An earlier version of the NeuroCognitive Risk Assessment (NCRA) tools have been extensively validated through expert consensus in six countries (Dean, 2014).  The results of this expert validation study are published by the internationally reputable academic publisher, Springer, and can be purchased from their website in e-book or softcover book formats. Available at: (


The aim of the research was to quantitatively validate a newly developed neurocognitive-based structured professional judgment (SPJ) risk assessment checklist instrument (RAVE) and its computational outputs in the form of 2-D Risk Contour and 3-D Risk Surface plots generated by a purpose-build software program with the acronym GRiPe.

The validation study employed an Expert Elicitation methodology designed to elicit the tacit knowledge and subjective judgments of specialist academics (N=26) and experienced practitioners (N=15) in six countries from various policing/security agencies and institutions.

The Table below contains a breakdown of the countries that participated in the study and the centres/institutions/agencies from which the various experts kindly volunteered to be part of this peer review process of the earlier RAVE and GRiPe RA tools under examination.


The results of the comparative case analysis confirmed the specific objectives of this research, which were as follows:

The first objective confirmed was the ‘fine-tuning’ of the parameters of the RAVE (SPJ) checklist instrument through a peer review and rating process of a number of prepared tuning cases by the expert pool of voluntary participants.  This parameterisation exercise demonstrated the acceptability and reliability of the underlying theoretical assumption of this neurocognitive risk model that Ps (specific perceptions) and Bs (specific beliefs) predict Risk.

The second objective confirmed was the testing out of the GRiPe software of a fitted ‘risk surface’ model for each of the three distinct violent extremist sub-groups of terrorists, militants and active shooters. The ‘risk surface’ model reliably functioned as a verification check on the veracity of an expert participant’s calculated and estimated ‘risk level’ ratings for each particular tuning case.

The third objective confirmed was that of achieving an expert consensus that validated the reliability of the RAVE and GRiPe components of this Risk Assessment Toolbox (RAT) as an early detection system for violent extremists.

In summary, this research validated these earlier version NCRA tools and highlighted the importance of this empirically-grounded neurocognitive model of the variant forms of violent extremism.  The significance of this research is that it underscores the value and benefit  of not only having a more reliable way to assess the ‘risk potentiality’ of a Person-of-Concern (PoC) but also of having a way to reliable assess the subjectively-driven tacit knowledge of practitioners making the risk assessment of a PoC in the first instance.

Finally, the risk assessment tools developed through this research have the potential to reliably discriminate between individuals who merely ‘talk-the-talk’ of violent extremism from those that are committed in their mind to ‘walk-the-talk’ of carrying out violently extreme actions, often  against the innocents – women, men and children – in Society.



Dean, G. (2014) Neurocognitive Risk Assessment for the Early Detection of Violent Extremists.

Springer: New York.

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