Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Deborah Davis

Deborah Davis

My laboratory is currently pursuing research in two broad areas: psychology and law; and close relationships.

My specific areas of interest within psychology and law are memory, police interrogation practices and coerced confessions, and issues related to sexual consent. I write and serve as an expert witness in these three areas. I have also served as a jury consultant for over 20 years.

My research in close relationships addresses two broad areas: attachment and romantic relationship behavior across the lifespan.

Our attachment research has addressed the relationship of attachment style to sexuality, use of plastic surgery, reactions to relationship dissolution, conflict management, and end-of-life caregiving. I recently published a theory of attachment related pathways to sexual coercion.

Our lifespan research concerns changing with age in virtually everything about romantic relationship behavior--from whether one wants a partner, to preferences for types of relationships and partners, to relationship outcomes such as satisfaction and dissolution.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Close Relationships
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Sexuality, Sexual Orientation
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Davis, D., Shaver, P. R., Widaman, K. E., Vernon, M. L., Beitz, K., & Follette, W. C. (2006). “I can’t get no satisfaction:” Insecure attachment, inhibited sexual communication, and dissatisfaction. Personal Relationships, 13, 465-483.
  • Loftus, E. F., & Davis, D. (2006). Recovered memories. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 2, 469-498.
  • Davis, D., Shaver, P. R., & Vernon, M. L. (2004). Attachment style and subjective motivations for sex. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1076-1090.
  • Davis, D., Shaver, P. R., & Vernon, M. L. (2003). Physical, emotional and behavioral reactions to breaking up: The roles of gender, age and attachment style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 871-884.
  • Davis, D., & Lesbo, M. V. (2002). Sculpting the body beautiful: Attachment style, neuroticism, and use of cosmetic surgeries. Sex Roles, 47, 129-138.
  • Davis, D., & Follette, W. C. (2002). Rethinking probative value of evidence: Base rates, intuitive profiling and the postdiction of behavior. Law and Human Behavior, 26, 133-158.

Other Publications:

  • Davis, D., & Loftus, E. F. (2004). What’s good for the goose cooks the gander: Inconsistencies between the law and psychology of voluntary intoxication and sexual assault. In W. T. O’Donohue & E. Levensky (Eds.), Handbook of forensic psychology (pp. 997-1032). New York: Elsevier Academic Press.
  • Davis, D., & O’Donohue, W. T. (2004). The road to perdition: “Extreme influence” tactics in the interrogation room. In W. T. O’Donohue, E. Levensky (Eds.), Handbook of forensic psychology (pp. 897-996). New York: Elsevier Academic Press.
  • Davis, D., & Friedman, R. D. (2006). Memory for conversation: The orphan child of witness memory researchers. In M. P. Toglia, J. D. Read, D. R. Ross, & R. C. L. Lindsay (Eds.), Handbook of Eyewitness Memory (Vol. 1): Memory for Events (pp. 3-52). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Davis, D. (2006). Attachment-related pathways to sexual coercion. In M. Mikulincer, & G. Goodman (Eds.), Dynamics of romantic love: Attachment, caregiving and sex (pp. 293-336). New York: Guilford.
  • Davis, D., & Loftus, E. F. (2006). Internal and external sources of distortion in adult witness memory. In M. P. Toglia, J. D. Read, D. R. Ross, & R. C. L. Lindsay (Eds.), Handbook of Eyewitness Memory (Vol. 1): Memory for Events (pp. 195-237). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Davis, D., & Leo, R. (2006). Strategies for prevention of false confessions. In M. Kebbell & G. Davies (Eds.), Practical psychology for forensic investigations and prosecutions (pp. 121-150). New York: John Wiley.
  • Davis, D., & Loftus, E. F. (2005). Age and functioning in the legal system: Victims, witnesses and Jurors. In Y. I. Noy & W. Karwowski (Eds.), Handbook of human factors in litigation (pp. 11-1 to 11-53). New York: CRC Press.
  • Davis, D., & Follette, W. C. (2004). Jurors can be selected: Non information, misinformation and their strategic use for jury selection. In W. T. O’Donohue & E. Levensky (Eds.), Handbook of forensic psychology (782-805). New York, Elsevier Academic Press.
  • Davis, D., & Follette, W. C. (2003). Toward an empirical approach to evidentiary ruling. Law and Human Behavior, 27(6), 661-684.

Courses Taught:

  • Attachment and Human Development
  • Introductory Social Psychology
  • Memory on Trial
  • Psychology and Law
  • Romantic Relationships Across the LIfespan
  • Social Influence

Deborah Davis
Department of Psychology
University of Nevada
Reno, NV 89557
United States

  • Phone: (775) 722-7779
  • Fax: (775) 784-1126

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