Investigative psychology is the application of psychological knowledge, methodology, and theory to reasoning about criminal activities and the investigative process as well as to criminal and civil judicial proceedings. Its emergence is largely due to a fruitful interplay between scientific research and application. Investigative psychologists regularly assist the police and other agencies with their investigations, and this interaction shapes the academic and theoretical endeavors of the field. David Canter coined the term investigative psychology during the early 1990s to describe the growing contributions several British psychologists were making to policing.

Since the early 1990s, the focus of investigative psychology has grown to capture a wide range of topics in investigation. These include attempting to provide cogent information about an offender's likely characteristics, advising on the structure ...

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