David Canter

David Canter
University of Liverpool | UoL · Professor of Psychology

BA, MA (by research in music composition), PhD

About

305
Publications
160,567
Reads
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8,337
Citations
Introduction
Having 'retired' from Huddersfield University, I now devote my time to developing my publications and working on my PhD in Music Composition at Liverpool Hope University.
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - December 2017
University of Huddersfield
Position
  • Professor
September 1994 - September 2009
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Director, Centre for Investigative Psychology
September 1971 - September 1994
University of Surrey
Position
  • Head of Department

Publications

Publications (305)
Chapter
This chapter challenges the view that, for those offenders with a psychiatric diagnosis, their mental illness or personality disorder is the cause of their antisocial behaviour. It is argued that even forensic, clinical patients have agency. Considered within this narrative framework, reference to enduring aspects of individuals, such as personalit...
Article
Though narrative studies have provided important insights on addiction and recovery, social desirability and self-protective factors may limit the richness and relevance of standard “life story” accounts. In marginalized populations, the “Life as Film” (LAAF) procedure has proved useful for addressing these concerns. Building on this literature, th...
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Full-text available
In the spirit of the growing developments in positive psychology, there is an increasing interest in how kind people are to each other. Yet, this area lacks any strong psychometric instrument. An initial exploratory study demonstrated that a 40-item questionnaire, completed by 165 people, revealed distinct aspects of kindness when subjected to mult...
Article
The study of offense narratives emphasizes the agency of the offender which brings psychology closer to law. As an effort to create a standardized and quantitative method to evaluate offender narratives, Youngs and Canter developed the Narrative Roles Questionnaire (NRQ) based on the content analyses of the crime narratives of offenders in UK priso...
Article
Background/Aims Research highlights a relationship between cognitive complexity and coping capacity. Narrative studies with psychiatric patients show that development of more complex ideas about self, others, and situations facilitates positive responsiveness to psychosocial challenges. Extending this line of inquiry, the present study examines the...
Article
Background Recent “Life as a film” (LAAF) studies demonstrate a relationship between themes of agency and communion in life stories and substance misuse recovery, contrasting with theme deficits in addicted populations, suggesting pathways to positive identity change. The present study aims to elucidate other key constructs differentiating recovery...
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Gives the background to 'Offender Profiling' and why it is misunderstood and how the search for a scientific basis gave rise to Investigative Psychology.
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This study tests the viability of multiple sorting tasks (MST) as a method to explore perceptions of public space and its potential for people that are vulnerable to loneliness. The procedure integrates qualitative and quantitative aspects and obviates the challenge of people articulating how they interact with their surroundings, especially being...
Article
Background: Research in the field of substance misuse shows that identity change is key to recovery. Theories typically focus on either personal or social factors in this process; however, a framework encompassing agency and communion has proved useful in understanding narratives in similar populations. Objectives: The study proposes that agency an...
Article
Background: Current models of identity transformation in substance misuse recovery emphasise either communal or agentic growth processes. Building on life narrative studies of addicted males, the present study proposes that agency and communion themes distinguish the narrative identities of rehabilitated substance users from active users. Method:...
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The development of analyses of qualitative data that reveal their underlying structure, using the facet framework, are reviewed in the present article. These provide the basis for a general theory of the inherent structure of most qualitative data, an aspect that other approaches typically only allow for with quantitative data. This broadens the ap...
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The present study examined whether there are different processes operating in the crime location choices between body‐disposing and non‐body‐disposing serial killers and between sexual serial killers and acquisitive serial killers. A sample of 49 series of solved German serial killings is used to examine the differences in travelled distances betwe...
Article
Background: Narrative research shows that identity change is key to recovery from substance misuse. Theories have focused on either personal or social factors in this process. A framework encompassing Agency and Communion has been useful in understanding narratives in similar populations. Objectives: The study proposes that substance misuse and rec...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is the opening section of the widely cited book The Psychology of Place. An eBook version is cheaply available on Amazon.
Chapter
Full-text available
Book
This thoroughly updated and revised new edition provides an essential overview of a full range of psychological contributions to the understanding of crime and the processes of dealing with offenders and helping their victims. From the cognitive, developmental and social processes that influence a diverse range of crimes, including burglary, fraud,...
Article
Although a growing number of studies indicate the psychological benefits of Kindness no clear definition or distinct measure of Kindness is available. A framework for considering kindness was therefore developed and a 40 item self-report questionnaire (the kindness measure) produced from it. This was completed by a sample of 165 people differing in...
