Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D. posted this on her blog titled “Shadow Boxing: A blog that probes the mind’s dark secrets.” It references the methodological thinking and planning of serial killers and likens this information to playing strategic games such as chess. You can access the post here.
As a Psychology major I research blogs, articles, groups, and articles daily. I do not always verify the source as thoroughly as we do in this class, but I am always aware of the author and sponsor of the site. I have read many posts by Dr. Ramsland but this is the first time that I evaluate her as a source.
Dr. Ramsland’s credibility is well-known as she is the author of over 1000 articles and 46 books mostly pertaining to Psychology. She has Master Degrees in Forensic Science, Clinical Psychology, and Criminal Justice as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy.
I see no bias in this post dated July 2014, as she is simply stating her experience and knowledge of male serial killers. She uses facts to provide the information pertaining to each serial killer and their “love” of the game of chess. She assumes some thinking on their part and has to assume the continuation of the games to date, but otherwise she is very informative.
The post is very well written in a “matter of fact” kind of way and is presented on her Blog as all other posts. I did observe, however, that Dr. Ramsland did not provide much psychological information in the article and even suggests in a reply to a comment that “she was just relaying what she heard.” It almost reads as if “anyone” could have written the post.
Psychology Today is the sponsor of her Blog and the advertisements found are mostly for more blogs, universities, college degree programs, and publishing.
The purpose of Dr. Ramsland’s post is to provide insight into the mental skills and calculations of serial killers and suggests that their love of playing difficult games such as chess and bridge possibly helps them hone these skills.
There are very few comments about her post, but the comments usually do not persuade my opinion one way or the other about a topic.