gathering evidence to resolve questions of validity
Investigation is a pro-active word for it describes a character who makes an effort to seek out evidence. Obviously this usually tends to bring one closer to a conclusion sooner than without the effort. But Investigation can cause trouble since the character must pre-determine where to look. This leads to a meandering path through the evidence that may miss whole pockets of essential information. Sometimes a single missed piece can flip the entire conclusion 180 degrees. So Investigating to one's satisfaction depends on random success and the limits of one's tenacity, not necessarily on learning what the whole picture is.
syn. inquiry, research, probe, sleuthing, delving, query