"The diseased intelligence": Behavioral profiling and Poe

Eric Alexander Olszewski, University of Texas at El Paso


This study of Nineteenth Century American writer Edgar Allan Poe is predicated upon the assertion that the rise of urban crime during early U.S. industrialization prompted Poe to create the prototype for modern behavioral profiling, which he achieved via utilization of the literary double in both detective and gothic genres. Through his portrayal of C. Auguste Dupin as one who can empathize with the criminal mind, Poe proves particularly prescient in light of offender apprehension techniques subsequent to the publication of his detective fiction. Further, his insight into abnormal psychology betrays a doubling not only between protagonist and antagonist, but often between Poe and his own characters. In "The Mystery of Marie Roget", both author and creation merge, the result of which is the first case of behavioral analysis in American history.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Literature, American|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Olszewski, Eric Alexander, ""The diseased intelligence": Behavioral profiling and Poe" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1444080.