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Psychological Profiling in Terrorism Prevention Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Aug 12th, 2020

Introduction: Psychological Profiling as an Evaluative Method

The analyzed articles provide a broad overview of psychological profiling as a method of evaluation of the major behavioral deviations. Since such deviations often serve as evictions of psychopathic conduct, this study explores its roots as well as the principles of psychopathy treatment. Besides, the paper investigates the concept of terrorism and outlines the major terrorism prevention techniques.

The Concept of Terrorism

Terrorism Preventions

In his article on terrorism, Vaisman-Tzachor (2006) outlines the primary faults of modern terrorism prevention techniques. The author claims that the inefficiency of prevention decisions is stimulated by some poor administrative choices. For instance, the scientist criticizes the appointment of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that was sustained in 2003, due to its inability to define terrorism (Vaisman-Tzachor, 2006, p. 6). Therefore, the author considers the modern prevention strategies to be weak since they are not based upon the objective profile definitions and do not consider the political factors that drive terrorism acts.

Defining a Terrorist

Psychological profiles of terrorists must include a wide range of multidimensional features, for they serve as a foundation of terrorism definitions. Thus, a personal profile should be based upon such factors as cultural background, ethnicity, religious beliefs, temperament type, marital status, and education. According to Vaisman-Tzachor (2006), it is a crucial mistake to build up personal profiles on such criteria as race and ethnicity (p. 8).

In this paper, Vaisman-Tzachor (2006) provides a connection between the psychological features that are identified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorders Association and a straight characterization of terrorists’ conduct. Therefore, the author points out that narcissistic behavior is a core feature that indicates inclinations to terrorism. Due to him, such characters are easily recruitable by the leading terroristic organizations (Vaisman-Tzachor, 2006, p. 15).

The article provides some consistent overview of terrorism prevention techniques. The author claims that it is crucial to create the most elaborate definitions of the concept as well as a detailed characterization of the psychological profiling of terrorists so that to preclude any potential terroristic catastrophes.

Psychopathy: Illness vs. Criminal Behavior

Definition of Psychopathic Conduct

According to D’Silva, Duggan, and McCarthy (2004), psychopathic behavior is a direct consequence of mental disorders (p. 163). Thus, the authors disregard the criminal conception of psychopathy and view it as an illness. However, the notion of criminal psychopathy is regarded in the article as well. It implies that people who suffer from this disease tend to evince cruelty and commit illegal acts. Such behavior is rather stipulated by some unconscious impulses and can not be viewed as a person’s choice. Consequently, psychopathy can be defined as a mental deficiency, which creates a powerful impact upon the social regulations that exist within any community.

Since psychopathy produces a harmful influence upon a global society, it is crucial to investigate the links between mental problems and criminal inclinations. Due to some modern scientists, psychopathy can not be regarded as a product of dysfunctional mechanisms, but rather as a life strategy that implies an eviction of violence (Krupp, Sewall, Lalumiere, Sheriff, &Harris, 2013). In their article, D’Silva et al. (2004), rebut this opinion by assessing the reasons for psychopathic conduct. Thus, the authors conclude that the illness roots in inborn disorders that do not depend upon human desires.

Criminal conduct can not be justified since it inflicts a wide range of damages and conflicts. However, the illegal acts that are committed by psychopaths hold a special status, for people who are responsible for such deeds never conduct themselves consciously and mindfully. That is why it is a primary task of every state government to limit psychopaths’ access to the objects that can assist them in committing any disruptive or illegal acts. Moreover, it is necessary to devise the effective methods of treatment of people who suffer from psychological disorders so that to reduce the level of cruelty among psychopaths.

The nature of psychopathy

A measurement of psychopathy is a significant challenge for the modern psychology, since it is generally assumed that some psychopaths possess an ability to conduct themselves as sane people while some healthy patients can behave inadequately and produce a faulty impression of psychopathy. In their article, D’Silva et al. (2004) address psychopathy checklists as the most efficient methods of sanity assessment (p. 164). Indeed, the technique implies long-term observations, which serve as a consistent and elaborated measurement of psychopathy.

Psychopathic conduct can be evoked by both a delinquent environment and inborn disorders. Thus, the issue may be regarded either as a result of psychological traumas or as a genetic problem.

Treatment of Psychopathy

Due to D’Silva et al. (2004), the Psychopaths Test is the most efficient evaluator of the illness. However, it is acknowledged that the patients who score high at such tests tend to demonstrate some negative feedback to the modern treatment programs. That is why the authors of the article target the methods that could bring some consistent benefits to the psychopaths’ health. Through the analysis of major scholarly works, such treatment techniques as social skills training, therapeutic community, and anger management were emphasized.

The treatment programs that were assessed vary, according to the focus groups.

Thus, the group of untreated high scoring psychopaths was treated through the usage of personalized programs while the group of treated high scoring psychopaths turned out to be more responsive to social skills training.

The major drawbacks of psychopathy treatment programs were analyzed in the article. Therefore, the authors criticize Rice’s method, since they point out that it is based on matching instead of randomization analysis. Moreover, D’Silva et al. (2004) identify Hitchcock’s treatment technique as an underpowered method and emphasize that Seto and Barbaree’s program is grounded upon the subjective ratings.

In the article, some strengths of psychopathy treatment programs are demonstrated. Mainly, the authors illustrate Langton’s program as the soundest method that is based upon the analysis of posttreatment reports. Besides, D’Silva et al. (2004) point out that Hitchcock’s treatment program is successful due to its random assignment (p. 169).

In my opinion, modern society is responsible for every person who represents its constituent part. That is why it is an initial mission for every community to protect people who suffer from psychopathy. Thus, the psychopaths who evince criminal conduct can not be treated as ordinary criminals, but should rather be isolated from society so that to preclude any potential behavioral threats.

Conclusion: Terrorism and Psychopathy as Social Diseases

Terroristic behavior, as well as psychopathy, is rooted in certain features and psychological inclinations of certain individuals. Both concepts present some threats to a global society. Nevertheless, it is crucial to differentiate between two social diseases, since terroristic conduct is a result of a conscious choice while psychopathy is rather subconscious delinquency.


D’Silva, K., Duggan, K., & McCarthy, L. (2004). Does treatment really make psychopaths worse? A review of the evidence. Journal of Personality Disorders, 18(2), 163-177.

Krupp, D., Sewall, L., Lalumiere, M., Sheriff, C., & Harris, G. (2013). Psychopathy, adaptation and disorder. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(1), 139-145.

Vaisman-Tzachor, R. (2006). Psychological profiles of terrorists. The Forensic Examiner, 15(2), 6-12.

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