Investigative Psychology

This paper begins with an introduction that highlights the problem of the research. The problem highlighted is Investigative Psychology that deals with the relationship between a criminal, the environment, and a victim. The introduction gives a clear and deep description of the problem and its uses in criminal investigations. The essay then proceeds to describe the various problems associated with Investigative Psychology. The key problems highlighted are the use of ambiguous language that renders the entire system difficult to understand. Ambiguity emerges from the terms used by Psychics who conduct initial investigations on criminals hence making it hard for the police investigators to deal with different cases. The other problem is that Investigative Psychology relies on assumptions of the consistency of behavior and this is not true due to rampant behavior changes among individuals. The other problems presented include poor organization and low levels of integrity that compromise the entire process due to misrepresentation of data pertaining to different criminals. The improvements that could be done to make the system more efficient have also been discussed in the essay. They include the use of proper and simple language that would be implemented through the selection of appropriate words to use in reporting various cases. The selection of individuals with high integrity is another improvement that could be conducted. This can be implemented through proper vetting of individuals to determine their worthy to tackle various cases. Through such improvements, the entire system would be able to achieve its desired goals, as there would be efficiency and required levels of personality qualifications.  These solutions would help in solving the problems associated with this issue and enhance investigative processes. The essay ends with a conclusion that recaps the major problems discussed in the essay and offers effective solutions to these situations.

Investigative Psychology

Investigative Psychology refers to the study of the relationship between the offender, the environment, and the victim. The key objective of Investigative Psychology is to support police investigations in various criminal matters. It forms the basis of the investigations as it provides vital information relating to the criminal and proper ways of treating such an individual. Research points out that Investigative Psychology is based on the assumption that the character of an individual could be established according to the consistency of his/her behavior. Thus, criminals could be found to bear different characteristics based on their behavior changes over time. Research asserts that Investigative Psychology emanates from empirical research and logical inference which are used to investigate myriad issues related to criminals. Youngs (2008) asserts that criminal profiling is immensely reliant on the accuracy of Investigative Psychology because various issues related to criminals are identified. Investigative Psychology employs statistical analysis such as Multi-dimensional scaling of the offenders that has played an instrumental role in supporting a theoretical differentiation between homicide offenders as either expressive or instrumental in their aggression. Therefore, Investigative Psychology deals with close interviewing and observation of behavior in order to deliver accurate details to the police department.

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This paper explicates Investigative Psychology and how it can be improved in order to benefit the Criminal Investigative process.

Various issues influence the effectiveness of Investigative Psychology in its efforts to determine the characteristics of criminals in the process of profiling criminals. For instance, it encounters problems related to language, consistency of behavior, integrity, and organization.

The language used by Psychics is crucial in the establishment of various characteristics related to the criminal as it facilitates profiling. The research reports that the entire process of Investigative Psychology entails the use of ambiguous language that is not easy to understand.  According to Bartol (2008), ambiguity hardens the task of determining the accurate details related to a particular offender in any crime. In addition, the information concerning the criminal is presented in a language that is unverifiable hence making the ultimate process of profiling inaccurate. The research asserts that the information presented to criminal investigation officers has many assumptions and complex terms that hinder accurate profiling of criminals in relation to the magnitude of their offences. This has led to inaccuracy in the classification of various criminals. The criminal can be treated differently from the required course of action due to the complexity of the language that is presented by Psychics. Investigative Psychology also relies on inaccurate language use where words are not given in their literal meaning hence hindering the accuracy of the entire investigation process. Language ambiguity and use of complex terms hinder the accuracy of interpretation among police investigations leading to ineffective inquiry. Criminals can be subjected to brutal punishment due to inability to interpret the words used by Psychics. Therefore, there could be emergence of excessive use of force in investigations or instances of inadequate investigations of other criminal cases.  

Another problem facing Investigative Psychology is the reliance on the consistency of the behavior of criminals. The research points out that Investigative Psychology assumes that the behavior of a criminal would be consistent across all the scenarios observed. The behavior of individuals is dynamic and would always vary according to the given situations. Individuals behave differently in various situations according to their perceptions and attitudes in relation to various issues in the society. Thus, this assumption would not give accurate information related to a criminal. This hinders the ultimate process of criminal profiling and achieves undesirable classifications of criminals according to their real psychological characteristics. Thus, Investigative Psychology relies on short-term behavior changes that may not give accurate facts connected to an individual. This would result in the misrepresentation of information about various criminals hence inefficient categorizations. This means that a criminal would be treated in a manner that is not consistent with the psychological condition. In fact, this would render criminal investigations flawed and inappropriate. According to Canter & Youngs (2009), the behavior of an individual should be tested according to the given situations in order to determine accurate behavior changes that would give a true picture of an individual.