Article
Much of society’s resources are devoted to dealing with, or preparing for the possibility of, crime. The dominance of concerns about crime also hints at the broader implications that offending has for many different facets of society. They suggest that rather than being an outlawed subset of social activity crime is an integrated aspect of societal...
Chapter
Ways of exploring the conceptual systems people have of places are discussed. Their origin in Kelly's Personal Construct Psychology are described and later variants of his Repertory Grid, notably the Multiple Sorting Task, are illustrated. The ways in which these procedures can be used for examining an individual's methods of thinking about places...
Article
The current paper explores the journey offenders make after their offence through a series of tiger kidnap offences from the north and south of Ireland. Tiger kidnap is the abduction of a person of importance to a victim (generally a bank manager) in which that person is used as collateral until the victim complies with the requests of the offender...
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A neglected area of research within criminality has been that of the experience of the offence for the offender. The present study investigates the emotions and narrative roles that are experienced by an offender while committing a broad range of crimes and proposes a model of criminal narrative experience (CNE). Hypotheses were derived from the ci...
Article
The current study explores the roles offenders see themselves playing during an offense and their relationship to different crime types. One hundred and twenty incarcerated offenders indicated the narrative roles they acted out while committing a specific crime they remembered well. The data were subjected to Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) and four...
Article
Although detection of deception accuracy rate has been researched extensively, the person perception components that are the basis for these judgments remain unclear. To explore this, 30 academics' person perceptions, as well as truthfulness judgment, of the individual presenting a televised appeal were measured using a 14-item scale. Twelve appeal...
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Full-text available
The number and variety of journals and books that deal with many different psychological aspects of crime, criminals and the legal process is growing at a rapid rate. Taylor & Francis alone, who publish this new journal, now have at least 25 journals covering the general area of crime and psychology. A simple search of the Taylor & Francis website...
Article
The Life As A Film (LAAF) procedure is described. This was developed for use with offenders, building on McAdams's (1993) explorations of autobiographical accounts from effective individuals. The advantages of the LAAF procedure for a prison population are discussed, together with the content dictionary used for analysing LAAF responses. The LAAF r...
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Although previous research into specialisation has been dominated by the debate over the existence of specialisation versus versatility, it is suggested that research needs to move beyond the restrictions of this dispute. The current study explores the criminal careers of 200 offenders based on their criminal records, obtained from a police databas...
Article
PurposeA growing body of literature indicates the value of exploring the accounts offenders give of their lives. This raises questions about whether offenders’ narratives, distinctive from those of non-offenders, elucidate the identity and agency processes that facilitate continued offending.Method To explore this, 61 offenders and 90 non-offenders...
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The study explored the personal narratives of Mentally Disordered Offenders (MDOs) and the impact various mental disorders had on the structure of the offenders’ criminal narratives. Seventy adult male offenders who were sectioned under the United Kingdom’s Mental Health Act 2007 were recruited for the study. Participants were provided with a 36 it...
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Purpose – Although most aetiological theories of crime assume that offenders are a distinct subset of the population, there is evidence that many illegal acts are committed by people who have no convictions and are therefore not regarded as criminals. The question consequently arises as to whether there are aspects of illegal actions that set convi...
Article
It is hypothesized that individuals who play different roles in terrorist organizations will have different psychological processes underlying their activities. An innovative examination of the personal construct systems of terrorists explored this. As part of a larger study, three individuals convicted of Islamic‐related terrorist violence in Indi...
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It is generally accepted that human behaviour needs to change if the depredations of climate change are to be reduced. Yet despite overwhelming evidence for this need there has been remarkably little modification of what people do. This paper introduces the environmental science community to the general area of environmental psychology. It argues t...
Article
Prior knowledge of the likely or expected outcome of a forensic investigation has been shown to produce biases in the results obtained, reducing objectivity. The wide prevalence of such cognitive biases in many judgments has long been recognised by social psychologists, but its importance is only now gaining appreciation within forensic science com...
Book
15 chapters providing accounts of recent research in four sections dealing with David Canter's Investigative Psychology theories and models; Investigative Psychology methodologies; the problem solving discipline of Investigative Psychology and selected comments and newspaper articles by Professor Canter as well as a detailed bibliography of his pub...
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Full-text available
Objectives Current ‘geographical offender profiling’ methods that predict an offender’s base location from information about where he commits his crimes have been limited by being based on aggregate distributions across a number of offenders, restricting their responsiveness to variations between individuals as well as the possibility of axially di...
