Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech

Jessica Woodhams, Tim D. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Case linkage, the linking of crimes into series, is used in policing in the UK and other countries. Previous researchers have proposed using rapists' speech in this practice; however, researching this application requires the development of a reliable coding system for rapists' speech. A system was developed based on linguistic theories of pragmatics which allowed for the categorization of an utterance into a speech act type (e.g. directive). Following this classification, the qualitative properties of the utterances (e.g. the degree of threat it carried) could be captured through the use of rating scales. This system was tested against a previously developed system using 188 rapists' utterances taken from victims' descriptions of rape. The pragmatics-based system demonstrated higher inter-rater reliability whilst enabling the classification of a greater number of rapists' utterances. Inter-rater reliability for the subscales was also tested using a sub-sample of 50 rapists' utterances and inter-item correlations were calculated. Seventy-six per cent of the subscales had satisfactory to high inter-rater reliability. Based on these findings and the inter-item correlations, the classification system was revised. The potential use of this system for the practices of case linkage and offender profiling is discussed.
LanguageEnglish
Pages245-260
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006

Fingerprint

Rape
Crime
Linguistics
Research Personnel
pragmatics
speech act
rating scale
rape
offender
coding
offense
threat
linguistics

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Woodhams, Jessica and Grant, Tim (2006) Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech. Psychology, Crime and Law, 12 (3). pp. 245-260. ISSN 1068-316X. Psychology, Crime and Law is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1068-316X&volume=12&issue=3&spage=245

Keywords

  • case linkage
  • crime analysis
  • speech acts
  • language
  • rape
  • profiling

Cite this

@article{ec8b5af3592143008a7ac5e852ab641e,
title = "Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech",
abstract = "Case linkage, the linking of crimes into series, is used in policing in the UK and other countries. Previous researchers have proposed using rapists' speech in this practice; however, researching this application requires the development of a reliable coding system for rapists' speech. A system was developed based on linguistic theories of pragmatics which allowed for the categorization of an utterance into a speech act type (e.g. directive). Following this classification, the qualitative properties of the utterances (e.g. the degree of threat it carried) could be captured through the use of rating scales. This system was tested against a previously developed system using 188 rapists' utterances taken from victims' descriptions of rape. The pragmatics-based system demonstrated higher inter-rater reliability whilst enabling the classification of a greater number of rapists' utterances. Inter-rater reliability for the subscales was also tested using a sub-sample of 50 rapists' utterances and inter-item correlations were calculated. Seventy-six per cent of the subscales had satisfactory to high inter-rater reliability. Based on these findings and the inter-item correlations, the classification system was revised. The potential use of this system for the practices of case linkage and offender profiling is discussed.",
keywords = "case linkage, crime analysis, speech acts, language, rape, profiling",
author = "Jessica Woodhams and Grant, {Tim D.}",
note = "This is an electronic version of an article published in Woodhams, Jessica and Grant, Tim (2006) Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech. Psychology, Crime and Law, 12 (3). pp. 245-260. ISSN 1068-316X. Psychology, Crime and Law is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1068-316X&volume=12&issue=3&spage=245",
year = "2006",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/10683160500151134",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "245--260",
journal = "Psychology, Crime and Law",
issn = "1068-316X",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3",

}

Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech. / Woodhams, Jessica; Grant, Tim D.

In: Psychology, Crime and Law, Vol. 12, No. 3, 01.06.2006, p. 245-260.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech

AU - Woodhams, Jessica

AU - Grant, Tim D.

N1 - This is an electronic version of an article published in Woodhams, Jessica and Grant, Tim (2006) Developing a categorisation system for rapists' speech. Psychology, Crime and Law, 12 (3). pp. 245-260. ISSN 1068-316X. Psychology, Crime and Law is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1068-316X&volume=12&issue=3&spage=245

PY - 2006/6/1

Y1 - 2006/6/1

N2 - Case linkage, the linking of crimes into series, is used in policing in the UK and other countries. Previous researchers have proposed using rapists' speech in this practice; however, researching this application requires the development of a reliable coding system for rapists' speech. A system was developed based on linguistic theories of pragmatics which allowed for the categorization of an utterance into a speech act type (e.g. directive). Following this classification, the qualitative properties of the utterances (e.g. the degree of threat it carried) could be captured through the use of rating scales. This system was tested against a previously developed system using 188 rapists' utterances taken from victims' descriptions of rape. The pragmatics-based system demonstrated higher inter-rater reliability whilst enabling the classification of a greater number of rapists' utterances. Inter-rater reliability for the subscales was also tested using a sub-sample of 50 rapists' utterances and inter-item correlations were calculated. Seventy-six per cent of the subscales had satisfactory to high inter-rater reliability. Based on these findings and the inter-item correlations, the classification system was revised. The potential use of this system for the practices of case linkage and offender profiling is discussed.

AB - Case linkage, the linking of crimes into series, is used in policing in the UK and other countries. Previous researchers have proposed using rapists' speech in this practice; however, researching this application requires the development of a reliable coding system for rapists' speech. A system was developed based on linguistic theories of pragmatics which allowed for the categorization of an utterance into a speech act type (e.g. directive). Following this classification, the qualitative properties of the utterances (e.g. the degree of threat it carried) could be captured through the use of rating scales. This system was tested against a previously developed system using 188 rapists' utterances taken from victims' descriptions of rape. The pragmatics-based system demonstrated higher inter-rater reliability whilst enabling the classification of a greater number of rapists' utterances. Inter-rater reliability for the subscales was also tested using a sub-sample of 50 rapists' utterances and inter-item correlations were calculated. Seventy-six per cent of the subscales had satisfactory to high inter-rater reliability. Based on these findings and the inter-item correlations, the classification system was revised. The potential use of this system for the practices of case linkage and offender profiling is discussed.

KW - case linkage

KW - crime analysis

KW - speech acts

KW - language

KW - rape

KW - profiling

UR - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10683160500151134

U2 - 10.1080/10683160500151134

DO - 10.1080/10683160500151134

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 245

EP - 260

JO - Psychology, Crime and Law

T2 - Psychology, Crime and Law

JF - Psychology, Crime and Law

SN - 1068-316X

IS - 3

ER -