The organization of Investigative Psychology is another problem that can be faced. Effective organization is the key to accurate and consistent investigations pertaining to various criminals. Organization ensures that the stated procedures are efficiently followed in the investigation process. It facilitates accuracy in the determination of behaviors relating to criminals in various acts such as serial killing or robbery with violence. The process is organized in a manner that it embraces many theories and assumptions in its entire processes. The research points out that the theories underlying Investigative Psychology have hindered it from delivering the required information. This is because they have led to inconsistencies in various cases hence especially among the police investigators. For instance, Investigative Psychology bears the general characteristics associated with serial killers. Behavior investigation would reveal varying states of affairs among different serial killers, hence discrediting the underlying theories. The underlying theories hinder intensive investigations in relation to criminals because of the conclusions already established from the existing information. Thus, theories hamper the accumulation of accurate information pertaining to different actions hence making the entire process inadequate and inefficient. Theories lead to conclusions about the characteristics that would not be observed among individuals accused of similar crimes. This has discredited the information presented to the investigative officers about similar offence criminals.

The existence of low levels of integrity poses an immense problem to Investigative Psychology. Integrity is one of the vital components of a desired successful investigation. Research asserts that most individuals engaged in Investigative Psychology exhibit low levels of integrity because they could easily change the information in favor of a particular consideration. The information that is given in some instances is inaccurate as the Investigating Psychics are bribed to alter the correct state of affairs. They end up presenting information that is different from the actual truth hence making the entire exercise ineffective. Inappropriate presentation of information complicates police investigations, as they do not know the actual conditions related to an individual. Canter (2012) asserts that an individual would be treated according to the information presented by the investigative psychics. This means that some individuals would be treated inadequately in relation to the crimes committed. Inadequate treatments mean that the rule of law and justice would not be upheld in the process of dealing with serious criminal cases in society. This is likely to worsen criminal activities in society, as there is protection from officers. An individual would be given lesser punishment compared to the one recommended by the authorities, hence the entire process would be inefficient.

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A practical evidence of the ineffectiveness of Investigative Psychology can be drawn from the case of Couch v. Booker in the United States of America. This was a second-class murder case between the two individuals. The counsel was ineffective in conducting Investigative Psychology; thus, complicating the entire procedure of the case. According to the case, the victim was smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol, and using cocaine at the party. The victim allegedly raped a woman at the party and was beaten by the petitioner and another man. The victim was left in a critical condition until the Ambulance was called. The victim later died on the way to the designated hospital. Norris (2011) reports that a pathologist was assigned to carry out an autopsy test and found out that the victim had died due to heart problems emanating from excessive use of drugs. The Counsel had initially reported that the death had been caused by the excessive battering that the victim had undergone at the party. This assertion was different from what the medical practitioner had found out, hence eliminating the evidence gathered by the Counselor. It asserts that the Counselor did not carry out adequate research as to the cause of the death but relied on the observable scenario. This is an indication of the ineffectiveness of the Investigative Psychology that could only be satisfied by a thorough analysis of a particular situation. Thus, the Counsel presented inefficient information that was based on assumptions hence hindering the entire process from success.

The research asserts that there exist various solutions that could improve the process. These improvements would only make the entire process effective in case they are implemented in the required manner. Thus, authorities should adopt these improvements and implement them in the most effective manner in order to realize the envisaged results. The improvements include use of simplified language, elimination of assumptions, and appropriate vetting of investigative officers.

