De Gregorio, Eugenio (2009) The Role of offender experience and crimes in shaping accounts. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Vol. 6 (2), p. 101-116. eISSN 1544-4767. Article.
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The paper summarises the main findings obtained in a wide study on the construction of deviant actions' narratives. In this paper, we focused on two topics: both topics are crucial to suggest new directions in investigative psychology. Narratives provide investigative psychologists with new sets of tools to define criminal profiles, such as narrative profiling. This paper deals with a qualitative investigation undertaken by collecting narrative interviews. These interviews were conducted with 34 prisoners held in two penal institutes in Rome and their goal was to reveal the typical form of constructing accounts taken in a non-investigative context. The specific aim of the project was to show whether differences exist in the narrative accounts provided by perpetrators of crime considering two factors: the type of crime committed and the experience in the deviance arena, which are hypothesised to shape narrations. Interviews were analysed with particular reference to the Evaluation model by W. Labov. Participants were divided into three groups on the basis of the type of experience in the deviant field (professionals, intermediates and amateurs) and into four groups according to the crime committed (homicide, robbery and theft, and crimes linked to drugs and fencing). The results show the significant existence of clear differences in the reconstruction of the crime committed compared to the experience of the protagonist.
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