Amy B. Douglass

Professor of Psychology



Pettengill Hall, Room 372


Professor Douglass is a social psychologist with interests in the interface of psychology and law, specifically eyewitness testimony. In her research, she examines how eyewitness memory can be profoundly distorted by subtle interactions with other witnesses and investigators.

Summary of Interests

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Distortions in eyewitness confidence
  • Social influence in the context of legal decisions
  • Jury decision making


  • Ph.D. in Social Psychology, Iowa State University, 2001
  • Master of Science in Psychology, Iowa State University, 1998
  • Bachelor of Arts, with honors, Williams College, 1996

Courses Taught

  • Psychology 218 Statistics
  • FYS 255 The Psychology of Influence
  • Psychology 307 Applied Social Psychology
  • Psychology 311 Psychology of Religion
  • Psychology 317 Psychology and Law

Invited Submissions

* indicates Bates student

Douglass, A.B., & *Bustamante, L. (2012). Social influences on memory. In Handbook of Applied Memory, edited by Tim Valentine and Don Read, Sage Press.

Douglass, A. B. (August 31, 2011). Changes to eyewitness identification procedures.  NY Times Room for Debate blog.

Douglass, A. B., & *Pavletic, A. (2011). Eyewitness confidence malleability: Why it occurs and how it contributes to wrongful convictions. In B. L. Cutler (Ed).Conviction of the Innocent: Lessons from Psychological Research. APA Press.

Selected Publications

* indicates Bates student

Steblay, N., Wells, G. L., & Douglass, A. B. (2014). The eyewitness post-identification feedback effect 15 years later: Theoretical and policy implications.Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 20(1), 1-18. doi: 10.1037/law0000001

Douglass, A. B., Ray, J. L., Hasel, L., & *Donnelly, K. (online first December, 2013). Does it matter how you deny it? The role of demeanor in evaluations of criminal suspects. Legal and Criminological Psychology. doi: 10.1111/lcrp.12042

Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., Semmler, C., *Bustamante, L., & *Hiley, A. (2013). The dynamic interaction between eyewitnesses and interviewers: The impact of differences in perspective on memory reports and interviewer behavior. Law and Human Behavior, 37(4), 290-301. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000034

Douglass, A. B., & Jones, E. (2013). Confidence inflation in eyewitnesses: Seeing is not believing. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 18(1), 152-167. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8333.2011.02031.x

Quinlivan, D., Neuschatz, J., Douglass, A. B., Wells, G. L., & Wetmore, S. (2012). The effect of post-identification feedback, delay, and suspicion on accurate eyewitnesses. Law and Human Behavior, 36(3), 206-214. doi: 10.1037/h0093970

Douglass, A. B., Neuschatz, J. S., *Imrich, J. F., & Wilkinson, M. (2010). Does post-identification feedback affect evaluations of eyewitness testimony and identification procedures? Law and Human Behavior, 34(4), 282-294. doi: 10.1007/s10979-009-9189-5

Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., & Semmler, C. (2010).  Moderators of post-identification feedback effects on eyewitnesses’ memory reports. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 15, 279-292.

Quinlivan, D. S., Neuschatz, J. S., Jiminez, A., Cling, A. D., Douglass, A. B., & Goodsell, C. A.  (2009). Do prophylactics prevent inflation?: Post-identification feedback and the effectiveness of procedures to protect against confidence-inflation in earwitnesses. Law and Human Behavior, 33, 111-121.

McQuiston-Surrett, D. M., Douglass, A. B., & Burkhardt, S. (2008). Evaluation of facial composite evidence depends on the presence of other case factors.  Legal and Criminological Psychology, 13(2), 279-298.

*Poggio, A., & Douglass, A. B. (2007). The impact of task difficulty, defendant’s race and race salience on conformity in mock jury deliberations. Modern Psychological Studies: Journal of Undergraduate Research, 13(1), 3-15.

Douglass, A. B.*Smith, C., & Fraser-Thill, R. (2005). A problem with double-blind photospread procedures: Photospread administrators use the confidence of one eyewitness to influence the identification of another eyewitness. Law and Human Behavior, 29(5), 543-562.

Wells, G. L., & Bradfield, A. L. (1998).  “Good, you identified the suspect”: Feedback to eyewitnesses distorts their reports of the witnessed experience.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 360-376.

Grant Funding

Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., & Semmler, C. (August 1, 2009 – July 31, 2012).  The dynamic interaction between investigator and eyewitness: Effects on memory reports and interviewer behavior. National Science Foundation, $128,926.

Semmler, C., Brewer, N., & Douglass, A. B. (December 2009 – December 2012). The distortion of eyewitness identification testimony. Australian Research Council, $230,000 (AUD).

Resource for Students

Burl, J., Shah, S., Filone, S., Foster, E., & DeMatteo, D. (2012). A Survey of Graduate Training Programs and Coursework in Forensic Psychology. Teaching Of Psychology, 39(1), 48-53.