The language used by investigators should be simplified in order to ensure that there is understanding in the entire process of investigations. The research reports that simplified language promotes effective communication of facts in any situation. The language used by investigating officers should be simplified in order to ensure that police investigators draw appropriate conclusions from the information given. This would ensure that there is understanding, which would lead to effective treatment of various criminal issues. Ambiguous terms should be eliminated from all pieces of information presented with the purpose of ensuring that there is no contradiction and confusion among the investigating officers. Appropriate use of language and description of terms would simplify understanding of various situations. In essence, this means that the language used should be improved in order to ensure that there is an agreement between all the authorities involved in dealing with criminals. This could be implemented through mutual agreement on the terms to be used in describing different issues. In addition, terms that appear ambiguous should be eliminated and those with straightforward meanings adopted. This will be implemented through appropriate definitions of words in a manner that is conventionally understandable.

Another key improvement is the elimination of the existing assumptions in the process of conducting investigations.  The research states that Investigative Psychology involves the use of several assumptions that make it inefficient in the end. For instance, it relies on the assumption that the character of an individual would be effectively determined from his/her consistent behaviors over a period. These assumptions have led to ineffective reporting of different criminal cases.  Canter, Canter, & Youngs (2009) assert that criminals have been reported with different characteristics that are only observed in the short-term. This renders the entire information presented inaccurately and inappropriately in relation to criminals. This leads to different and ineffective treatments of such criminals. They are treated according to the information that is presented with numerous assumptions upheld. The assumptions rank most of the individuals in similar cases as having the same characteristics, which is not true. The elimination of the underlying assumptions should be considered. Officers should get the scene and carry out exhaustive interview that would facilitated a deeper understanding of a particular individual. Each individual should be interviewed independently of other related cases. This would ensure that an individual is treated according to the crime committed and the psychological condition.

Investigative Psychology could also be improved through proper vetting of investigation officers. Vetting is the process of determining the worthiness of a particular individual to carry out particular actions. It is based on the academic and personality qualifications of a particular individual. Inefficiencies emanating from lower levels of integrity would be eliminated through the selection of individuals who are ready to carry out independent investigations.  Bartol (2008) reports that academic and personality qualifications of individuals should be analyzed properly in order to ensure that only dedicated individuals are selected to carry out investigations. The research points out that the placement of appropriate individuals in various investigative positions would promote supply of perfect information concerning different criminal cases. The investigative officers would not compromise hence the levels of misrepresentation of information would be reduced. This could be achieved through proper screening of candidates applying for the posts of investigative officers. Proper screening of candidates would mean that the candidates selected for such posts are the individuals with high integrity and academic qualifications. Therefore, individuals authorized to investigate criminals must have the high levels of integrity required in order to eliminate further inefficiencies.

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These suggested improvements would enhance the effectiveness of the entire system largely. They would ensure that the information pertaining to different individuals is accurate and effective. Criminal investigations would be distinguished in case these improvements are adopted and implemented appropriately. These improvements would foster the required levels of change in the system, as individuals would be easily differentiated even where similar offenses are committed.  Youngs (2008) notes that the existing assumptions would be eliminated and all the information presented would be precise. This means that any criminal issue committed by an individual within society would be investigated intensively. Moreover, the system would be improved through effective investigations, as there would be elimination of individuals with lower levels of integrity. Improvements would entail the selection of individuals with high integrity and academic qualifications hence boosting the independent investigations. This would enhance the presentation of accurate information that promotes effective dealing with the different criminal cases existing in society.


In conclusion, Investigative Psychology is the study that deals with the relationship between a criminal, the environment, and the victim. It entails investigations into different criminals depending on their cases and the consistency of their behaviors at all instances. The research asserts that Investigative Psychology relies on the consistency of the behavior of different criminals in the society. Psychology emanates from empirical research and logical inferences that are used to investigate various criminal issues. Criminal profiling is hugely reliant on the accuracy of Investigative Psychology. Investigative Psychology employs statistical analysis such as Multi-dimensional scaling of the offenders that has played an instrumental role in supporting a theoretical differentiation between homicide offenders as either expressive or instrumental in their aggression. Investigators try to establish the characteristics of different criminals according to the information gathered. The key problems making Investigative Psychology inefficient include reliance on the consistency of individuals’ behavior, which does not give accurate information due to behavioral changes. Furthermore, the system is affected with the integrity problems that lead to misrepresented information pertaining to different criminals. The organization of the system is also a threat because it is based on numerous assumptions that do not give the correct facts required by police investigators. Lastly, the system faces the problem of ineffective and ambiguous language use, hence reducing understanding of different situations. The system could be improved in order to eliminate these existing inefficiencies, hence leading to the achievement of the desired goals.

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