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Analysing forensic processes: taking time into account

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2008
JournalIssues in Forensic Psychology
Volume8
Number of pages13
Pages45-57
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A great deal of forensic psychology concerns sequences of behaviours or events. In this paper, we review some recent efforts to examine forensic issues as sequences, discuss some of the contemporary methodologies involved, and highlight some of the lessons that emerge from this research. Specifically, we show: (i) how research on public violence has benefited from studying incidents as patterns of cues and responses among perpetrators and bystanders; (ii) how regularities in the histories of those who undertake suicide terrorism may be identified by mapping their life events on a graphical timeline; and (iii) how sequence-based correlation coefficients make it possible to test detailed theories about the ways perpetrators respond to the various influence attempts of police negotiators. We conclude by encouraging forensic psychologists to
conceptualise their own areas of investigation as a sequence of events rather than a collection of variables.