Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Investigative Psychology

  • Donna Youngs
  • Elizabeth Spruin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_527



Investigative Psychology (IP) is a subdiscipline of psychology developed by David Canter for the integration of a diverse range of aspects of psychology into all areas of criminal and civil investigation and legal processing (Canter 1995b, 2011; Canter and Youngs 2009). It considers all forms of offending action from arson, stalking, and robbery to murder, rape, or terrorism, exploring the psychological processes involved in the detailed actions and the influences on and characteristics of perpetrators. The starting point for such studies is the operational challenges that arise during investigation or in court, but the models and theories that have emerged inform the general psychological understanding of offending action and offenders.

The discipline may be understood in terms of the three key strands of academic activity which it encapsulates: (1) the modelling of criminal action and perpetrator inferences (the...

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Recommended Reading and References

  1. Canter D (1993) The wholistic organic researcher: Central issues in clinical research methodology, In: Powell G, Young R & Frosh S (eds) Curriculum in clinical psychology, Leicester: The wholistic organic researcher: Central issues in clinical research methodology. BPS pp 40–56Google Scholar
  2. Canter D (1994) Criminal Shadows. London: HarperCollinsGoogle Scholar
  3. Canter DV (1995a) Criminal shadows. HarperCollins, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Canter D (1995b) Psychology of offender profiling. In: Bull R, Carson D (eds) Handbook of psychology in legal contests. Wiley, Chichester, pp 343–335, Chapter 4.5Google Scholar
  5. Canter D (2000) Offender profiling and criminal differentiation. Leg Criminol Psychol 5:23–46Google Scholar
  6. Canter DV (2003) Mapping murder: the secrets of geographical profiling. Virgin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Canter DV (2011) Resolving the offender “profiling equations” and the emergence of investigative psychology. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 20:5–10Google Scholar
  8. Canter D (2012) Forensic psychology for dummies. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Canter DV, Alison LJ (eds) (1999a) Profiling in policy and practice, networks. Offender profiling series. Aldershot, Dartmouth, pp 157–188, Vol IIGoogle Scholar
  10. Canter DV, Alison LJ (eds) (1999b) The social psychology of crime: teams, groups, networks. Offender profiling series. Aldershot, Dartmouth, Vol IIIGoogle Scholar
  11. Canter D, Fritzon K (1998) Differentiating arsonists: a model of firesetting actions and characteristics legal and criminal psychology, 3, 73–96Google Scholar
  12. Canter D, Youngs D (2008a) Principles of geographical offender profiling. Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  13. Canter D, Youngs D (2008b) Applications of geographical offender profiling. Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  14. Canter D, Youngs D (2009) Investigative psychology: offender profiling and the analysis of criminal action. London: John Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  15. Canter D, Youngs D (in press) Sexual and violent offenders’ role assignments: a generic model of offending style. J Forensic Psychiatr PsycholGoogle Scholar
  16. Canter D, Bennell C, Alison L, Reddy S (2003) Differentiating sex offences: a behaviourally based thematic classification of stranger rapes. Behav Sci Law 21:157–174Google Scholar
  17. Salfati G, Canter D (1999) Differentiating stranger murders: profiling offender characteristics from behavioural styles. Behav Sci Law 17:391–406Google Scholar
  18. Youngs D (2004) Personality correlates of offence style. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling 1:99–119Google Scholar
  19. Youngs D The behavioural analysis of crime: studies in David Canter’s Investigative Psychology (in press). Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology (IRCIP)University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK