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Creating a Personal Profile: Think You Could Do It?

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NBC knocked it out of the ballpark last night with the network’s new drama, The Blacklist.

(Really, I don’t know how any network could go wrong with James Spader, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.)

Basically, without really spoiling anything, James Spader plays Raymond “Red” Reddington, a mastermind criminal who’s known as “The Concierge of Crime” and who happens to be one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. For reasons we don’t yet know, Reddington surrenders himself, claiming he can help the FBI bring down the world’s most dangerous criminals (the “Blacklist”).

The only catch is, Reddington will speak only with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), a newbie FBI agent who Reddington knows way too much about, considering the two have never met (as far as anyone knows–yet).

Given Red’s knowledge about Keene, the FBI wants to know about their relationship. Do they know each other? Do they have a past? How does he know so much about her?

Why her?

Keene couldn’t answer, so the FBI asked her to profile herself.* Keene began listing things about herself such as where she went to school and some of her past achievements), but her superior stopped her, reminded her he’d read her resume, and told her again to profile herself.

That’s when Keene began to think about herself in the same kinds of terms she’d think about anyone else she’d “profile.” She talked about her traits and characteristics, her strengths and weaknesses, the things that made her tick–things that might make Red


Can you imagine profiling yourself? Maybe you HAVE profiled yourself, on certain levels. Maybe you’ve done it on your own, or with the help of a therapist.

Reaching that level of unbiased honesty about yourself fascinates me.

I’ve attempted some research on profiling, but I haven’t found must (useful) information except for the following pages:

  • FBI Method of Profiling: Yes, this is a Wikipedia page, but it offers a suggestion of the five profiling phases. This might not help YOU (unless you’re a criminal), but it could offer some ideas or insight. (Be sure to check the cited resources.)
  • Criminal Profiling: The Reality Behind the Myth: This article from the American Psychological Association (APA) also focuses on criminals, but it does explain how profiling works and the psychological contributions.
  • Fact Sheet: Criminal Profiling: Once again, ANOTHER page on criminal profiling, but the European Association of Psychology and Law (EAPL) Student Society explains criminal profiling, including the origin and methods, and brings up discussions such as whether profiling is an art or a science.

I can’t go without directing you to another article, How to Read People Like an FBI Profiler*, by Psych Central’s own Margarita Tartakovsky. Tartakovsky offers tips such as observing behavior, watching AND listening, and avoid getting clouded by emotions–ideas that I think could help in self-profiling, too.

So, how about you, readers? Have you ever attempted to “profile” yourself? Do you think it’s something you’d WANT to do, or do you think you’d be too uncomfortable to try?

* According to the FBI, there is no such thing as an “FBI Profiler” position. Learn more about how FBI agents profile criminals at the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime FAQs.

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Creating a Personal Profile: Think You Could Do It?

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2013). Creating a Personal Profile: Think You Could Do It?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Sep 2013
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