Crime scene investigation as distributed cognition

Chris Baber, Paul Smith, James Cross, John E. Hunter, Richard McMaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Crime scene investigation is a form of Distributed Cognition. The principal concept we explore in this paper is that of ‘resource for action’. It is proposed that crime scene investigation employs four primary resources-for-action: (a.) the environment, or scene itself, which affords particular forms of search and object retrieval; (b.) the retrieved objects, which afford translation into evidence; (c.) the procedures that guide investigation, which both constrain the search activity and also provide opportunity for additional activity; (d.) the narratives that different agents within the system produce to develop explanatory models and formal accounts of the crime. For each aspect of distributed cognition, we consider developments in technology that could support activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-385
Number of pages28
JournalPragmatics and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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