Directory Profile

Lois James

Lois James

Associate Professor, SpokaneAssistant Dean of Research 509-324-7442 SNRS 449 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99202-2131

Lois James is an associate professor in the Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing, where she focuses on bias, stress, sleep, and performance in “high stress” populations such as police officers, military personnel, nurses, and top tier athletes. She has received multiple honors and awards for her work, and is internationally recognized as a leading expert in her field. Dr. James’s simulation-based research on the impact of bias on police decision making has significantly advanced what is known about how suspect race and ethnicity (as well as other factors) influences police officers during critical encounters with the public. She is the founding director of Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTsim), a novel and innovative simulation-based implicit bias training program that has been featured in National Geographic and the feature-length documentary “bias.” Dr. James’s work has been published extensively in academic journals, practitioner magazines, and mainstream media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. During her time at WSU, James has brought in approximately $6,000,000 of extramural funding, making her an important contributor to WSU’s “Drive to 25” goal of being recognized as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement by 2030.

Lois James CV


  • PhD in Criminal Justice, 2011, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Washington State University
  • MA in Criminal Justice, 2009, Department of Criminal Justice, Washington Sate University
  • BA in Psychology, 2007, Department of Criminal Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin University, Ireland

Areas of Interest

Sleep deprivation, circadian rhythms, implicit bias, health and wellness, human performance, critical decision making

Areas of Expertise

Implicit bias, comprehensive fatigue management, experimental design, simulation research, analytical modeling


  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) research advisory council member, 2015-present

Honors & Awards

  • College of Nursing Research Excellence Award 2020
  • Top downloaded paper 2018-2019, American Journal of Industrial Medicine
  • Emerald Literati 2019 Outstanding Paper Award for the paper “How police officers perform in encounters with the public: measuring what matters at the individual level” authored by Bryan Vila, Stephen James, and Lois James, published in Policing: An International Journal.
  • Emerald Literati 2018 Highly Commended Award for the paper “Does the “reverse racism effect” withstand the test of police officer fatigue?” authored by Lois James, Stephen James, Bryan Vila, published in Policing: An International Journal.
  • Recipient of the 2018 “Lewinski Lecture” series award sponsored by Minnesota State U.-Mankato in honor of the long-time faculty service in its law enforcement department of Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Institute.
  • Winner of the 2018 YWCA Spokane Women of Achievement Award for Science, Technology, & Environment.
  • Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTsim) was recognized with a 2017 TechConnect Defense Innovation Award because it placed in the top 15% of all submitted technologies as ranked by the Program Committee at the Defense Innovation Summit (DITAC), Tampa, Florida.
  • Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTsim) was awarded the Seal of Excellence by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST).
  • Awarded Best Paper (out of a selected pool of 171) for “Novel Process for Developing Metrics That Measure What Police Do” at the 2016 Interservice/Industry Training Simulation and Education Conference, the premier international conference in this area funded by the National Defense Industrial Association’s affiliate, the National Training and Simulation Association. (2016)
    Best Violence Research of 2013
  • James, L., Brody, D., Hamilton, Z. Risk factors for domestic violence during pregnancy: A meta-analytic review. (Violence and Victims, Vol. 28, No. 3, 00 359-380, 2013) was selected as one of the top 10 research articles on violence in 2013
  • Thomas S. Foley Graduate Fellowship, Foley Institute, Washington State University, June 2010.
  • Trinity College Dublin Scholarship for Academic Achievement (awarded for receiving a first-class honors in the second-year Scholarship exams), March 2005.
  • Trinity College Dublin Entry Award (awarded for being in the top 1 percent of Ireland’s high-school leaving certificate receivers), September 2003.

Techniques Used

Simulated critical tasks; Cognitive testing; Actigraphy

Methodological Strengths

Quantitative methods, mixed methods, simulation-based research, experimental design

Research Strengths

Sleep, Fatigue, Shiftwork, Circadian Disruption, Bias, Stress

Funded Research (in progress)

Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Police Fatigue Risk-Management Strategy for the Seattle Police Department. Funded by the Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice. $642,373. (Project PI: Lois James), January 2020 – December 2023.

The Impact of Shift-Accumulated Fatigue on Patient Care and Risk of Post-Shift Driving Collisions Among 12-Hour Day and Night Shift Nurses. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). $1,002,260. (Project PI: Lois James), May 2018 – April 2021.

