluate use of deductive or inductive reasoning in criminal profiling
  • Evaluate use of nomothetic or ideographic methods in criminal profiling
  • Evaluate use of clinical or actuarial approaches in criminal profiling

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Bartol, C. R. & Bartol, A. M. (2010). Criminal & behavioral profiling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Chapter 2, “Crime Scene Profiling” (pp. 21–56)

Turvey, B. E. (2012). Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis (4th ed.). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Chapter 3, “Alternative Methods of Criminal Profiling” (pp. 67–100)

Carson, D. (2011). Investigative psychology and law: Towards collaboration by focusing on evidence and inferential reasoning. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 8(1), 74–89. doi:10.1002/jip.133

Devery, C. (2010). Criminal profiling and criminal investigation. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 26(4), 393–409. doi:10.1177/1043986210377108

Kocsis, R. N., & Palermo, G. B. (2016). Criminal profiling as expert witness evidence: The implications of the profiler validity research. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 49(Part A), 55–65. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.05.011

Kocsis, R. N., & Palermo, G. B. (2015). Disentangling criminal profiling: Accuracy, homology, and the myth of trait-based profiling. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 59(3), 313–332. doi:10.1177/0306624X13513429

Discussion: Methods of Criminal Profiling

There are different ways of approaching criminal behavior and evidence. A criminal investigative analyst may use different reasoning skills, methods, and approaches when analyzing a criminal case. The analyst may use empirically based information or group statistics to guide decisions, and conclusions may be based solely on the facts of a case. Is it professional, however, to go beyond statistics and facts and use experiences and education to guide criminal analysis in profiling?

In this Discussion, you will continue to use the character you selected in Week 1 as you analyze his or her approaches and methodology.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review the Learning Resources concerning concepts of criminal profiling.

By Day 3

Post a response to the following:

Based on the character you selected in the Week 1 Discussion, explain how he/she approached profiling. Explain whether the character uses deductive or inductive reasoning, whether he/she uses the nomothetic or ideographic method, and whether he/she uses a clinical or actuarial approach. Provide examples to support your rationale for each.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues with a substantive, interactive discussion that continues through Day 7 by comparing the approach of the character you selected to your colleagues’ characters.

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria 

To access your rubric:
Week 2 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion

Assignment: Criminal Profiling Methods in Action

Criminal investigative analysts must ask many questions before they determine the type of approach to use to investigate a crime. Is there enough evidentiary information to formulate a theory on why the crime occurred? Who might have committed the crime, based on deductive reasoning? Are there any general premises that can be inductively applied? Would descriptive statistics (i.e., UCR, local demographic) be useful? Would group statistics (i.e., types of sexual offenders) be useful? The answers to these questions will help determine the best possible method to use in investigating the crime.

In this Assignment, you will determine the best approach to use in investigating a high-profile case in the news.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the Learning Resources concerning concepts of criminal profiling.
  • Select a high-profile criminal case currently in the media. This could be a homicide, sexual assault, or other violent crime.

By Day 7

In a 2- to 3-page paper

  • Briefly, describe the case and provide a link to where you found the case information.
  • Explain whether you would use deductive or inductive reasoning while profiling the offender and why.
  • Explain how you would use nomothetic or ideographic methods to investigate the crime.
  • Explain whether you would use a clinical or actuarial approach (or both) and why.


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