Amy Bradfield 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. She has been an Associate Editor for Law & Human Behavior, published by the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association). She is currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer for the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (www.sarmac.org).
In 2022-2023 Professor Douglass will be on a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Fellowship in Japan.
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
- Psychology 218 Statistics
- FYS 255 The Psychology of Influence
- Psychology/Religious Studies 311 Psychology of Religion
- Psychology 317 Psychology and Law
*indicates Bates student
Kassin, S. M. & Douglass, A.B. (in press). Justice and law. In D. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, E. Finkel, & W. B. Mendes (Eds.), The Handbook of Social Psychology, 6th edition.
Douglass, A.B. (2021). Bending toward justice in eyewitness identification research. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
Douglass, A.B., & *Bustamante, L. (2012). Social influences on memory. In T. Valentine & J. D. Read (Eds.) Handbook of Applied Memory. 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.
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*Abramowitz, K., & Douglass, A. B. (in press). Racial bias in jury selection hurts mock jurors, not just defendants: Testing one potential intervention. Law & Human Behavior.
Fessinger, M. B., Bornstein, B. B., Neuschatz, J. S., DeLoach, D., Hillgartner, M. A., Wetmore, S. A., & Douglass, A. B. (2020). Informants v. Innocents: Informant Testimony and its Contribution to Wrongful Convictions. Capital University Law Review, 48(2). Abstract.
Douglass, A. B., Lucas, C. A., & Brewer, N. (2020). Cowitness identification speed affects choices from target-absent photospreads. Law and Human Behavior. https://doi-org.lprx.bates.edu/10.1037/lhb0000420.supp (Supplemental).
Wells, G. L., Kovera, M. B., Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., Meissner, C. A., & Wixted, J. T. (2020). Policy and procedure recommendations for the collection and preservation of eyewitness identification evidence. Law and Human Behavior, 44(1), 3–36. https://doi-org.lprx.bates.edu/10.1037/lhb0000359
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.
Peer-reviewed Conference Presentations
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*Abramowitz, K., & Douglass, A. B. (2022, March). Racial bias in jury selection: The impact on empaneled jurors and potential interventions. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology – Law Society, Denver, CO.
– Katie’s thesis research won second place in the American-Psychology Law Society undergraduate paper competition – congratulations, Katie!
*Mulligan, J., & Douglass, A. B., & Charman, S. (2020, March). Evaluating witness accuracy: Video recording identification procedures and contextual information. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, New Orleans, LA.
*Finley, N., & Douglass. A. B. (2020, March). Perceptions of emotion during witness identification procedures. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, New Orleans, LA.
*Vasconcelos, D., Douglass, A. B., Charman, S., & Matuku, K. (2019, June). Effects of videotaped eyewitness identifications on eyewitnesses. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Brewster, MA.
Douglass, A. B., Brewer, N., & Lucas, C. (2019, March). Co-witness identification speed influences false identification rates. Paper presented at annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Portland, OR.
Douglass, A. B., & Charman, S. (March 1, 2019 – February 28, 2022). Collaborative research: Video-recording eyewitness identification lineups: Testing for unanticipated costs and undiscovered benefits. National Science Foundation, $325,912 total; $130,722 to Bates College. Grant no. 1849411
Douglass, A. B. & Brewer, N. (September 15, 2016 – August 31, 2019). RUI: Imperfect safeguards: Can brief social interactions undermine system variable protections against false eyewitness identifications? National Science Foundation, $127,858. Grant no. 1627433
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, AUD $230,000.
Resources 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.
Brigham, J. C. (1999). What is forensic psychology, anyway? Law and Human Behavior, 23(3), 273–298. https://doi-org.lprx.bates.edu/10.1023/A:1022304414537
The American Psychology-Law Society has a series of short videos produced by the Minority Affairs Committee on research in psychology and law. Students interested in the field will find them helpful: https://www.youtube.com/user/LawandPsychology
American Psychology-Law Society – Division 41 of the American Psychological Association