Lois James
Assistant Professor 509-324-7442 SNRS 422C 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA 99202-2131

Lois James, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the WSU College of Nursing. She has a BA in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin, and received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from WSU in 2011. During her time at WSU, Dr. James has brought in approximately $5 million of extramural funding as PI or Co-PI.

Dr. James is a core faculty member in the Sleep and Performance Research Center (SPRC), where she focuses on the relationship between sleep, health, and performance in elite populations such as nurses, combat medics, military personnel, police officers, and top tier athletes. She is particularly interested in how sleep disruption due to shift work, and disruption of the circadian clock due to jet lag, lead to negative health outcomes and performance deficits. Through understanding the prevalence and impact of sleep deprivation and circadian disruption within these populations Dr. James creates fatigue management strategies to help build resilience and reduce the risk of performance deficits and chronic health issues. Examples of these strategies are shift-work related fatigue management plans for police officers and nurses, and jet lag management plans for athletes competing overseas.

Dr. James also conducts simulated research on the impact of bias on critical decision making. Her research on the impact of bias on police use of force has significantly advanced the field, in particular what is known about how suspect race influences police officers during deadly encounters. These findings have been extensively covered in the mainstream media, including in National Geographic, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. She is the founding director of Counter Bias Training Simulation™ (CBTsim), scenario-based training intended to reveal and overcome biases in critical decision making.


  • 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


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


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


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


  • 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 University-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, March 2005.
  • Trinity College Dublin Entry Award, September 2003.


Simulated critical tasks; Cognitive testing; Actigraphy


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. Data collection phase.

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. Data collection phase.

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. Data collection phase.


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, (forthcoming).

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 (forthcoming).

James, L., Todak, N. Prison Employment and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Risk and Protective Factors. American Journal of Industrial Medicine (forthcoming).

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, https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-11-2016-0159 (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)

Vila, B., James, S., & James, L. (2015) “From A to Zzzzzzz…: Tired Cops and Distracted Driving.” FLETC Journal,15: Fall-Winter, 33-37

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 Published Online First: 2 May 2015 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094332.

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).

Samuels, C. & James, L. Wake-Up Call for Proper Sleep, STRIVE Magazine, Alberta Sport Development Centre – Southeast, January, 2014.

Samuels, C. & James, L. Sleep as a Recovery Tool for Elite Athletes, Aspetar Sports Science Journal, October, 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).

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 2/06/19