Psychological profiling dating
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Understanding perpetrators University of California, Los Angeles psychologist Edward Dunbar, Ph D, is examining from a clinical and forensic perspective what drives hate-crime perpetrators.With a team of graduate students, he's spent the last year at the Los Angeles Police Department profiling about 550 perpetrators, examining such factors as motivation, childhood histories and levels of pathology.
It's possible, they say, that a deeper education about Arab-American citizens may help prevent hate crimes against them.In a study in press in the , the team "chatted" with white racists by describing fabricated threats to their white hegemony, ranging from immediate local threats to more abstract national ones.Included in the chats were scenarios of blacks competing with whites for jobs, moving into the neighborhood or marrying white women.These propensities emerged full blown in the days following the Sept. Arab Americans who had previously blended into the crowd suddenly became targets of suspicion, prey to verbal bullying, e-mail harassment, store lootings and even murder.Arab students, fearing for their safety, fled the United States and returned home.Americans were ignorant about their Arab-American neighbors before the Sept.
11 crisis, he says, in part because of their lack of historical knowledge and in part because Arab-American communities are concentrated in only a few spots in the United States.But a small proportion of Americans have participated in incidents ranging from name-hurling to full-blown hate crimes, like the much-publicized murder of a Sikh gas-station owner by an Arizona man or another person's attempt to run over a Pakistani woman in a Huntington, N. It's hard to say how many of these incidents have occurred nationwide since Sept. 30, the FBI was investigating about 90 alleged hate crimes and hundreds of other incidents that have been reported.Social and clinical psychologists who study these phenomena note important distinctions between people who commit hate crimes and those who may experience a newfound suspicion of Arab Americans and act on it in lesser ways.Those who commit hate crimes are not mentally ill in the traditional sense--they're not diagnosably schizophrenic or manic depressive, Dunbar is finding.What they do share, however, is a high level of aggression and antisocial behavior.That's because stereotypes concerning outgroup members are stronger than those of ingroup members; people are therefore more willing to ignore individuating information about members of outgroups, lumping them all into a single disliked category, he says.