Article
Purpose. In commenting on Youngs and Canter's (2011) study, Ward (2011) raises concerns about offenders’ personal narratives and their link to self-concepts and identity. His comments relate to explorations of personal life stories rather than the narratives of actual crimes that are the focus of Youngs and Canter's (2011) study. The elaboration of...
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Although distinct offence action patterns have been identified for different forms of sexual and violent crime, a generic psychological framework for this differentiation has yet to be advanced. An innovative framework derived from the emerging criminal narrative approach provides a significant contribution to the differentiation of offending style...
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In order to provide the context for this special issue of Contemporary Social Science, a brief review of the biological and evolutionary explanations of psychological and socio-cultural phenomena is presented. This distinguishes five separate aspects of what may be characterised as ‘biologising’ the social sciences: Darwinian theories, neuroscience...
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The study of narrative processes as part of the immediate factors that shape criminal action is limited by the lack of a methodology for differentiating the narrative themes that characterise specific crime events. The current study explores how the roles offenders see themselves as playing during an offence encapsulate their underlying crime narra...
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This chapter addresses a neglected area of offender profiling, namely ethical and professional issues. Through a consideration of the general standards of practice deemed appropriate by the British Psychological Society we outline how many profiling standards fall short of these recommendations. In doing so we highlight the importance of processes...
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In cases in which a person's death was caused by means not immediately apparent a procedure known as equivocal death analysis may be employed. This consists of attempting to form a view of the mental state of the deceased from records and people who might have known the person. Whilst this relatively new procedure has some advantages over the subje...
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The term 'profiler' has commonly been applied to the media hungry defintion of a sole individual responsible for solving an offence where others have failed. This chapter extends the meaning to any individual or self professed 'expert' who has attempted to explain the motivations of others and categorise certain details of their backgrounds. This m...
Article
Author specific linguistic patterns are present în unique combinations in the style of every writer. These underlying patterns can often be clearly described by careful linguistic observation and analysis, making author identification *(McMenamin, 1993). This chapter sets out to explore these claîms and to provide an overview of the work that has b...
Article
‘Profilers’ and ‘Profiling���� are now widely discussed, with almost mythical respect. This is the first volume to cut through the confusions and misunderstandings surrounding this topic to report on detailed, original, scientific research that examines the variations in criminal behaviour from which any ‘profile’ must be derived.
Article
In order to provide an understanding of the contribution made by the design of hospital wards to the well-being of nurses at work a model is proposed for the structure of ward evaluations. Use is made of facet theory to generate the model. A questionnaire is developed on the basis of the model by combining elements of the facets to create the quest...
Article
It is hypothesized that inference rules operate which assume similarity between people and their physical surroundings. The first experiment described used line-drawings of rooms containing seated figures. Ratings of the rooms and separate ratings of the people who it was assumed used those rooms were made. The second experiment used colour slides...
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It is hypothesized that there will be behavioural consistencies in the actions of arsonists when committing a crime that characterize them. The themes underlying these observable differences can be used to help us understand the nature of the offence. With arson, one such observable difference is hypothesized to relate to the target or focus of the...
Article
Purpose. The proposal that offenders’ narratives help to shape criminal action raises the possibility of a finite set of narrative themes for distinguishing offenders. The present paper seeks to articulate narrative themes that may be active within the roles offenders adopt during offending events. Possible themes may be derived from studies of fun...
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Full-text available
Determining the characteristics of an unknown offender from details of a crime is at the heart of much crime fiction. Although it has roots in the inferences made by Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never provided empirical evidence for Holmes’ inferences, or models of how such inferences can be made. Yet it ought to be possible to utilize p...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper briefly describes the methodologies employed in the collection and storage of first-hand accounts of evacuation experiences derived from face-to-face interviews with evacuees from the World Trade Center (WTC) Twin Towers complex on 11 September 2001 and the development of the High-rise Evacuation Evaluation Database (HEED). The main focu...
Chapter
This chapter elaborates on why it is important to establish relations with all levels of law enforcement before there is a crisis. It explains how to coordinate efficiently and effectively to support investigation and prosecution of criminals. Working with law enforcement at all levels, both nationally and internationally, is an important aspect of...

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Question (1)
Question
I want to asses degree of kindness in different populations.

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