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On the need for scientific experimentation in the criminal profiling field: a reply to Dern and colleagues

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Associated organisational unit

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Criminal Justice and Behavior
Number of pages4
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In “The Criminal Profiling Illusion: What’s Behind the Smoke and Mirrors?” (Snook,
Cullen, Bennell, Taylor, & Gendreau, 2008), we questioned the evidence base for criminal profiling (CP) and offered an explanation regarding how people have been misled into thinking that it is more effective than what research suggests. In their reply, Dern, Dern, Horn, and Horn (2009 [this issue]) challenged some of our provisional conclusions and outlined a “highly complex and scientifically well-founded practice of criminal profiling” (p. 1086) known as behavioral case analysis. We are pleased to be part of a dialogue that forms the basis for collaborations that promote understanding and enhance scientific contributions to CP. Here we respond to Dern et al. by highlighting some of the areas in which discussion, collaboration, and scientific experimentation are needed.