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Department of Psychology

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Alasdair M. Goodwill


Associate Professor


PhD, University of Birmingham (UK)




416-979-5000 ext.2150




Keywords: forensic psychology, criminology, behavioral investigative advice, offender profiling, geographical profiling

During my psychology undergraduate at McMaster University I became fascinated with psychology and the criminal mind. In pursuit of my passion to study and develop forensic and criminological research I ventured to the University of Liverpool in the UK to undertake an MSc in Investigative Psychology, a course dedicated to studying the application of psychology in criminal investigations. Subsequently I undertook a PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK) with Professor Laurence Alison, a leading expert in behavioural investigative advice and Police decision making, focusing on pragmatic methods for suspect prioritisation in sexual offending investigations. Following my PhD I began a lectureship at the University of Birmingham, where in the later years, I was director of their prestigious Doctorate programme in Forensic Psychology Practice.

My main research interests are in offender profiling research, in particular, developing, analysing and delivering pragmatic multi-phasic methods for suspect prioritisation in sexual and violent criminal investigations.  Currently, I am working with the Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) in the UK to investigate the application of behavioural investigative advice to stranger rape investigations. Working alongside Police investigators, practitioners and academic colleagues in the UK I have contributed psychological analysis and behavioural investigative advice to several high profile cases for national and local Police forces.  The experience of applying forensic and criminological theory and research to ‘real’ criminal investigations has developed my appreciation of contributing practical ‘hands-on’ research to the academic and practitioner community.

As a chartered forensic psychologist (Health Professions Council, UK) I have worked closely with community members and organizations to provide forensic advice and professional forensic trainee supervision. I am also registered as a chartered scientist (CSci - British Psychological Society) and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (UK) largely hinting at my love of all things mathematical and statistical. I am delighted to join the department of Psychology at Ryerson University in 2009.


Selected Publications:

Goodwill, A.M., Stephens, S., Oziel, S., Sharma, S., Allen, J., Bowes, N. & Lehmann, R. (2013). Advancement of Criminal Profiling Methods in Faceted Multidimensional Analysis, Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 10, 71-95.

Lehmann, R.J.B, Goodwill, A.M., Gallasch-Nemitz, F., Biedermann, J. & Dahle, K-P. (2012). Applying Crime Scene Analysis to the Prediction of Sexual Recidivism in Stranger Rapes. Law & Human Behavior, doi: 10.1037/lhb0000015

Goodwill, A.M., Stephens, S., Oziel, S., Yapp, J. & Bowes, N. (2012). Multidimensional latent classification of ‘street robbery’ offences, Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 9, 93-109.

Beech, A.R., Mandeville-Norden, R. & Goodwill, A.M. (2012). Comparing reconviction rates of treatment responders/non-Responders in a sample of child molesters who had undertaken community-based sex offender treatment in the UK. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 56, 29-49.

Goodwill, A.M., Alison, L.J. & Humann, M., Francis, A. & Villejoubert, G. (2010). The Impact of Outcome Knowledge, Role and Quality of Information on the Perceived Legitimacy of Lethal Force Decisions in Counter Terrorism operations. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 28, 337-350.

Alison, L.J., Goodwill, A.M., Almond, L., van den Heuvel, C. & Winter, J. (2010). Pragmatic solutions to offender profiling and behavioural investigative advice. Legal & Criminological Psychology, 15, 115-132.

Harkins, L., Beech, A.R., & Goodwill, A.M. (2010). Examining the influence of denial, motivation, and risk on sexual recidivism. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22, 78-94.

Bennell, C., Emeno, K., Snook, B., Taylor, P. & Goodwill, A.M. (2009). The Precision, Accuracy, and Efficiency of Geographic Profiling Predictions: A Simple Heuristic versus Mathematical Algorithms. Crime Mapping: A journal of Research & Practice, 1, 65-84.

Goodwill, A.M., Alison, L.J. & Beech, A.R. (2009). What works in offender profiling? A comparison of typological, thematic and multivariate models. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 27, 507-529.

Goodwill, A.M., Alison, L.J. & Humann, M. (2009). Multidimensional scaling and the analysis of sexual offence behaviour: A Reply to Sturidsson et al. Psychology, Crime & Law, 15, 517-524.

Kelly, J., Goodwill, A.M., Keene, N., & Thrift, S (2009). A retrospective study of historical risk factors for pathological arson in adults with mild learning disabilities. British Journal of Forensic Practice, 11, 17-23.

Almond, L., Alison, L., Eyre, M., Crego, J. & Goodwill, A.M. (2008). Heuristics and biases in decision-making, in Alison, L.J. and Crego, J. (editors). Policing Critical Incidents: Leadership and Critical Incident Management, Willan: London.

Goodwill, A.M. & Alison, L.J. (2007). When is profiling possible? Offence planning and aggression as moderators in predicting offender age from victim age in stranger rape. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 25, 823-840.

Goodwill, A.M. & Alison, L.J. (2006). The development of a filter model for prioritising suspects in burglary offences. Psychology, Crime & Law, 12, 395-416.

Goodwill, A.M. & Alison, L.J. (2005). Exploring the patterns of crime: The differential sequential angulation of serial offenders. Psychology, Crime & Law, 11, 161-176.

Alison, L.J., Goodwill, A.M. & Alison, E. (2005). The Madjenko, Mascav and Eve case: A study in linking and suspect prioritisation, in Alison, L.J. (editor). The Forensic Psychologists Casebook: A Practical Guide in Preparing Reports on Violent and Sexual Offences, Willan: London.

Alison, L.J., West, A., & Goodwill, A.M. (2004). The academic and the practitioner: Pragmatists views of offender profiling. Psychology, Public Policy & Law, 10, 71-101.


Professional Affiliations:

  • Chartered Forensic Psychologist (CPsychol - Forensic) Health Professions Council (UK)
  • Chartered Scientist (CSci) British Psychological Society (UK)
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS)
  • Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS)
  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Birmingham (UK)
  • Fellow of the International Association of Investigative Psychology; F-IAIP
  • Member of the Association of Psychological Science (APS)
  • International collaborator in University of Carleton Police Research Laboratory, Canada
  • Associate Member of the Centre for Investigative and Forensic Psychology, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Associate Member of the Centre for Critical Incident Research, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Journal of Criminal Psychology (editorial board)
  • Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology (editorial board)

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Faculty Information

Mailing Address:

Department of Psychology
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 2K3, Canada

Fax: 416-979-5273


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Research Labs: 105 Bond St. [map]


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