For some people the process of learning to profile opponents comes harder than it does to others. As I mentioned earlier, the “gift” of knowing people is something that many seem to be born with. Others need to work much harder to acquire similar skills.
Certainly, working in careers that involve much contact with the public is good training. Businesses demand increased customer service and attentiveness combined. These companies spend vast amounts of money to train their employees to have the frame-of-mind that a big part of serving people is to understand them better.
As individuals, by the time we start playing poker we have already lived a lot of life. Our experiences give us information about many different types of people. A huge part of being an astute profiler is to make the study of your opponents a priority. The more you focus on figuring out a person, the more information your subconscious can work with and solve some amazingly complex problems for you.
When the FBI trains agents to be profilers for serial criminal cases, it uses information that John Douglas and Roy Hazlewood (Behavioral Sciences) gathered in interviews with numerous previously convicted criminals.
Profilers also study crime scenes and predict specific post-crime behavior the perpetrators will exhibit. One of the most revealing facets of a criminal investigation is the “signature” that a criminal leaves on the crime scene.
This is different from a modus operandi. John Douglas defines signature in his book The Anatomy of Motive, (Pocket Books, 1999), as “the aspect of the crime that emotionally fulfills the offender”.