Are two heads better than one? The effects of teamwork on criminal profile accuracy


Jacquin, M. Kristine

Committee Member

Eakin, Deborah

Committee Member

Armstrong, Kevin

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


This study compared the accuracy of criminal profiles produced by individuals versus profiles produced by teams of two. Participants were 239 college students who were randomly assigned to work alone or in a team. Participants were asked to read a double sexual homicide case, profile the offender, and answer the Profiling Offender Characteristics Questionnaire. The results indicate that although novice profiler teams only slightly outperformed individuals on overall profile accuracy, teamwork significantly improved profiling accuracy for the cognitive characteristics of the offender. In contrast, teams and individuals showed similar profile accuracy for all other facets of the offender. These results may reflect the type of reasoning used by teams and individuals to profile different offender characteristics.



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