The role of warning behaviors in threat assessment: an exploration and suggested typology

Reid Meloy, J; Hoffmann, Jens; Guldimann, Angela; James, David (2012). The role of warning behaviors in threat assessment: an exploration and suggested typology. Behavioral sciences & the law, 30(3), pp. 256-79. New York, N.Y.: Wiley 10.1002/bsl.999

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The concept of warning behaviors offers an additional perspective in threat assessment. Warning behaviors are acts which constitute evidence of increasing or accelerating risk. They are acute, dynamic, and particularly toxic changes in patterns of behavior which may aid in structuring a professional's judgment that an individual of concern now poses a threat - whether the actual target has been identified or not. They require an operational response. A typology of eight warning behaviors for assessing the threat of intended violence is proposed: pathway, fixation, identification, novel aggression, energy burst, leakage, directly communicated threat, and last resort warning behaviors. Previous research on risk factors associated with such warning behaviors is reviewed, and examples of each warning behavior from various intended violence cases are presented, including public figure assassination, adolescent and adult mass murder, corporate celebrity stalking, and both domestic and foreign acts of terrorism. Practical applications and future research into warning behaviors are suggested. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Psychiatric Services

UniBE Contributor:

Guldimann, Angela








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:22

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:06

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URI: (FactScience: 212815)

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