Psychological profiling is not a new concept. It has been practiced for centuries and has been the foundation of popular fiction from Sherlock Holmes to Clarice Starling. The
Snook, Cullen, Bennell, Taylor, & Gendreau
(2003) articles outline many of the preconceptions and misperceptions surrounding the field of forensic psychology as it is used in contemporary law enforcement. Television programs such as Law and Order, NCIS, Criminal Minds and the Mentalist have made psychological profiling a popular pastime. While the line between fact and fiction can often be thin and tenuous, the impacts that fiction and/or misinformation can have on reality can be enormous. What impact has there been, if any, on the public’s perceptions and beliefs about criminal behavior and the impact on law enforcement investigations, prosecution and trials due to the use of psychological profiling? Are these impacts positive or negative? Provide an example from your review of a scholarly journal to support your discussion.