Lois James
Assistant Professor 509-324-7442 SNRS 422C PO BOX 1495

Lois James, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the WSU College of Nursing. She has a BA in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin, and received her PhD in Criminal Justice from WSU in 2011. During her time at WSU, Dr. James has brought in approximately $3,000,000 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 suspect race on decisions to shoot. The results of this research have significantly advanced what is known about how suspect race influences police officers during deadly encounters, and have been heavily featured in the mainstream media. She is the founding director of Counter Bias Training SimulationTM (CBTsim), scenario-based training intended to reveal and overcome biases in law enforcement shooting decisions.


  • 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, jet lag management, health and wellness, human performance, critical decision making, implicit bias


Experimental design, simulation research, analytical modeling, comprehensive fatigue management, implicit bias


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


  • 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


Using interval-level police performance metrics to test the effectiveness of Seattle Police Department’s Early Intervention System. Funded by the Seattle Police Department. $100,000. (Project PI: Stephen James & Lois James), December 2016 – Present. Project initiation 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), December 2016 – Present. Project initiation phase.

RCMP “F” Division Fatigue Risk-Management Pilot Study. Funded by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. $73,570. (Project PI: Lois James), May 2015 – Present. Data analysis phase.

Nursing students’ 1st entrée into clinical rotations: Initial behaviors addressing shift work, sleep, and safe practice. Funded by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center. $25,000. (Project PI: Patricia Butterfield), June 2015 – Present. Dissemination phase.

Effects of sleep deficiency on National Guard personnel responding to disasters. Funded by TSNRP. $361,296. (Project PI: Denise Smart). October 2015 – Present. Data collection phase.

Using Novel Experimental Research Data to Better Understand and Manage Fatigue Across the Range of Military Operations. Funded by the Office of Naval Research. $207,712. (Project PI: Bryan Vila). June 2015 – Present. Data analysis underway.

Study on the Impact of Work-Shift Related Fatigue on Deadly Force Judgment and Decision Making. Funded by the Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative (DPSI) of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and America’s Security Affairs. $211,000. (Project PI: Bryan Vila). May 2015 – Present. Data analysis underway.


  • Department of Defense (DOD):
    Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Secretary of Defense, TriService
  • Own The Podium
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • Spokane Police Department
  • Department of Corrections (DOC)


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, (in press).

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. (In press.)

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, (in press).

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. February 2016 issue.

James, L., James, S., Vila, B. The reverse racism effect: are cops more hesitant to shoot black suspects? Criminology and Public Policy, In Press (available online, January 15, 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 1/11/17