Behavioural Analysis of Crime: Studies in David Canter's Investigative Psychology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Behavioural Analysis of Crime

Studies in David Canter's Investigative Psychology, 1st Edition

Edited by Donna Youngs


326 pages

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The intense interest in 'offender profiling' generated by FBI special agents, gave rise to an explosion of studies in a new area called ’investigative psychology’ by its originator David Canter. This develops understanding of offenders' behaviour that can be harnessed to improve investigations. In this rapidly developing area much has been learnt about what offenders reveal about themselves through their styles of offending. Beyond criminals’ actions the location of their crimes can also reveal where the offender lives or which offences can be linked as part of the same series. Investigative psychologists also explore how to interview witnesses and suspects and assess the veracity of accounts given. The variation in criminal style across crimes as diverse as arson, burglary, hostage negotiation, serial killing and sexual assault is reviewed, using narrative theory and criminals’ emotional experience when offending as the basis for explaining these variations. This provides a framework for drawing inferences about offenders' characteristics. Studies in investigative psychology require a special methodology, developed by David Canter to allow scientific explorations in such a challenging field, previously assumed not to be open empirical study. The practical potential and applications of the research are given, as well as a selection of commentaries on the cutting edge debates that are driving the future of the investigative psychology. This new discipline is of relevance to forensic psychologists in many different settings, criminologists and law enforcement agencies, bringing together work that lays out current achievements and sets the agenda for future research in the field.


'… Youngs has edited a collection of clear, concise studies situating Investigative Psychology as a field of applied research making groundbreaking contributions to the study of crime and criminal behavior.' International Criminal Justice Review ’I enthusiastically recommend this discussion of the science, philosophy and style of behavioral analysis pioneered by the unique vision and drive of David Canter and Donna Youngs, herself. In particular, I have found their concept of narrative identity and "personal myth" as it relates to criminal behavior extremely useful in defining the underlying principles to what I actually do in my own work every day.’ Kathleen M. Puckett, former FBI Special Agent, TK Associates, LLC, USA

Table of Contents

Contents: Editor’s notes; Investigative psychology: David Canter’s approach to studying criminals and criminal action, Donna Youngs; Section 1 On David Canter’s IP Theories and Models: Violent self-narratives and the hostile attribution bias, Shadd Maruna and Michelle Butler; Action systems models of criminal differentiation, Katarina Frizton; Differentiation of hostage barricade incidents: through the application of the action system model, Kaeko Yokota; Test of Canter’s sexual behavioural models in a sample of young people who had sexually harmed, Louise Almond; Emotions as explanation of crime, Maria Ioannou. Section 2 On David Canter’s IP Methodologies: Introducing a common range index of inter-variable similarity for the analysis of Radex structures, Sean Hammond; Homicide crime scene analysis: an investigative psychology approach, C. Gabrielle Salfati; Investigative psychology and suicide: the facet structure of investigative material, Susan Giles; Questions and answers about the faceted analysis of criminal actions, Jamie Lee. Section 3 IP: A Problem-Solving Discipline: Offenders' spatial behaviour and geographical offender profiling, Laura Hammond and Donna Youngs; Linking crimes in criminal investigations, Craig Bennell; Contemporary challenges in investigative psychology: revisiting the Canter offender profiling equations, Donna Youngs and Elizabeth Spruin; Closing remarks, David Canter. Section 4 Selected IP Works of Professor Canter: Geographical offender profiling: using insights from practical application to enhance theoretical explorations, David Canter; Evaluating profiling; Narratives of criminal action and forensic psychology, David Canter and Donna Youngs; Selected writings for UK newspapers; Selected bibliography; Index.

About the Editor

Dr Donna Youngs is a reader, University of Huddersfield, UK. She works closely with David Canter on the Centre's research programme looking at crime and criminal behaviour.

About the Series

Psychology, Crime and Law

Psychology, Crime and Law
Over recent years many aspects of law enforcement and related legal and judicial processes have been influenced by psychological theories and research. In turn concerns that derive from the investigation, prosecution and defence of criminals are influencing the topics and methodologies of psychology and other social sciences. Everything, for example, from the detection of deception to the treatment of sex offenders, by way of offender profiling and prison management, has become part of the domain of a growing army of academic and other professional psychologists. There is therefore a need for wide-ranging publications that deal with all aspects of these interdisciplinary pursuits. Such publications must be cross-national and interdisciplinary if they are to reflect the many strands of this burgeoning field of teaching, research and professional practice. The Psychology, Crime and Law series has been established to meet this need for up-to-date accounts of the work within this area, presented in a way that will be accessible to the many different disciplines involved. The series will be of interest to anyone who wishes to gain an understanding of the interplays between psychology, crime and the law.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General