An Evaluation of Simulation vs. Classroom-Based Implicit Bias Training to Improve Police
Decision Making and Enhance the Outcomes of Police-Citizen Encounters. Funded by the Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice. $749,864. (Project PI: Lois James), January 2018 – December 2020.

Online training for law enforcement to reduce risks associated with shift work and long work hours. Funded by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). $189,000. (Project PI: Lois James), June 2017 – May 2020.

Comprehensive fatigue risk–management strategy for the Ottawa Police Service. Funded by the Ottawa Police Service. $136,000. (Project PI: Lois James), 2018–present.


  • James, L., Caruso, C, James, S. Pilot test of ‘NIOSH training for law enforcement on shift work and long work hours’. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press.
  • Allison, P., Tiesman, H., Wong, I., Bernzweig, D., James, L., James, S., Navarro, K., Patterson, D. Working hours, sleep, and fatigue in the public safety sector: A scoping review of the research. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, DOI: 10.1002/ajim.23407 (2022).
  • James, L., James, S., Hesketh, I. Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Fatigue and Shift Working Risk Management Strategy for UK Home Office Police Forces: Pilot Study. International Journal of Emergency Services, (2021)
  • Wilson, M., Brown, N., James, L., James, S., Stevens, K., Butterfield, P. Psychometric evaluation of the Creighton Competency Evaluation Instrument in a population of working nurses Journal of Nursing Measurement. Journal of Nursing Measurement (2021).
  • Today, N., Leben, L., James, L. Citizen Attitudes towards the Public Release of Police Body-Worn Camera Video Footage. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 10.1080/15614263.2021.1969929 (2021)
  • James, L., Elkins-Brown, N., Wilson, M., James, S.M., Dotson, E., Edwards, C.D., Wintersteen-Arleth, L., Stevens, K. Butterfield, P., The effects of three consecutive 12-hour shifts on cognition, sleepiness, and domains of nursing performance in day and night shift nurses: A quasi-experimental study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, Volume 123, 104041, ISSN 0020-7489, (2021).
  • James, S., Heintzman-Yutzie, S., & James, L. An Effectiveness Evaluation of the Oregon State Revised Basic Police Academy Curriculum. In E. Arble, & B. Arnetz (Ed.), Interventions, Training, and Technologies for Improved Police Well-Being and Performance (pp. 38-54). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-6820-0.ch003 (2021).
  • James, L. Evolutionary Psychology and Policing: The Balance Between Aggression and Restraint. Sage Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, Sage Publications Ltd, London (2021).
  • James, L., Goldstein, M. S., Lecy, P., & Mase, S. Testing the impact of physiological stress response on police performance during critical job tasks. Policing: An International Journal. (2020).
  • James, L., James, S., Wilson, M., Brown, N., Dotson, E., Edwards, C., Butterfield, P. Sleep health and predicted cognitive effectiveness of nurses working 12-hour shifts: an observational study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 103667 (2020).
  • Bigand, T., Bindler, R., James, L., Daratha, K., Wilson, M. BMI influences relationships among health factors for adults with persistent pain who use prescription opioids. Nursing Outlook, pp: S0029-6554(19)30607-4. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2020.03.005 (2020).
  • Smart, D., James, L., Odom-Maryon, T., Rowen, S. Impact of Subjective Sleepiness on Critical Skills Performance in National Guard Medical Personnel during Extensive Disaster Training. Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing, 7;17-26 (2020).
  • James, S., James, L., Dotson, E. Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Police Department’s Early Intervention System. Journal of Experimental Criminology, (2020).
  • James, L., James, S. The Development and Testing of a Simulation-Based Implicit Bias Training Platform. Police Chief, November (2019).
  • James, L., Butterfield, P., Tuell, E. Nursing Students’ Sleep Patterns and Perceptions of Safe Practice During Their Entrée to Shift Work. Workplace Health and Safety, 67;11 (2019).
  • James, L., James, S., Dotson, E., Davis, R. Using Interval-Level Metrics to Investigate Situational, Suspect, and Officer-Level Predictors of Police Performance During Encounters with the Public. Police Quarterly, 1098611119857559 (2019).
  • James, L., Smart, D., Odom-Maryon, T., Roby, S. Sleep Deprivation in Air National Guard Medical Personnel Responding to Simulated Disaster-training Exercises. Military Psychology, 1-9 (2019).
  • Mitchell, R., James, L. Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Need to Evaluate Implicit Bias Training Effectiveness for Improving Fairness in Police Officer Decision making. The Police Chief (2018).
