Investigative psychology in the courtroom: Beyond the offender profile - Introduction to a special issue of the journal of investigative psychology and offender profiling

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Abstract

When offender profi les have been presented as evidence in court, although in a few cases they may have been accepted initially, they have invariably been excluded on appeal. But with the evolution of Investigative Psychology as a systematic science with a broader remit than producing 'offender profiles', a framework for contributions to investigations has emerged over the last 20 years that maps out the rich potential range of contribution to the legal process. This considers not only the drawing of inferences about offenders from their actions (Profiling), but also examination of testimony and what psychological processes may indicate whether it has been distorted deliberately or accidentally. Further, the decision-making processes, especially as part of the investigation that gave rise to evidence presented are also subject to behavioural scrutiny. This special issue of The Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling provides examples of these contributions as a basis for encouraging debate about links between Investigative Psychology and the courtroom.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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abstract = "When offender profi les have been presented as evidence in court, although in a few cases they may have been accepted initially, they have invariably been excluded on appeal. But with the evolution of Investigative Psychology as a systematic science with a broader remit than producing 'offender profiles', a framework for contributions to investigations has emerged over the last 20 years that maps out the rich potential range of contribution to the legal process. This considers not only the drawing of inferences about offenders from their actions (Profiling), but also examination of testimony and what psychological processes may indicate whether it has been distorted deliberately or accidentally. Further, the decision-making processes, especially as part of the investigation that gave rise to evidence presented are also subject to behavioural scrutiny. This special issue of The Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling provides examples of these contributions as a basis for encouraging debate about links between Investigative Psychology and the courtroom.",
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