Crime Scene Analysis Decision Making

Crime Scene Analysis Decision Making
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-02-22
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Crime Scene Analysis Decision Making
Unit 2Transcript: Crime Scene Analysis Decision Making
Unit 3Workbook: Crime Scene Analysis Decision Making
Unit 4Recording: Crime Scene Analysis Decision Making

There are factors that play critical roles in our decision-making. To become an informed and aware decision-maker, investigators must be mindful of the potential impact of various factors to minimize errors and biases. This webinar explores how these factors affect decision-making and the value of practice-based research and evidence-led practice for effective decision making particularly in crime scene analysis.

Back on the Justice Clearinghouse is Investigative Psychology expert, C. Gabrielle Salfati. She is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Investigative Psychology Research Unit at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has more than 25 years of experience in research to translate scientific evidence to practical application for law enforcement and mental health professionals.

Topics she discussed in this session include:

  • The focus of investigative psychology on practice-based research and evidence-based practice.
  • The three key areas of focus of investigative psychology – from gathering information, decision-making, and drawing conclusions based on criminal behavior.
  • The key challenges that investigators face when it comes to information collection and decision-making at a crime scene.
  • The key questions that must be answered for an effective information collection and decision-making process.
  • The ultimate goal of becoming an informed decision-maker by looking at both the crime scene and our own analysis process.
  • A drill-down into the factors that influence decision-making.
    • The role of perception in decision-making, and an experiment that demonstrates how our perceptions can impact how we see the bigger picture.
    • How we decide based on our memory, and a study that revealed how memory can easily be influenced and rewritten.
    • The concept of heuristics, how it prevents us from overriding our brains, how it can lead to biases in our decision-making, and examples of common heuristics in crime scene investigations.
    • Intuition: What it is and what it is based on, and how it relates to System One and System Two thinking.
  • System One and System Two Thinking: How thinking and decision-making occur for each, situations when they are activated, and their advantages and disadvantages.
  • How awareness of whether we’re making our decisions in either System One or System Two states provides us with discernment on which is appropriate to apply given the situation.
  • Making gut instincts correct by grounding our intuition through expertise acquired through System Two knowledge which is based on data and training.
  • Applying evidence-led practice in crime scene decision-making by looking at common crime scene challenges through the System One/System Two lens.
  • Resources were provided to further explain the concepts discussed.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • Crafting better questions for investigations.
  • What investigators or prosecutors can do to prevent influencing the memory of a subject being interviewed or interrogated.
  • The reliability of eyewitness testimony.



Other Webinars with these Presenters


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming ASEBP webinars on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “This webinar covered a topic that is totally missing from investigator training in the US – not only useful for Crime Scene Analysis but all investigative work.” — James
  • “Well done. Loved the exercises. Very useful.” — Jeffrey
  • “I found everything to be valuable.” — TRACY
  • “Moving from system 1 thinking into system 2 thinking.” — Travis
  • “The heuristic concept was a new and fascinating term that truly enlightened me as far as decision-making is concerned. Thank you for a wonderful and most beneficial webinar!!!” — Julian
  • “I like the way she explained and presented the topics — LEANDRE
  • What captivated my attention the most was learning about decision-making from fast and slow.” — Mary Lou
  • “Interesting to learn about the process of decision-making and to not discount the self when arriving on the scene.” — Sarah
  • “Great presentation. I think there is an opportunity to further explore some of the points she made and how they can be applied in law enforcement environments.” — Michael
  • “I’m a psychologist and in law enforcement. I recently attended a course on criminal investigations and received certification as a criminal investigator from Peace Officer Standards and Training )POST). Given that training along with Gabrielle’s Presentation today, it is my opinion that I have received additional training that shall enhance my ability to conduct a more in-depth crime scene criminal investigation! I shall attend the online course offered by John Jay College.” — Jean
  • “Gabrielle, thank you for another powerful presentation!!!” — Barbara
  • “How when you think you have your mindset on one thing, but the reason many other things are happening at the same time. A good eye-opener for sure!” — Danielle




The American Society of EvidenceBased Policing is a non-profit organization started by working police officers designed to drive the national conversation towards ensuring that the least harmful, most effective, fairest, and safest strategies are employed to prevent crime, reduce harm, and improve community wellness.



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