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Towards a new methodology for making sense of case material: an illustrative case involving attempted multiple murder

By David M. Gresswell and Clive Hollin


Functional analysis provides a method of understanding behaviour in terms of its consequences for the individual concerned. The suggestion is made here that the application of this method to past behaviour will be useful to both practitioners and researchers. It offers benefits in terms of organising case material, understanding the etiology of the behaviour, planning interventions and predicting dangerousness. It should be noted, however, that this is not an exercise in developing causal models of specific offences. In this paper multiple sequential functional analysis methodology is described and the problems of applying it retrospectively to criminal behaviours discussed. The methodology is illustrated with the case of a man who formulated a plan to kill 20 people and was convicted of two counts of attempted murder

Topics: C800 Psychology, C810 Applied Psychology
Publisher: Whurr Publishers Ltd / Wiley Blackwell
Year: 1992
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