  • Todak, N., James, L. A Systematic Social Observation Study of Police De-Escalation Tactics. Police Quarterly (2018).
  • James, L., Todak, N. Prison work and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Risk and protective factors. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 61 (9) 725-732 (2018).
  • James, L., Todak, N., Savage, J. Unnecessary Force by Police: Insights from Evolutionary Psychology. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, doi:10.1093/police/pay025 (2018).
  • Vila, B., Stephen J., James, L. How police officers perform in encounters with the public: Measuring what matters at the individual level. Policing: an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 41(2): 215-232 (2018).
  • Smart, D., James, L., Odom-Maryon, T., Rowan, S. Using technology to advance the science of nursing research. International Journal of Social Science and Technology, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2018).
  • Todak, N., Huff, J., & James, L. Investigating perceptions of race and ethnic diversity among prospective police officers. Police Practice and Research, 1-15. (2018).
  • James, L. James, S. Vila, B. Testing the impact of citizen characteristics and demeanor on police officer behavior in potentially violent encounters. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol. 41 Issue: 1, pp.24-40, (2018).
  • Smart, D., Odom-Maryon, T., James, L., Rowen, S., Roby, A. Development of a Critical Skills Assessment for Military Medical Field Settings. Nursing Practice & Research, 1(4):1-8 (2017).
  • James, L., James, S. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Metrics: A Novel Method of Measuring Police Performance During Encounters with People in Crisis. Mental Health and Addiction Research, doi: 10.15761/MHAR.1000143 (2017).
  • James, L., Samuels, C., Vincent, F. Evaluating the effectiveness of fatigue management training to improve police sleep health and wellness: A pilot study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001174 (2017).
  • James, L. The stability of implicit racial bias in police officers. Police Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/1098611117732974 (2017).
  • Postma, J., Tuell, E., James, L., Graves, J. M., & Butterfield, P. Nursing Students’ Perceptions of the Transition to Shift Work: A Total Worker Health Perspective. Workplace Health & Safety, 2165079917719713. (2017).
  • James, L., Bindler, R., Todak, N., Daratha, K. BMI and daytime sleepiness: The impact of weight status on subjective daytime sleepiness in a sample of school-aged children. Health Behavior and Policy Review, 4(5):446-453 (2017).
  • James, L., James, S., Vila, B. The Impact of Work Shift and Fatigue on Police Officer Response in Simulated Interactions with Citizens. Journal of Experimental Criminology doi:10.1007/s11292-017-9294-2 (2017).
  • James, L., Todak, N, Best, S. The negative impact of prison work on sleep health. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 60(5):449-456 (2017).
  • James, L., James, S., Vila, B. Does the “reverse racism effect” withstand the test of police officer fatigue? Policing: an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Vol 40; Issue 2 (2017).
  • Vila, B., Stephen J., James, L. Novel Process for Developing Metrics That Measure What Police Do. Interservice/Industry Training Simulation and Education Conference, I/ITSEC Proceedings (2016).
  • James, L., Fridell, L., & Straub, F. Psychosocial factors impacting on officers’ decisions to use deadly force: The Implicit Bias v. “Ferguson” Effects. The Police Chief. (2016).
  • James, L., James, S., Vila, B. The reverse racism effect: are cops more hesitant to shoot black suspects? Criminology and Public Policy, 15(2), 457-479 (2016)
  • Samuels, C., James, L., Lawson, D., Meeuwisse, W. The athlete sleep screening questionnaire: A new tool for assessing and managing sleep in elite athletes. Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094332, (2015).
  • James, L., Vila, B., Klinger, D. Racial and ethnic in decisions to shoot seen through a stronger lens: Experimental results from high-fidelity laboratory simulations. Experimental Criminology, Vol. 10, Issue 3, pp 323-340, (2014).
  • Johnson, R., Stone, B., Miranda, C., Vila, B., James, L., James, S., Rubio, R., Berka, C. Identifying psychophysiological indices of expert vs. novice performance in deadly force judgment and decision making. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00512. (2014).
  • James, L., Vila, B., Daratha, K. The influence of suspect race and ethnicity on decisions to shoot in a deadly force judgment and decision-making simulator. Experimental Criminology, Vol. 9, Issue 2, pp 189-212, (2013).
  • James, L., Brody, D., Hamilton, Z. Risk factors for domestic violence during pregnancy: A meta-analytic review. Violence and Victims, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp 359-380, (2013).

updated 10/25/2022