Dr Melanie Dawn Douglass

Melanie Douglass

I completed my undergraduate degree at McMaster University, specialising in animal behaviour and evolutionary psychology. I then studied for a Master's degree at the University of Toronto, investigating the factors that predicted severity of violent recidivism in a sample of offenders with mental disorders. I completed my PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University, investigating the individuals factors involved in confession decisions. My primary research interest is in the underlying evolutionary and biological mechanisms that influence behaviour in interpersonal interactions, particularly within forensic contexts.

Further Information


  • MPY100: Psychological Research Methods
  • 3PY340: Dissertation
  • 3PY357: Animal Psychology
  • 3PY353: Evolutionary Psychology
  • 3PY346: Forensic Psychology
  • 2PY404: Advanced topics in Brain & Behaviour
  • 1PY407: Survey Research Methods
  • 1PY402: Biological Bases of Behaviour



I have previously conducted research on mate preference and parental care behaviour, aggression, domestic abuse, and the individual factors involved in true and false confessions. I am currently undertaking research investigating factors that affect crime severity ratings and predictors of bystander behaviour


I am willing to supervise projects in the following areas:

  • Aggressive behaviour;
  • Bystander interventions;
  • Confession decisions and investigative interviewing;
  • Domestic Abuse

I have particular expertise in the areas of evolutionary psychobiology and forensic psychology.

Selected Grants:

Co-Investigator (with Dr Kelly Stockdale & Dr Kevin Ralston, York St John University): Evaluating the Serious Organised Crime Divert Programme, Northumbria Police

Professional Activities

Reviewer for:

Criminal Justice and Behavior, Frontiers.

Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, Oxford University Press.



British Psychological Society.

British Psychological Society, Division of Forensic Psychology.

British Psychological Society, Psychobiology Section

International Investigative Interviewing Research Group

N8 Policing Research Partnership


I am currently the Chair of the North East of England Branch of the BPS


Book Chapters

Douglass, M. D. & Carter, G. L. K. F. (In Press). Prostitution. Chapter for Morgan, R. D. (ed), The Sage Encyclopedia of Criminal Psychology. Sage.

Douglass, M. D. (2018). Ecology of parental investment. In T Shackelford & V. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New York:  Springer International Publishing.

Douglass, M. D. (2017). Confession Decisions. In B. Baker (Ed.), The European Association of Psychology and Law: Factbook II. London:  EAPL.

Nussbaum, D., Bass, S.L.S. & Douglass, M.D. (2013) Neuropsychiatry Intersects the Forensic System: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Chapter for Bloom, H., & Schneider, The Hon. Mr. Justice R. (eds), Law and Mental Disorder: A Comprehensive and Practical Approach (LMD). Irwin Law & Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.


Douglass, M. D., D’Aguanno, S., & Jones, S. (In Press). Women as Active Agents: Female Perpetrators of Sexual Harassment and Domestic Abuse. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.

Nussbaum, D., Macheacheran, M., Douglass, M. D., Watson, M., Daoud, S. L. S. B., Ilie, G. DeKeseredy, W., S. (In Press). Modeling of forensic population current crime severity, based on past crime severity. American Journal of Forensic Psychology.

Carter, G. L. K. F. & Douglass, M. D. (2018). The ageing Narcissus Just a myth? Narcissism moderates the age-loneliness relationship in older age. Frontiers in Evolutionary Psychology.

Douglass, M.D. (2010) Severity of Violent Recidivism: What do Risk Instruments, Cognitive, and Personality Scales Contribute? Published Dissertations: University of Toronto.


Gilchrist, L., Landale, S., & Douglass, M. D. (2016). Reducing risk of child abuse: An effectiveness trial of a positive parenting intervention in a domestic abuse population. Submitted to Scottish Government.


11th Annual International Investigative Interviewing Research Group Conference (Porto, July 2018) Exploring the Thematic Content of Confession Decisions Made During a Choice-Blindness.

University of York Social Minds/CrimNet Research Seminar Series (York, October 2017) To Confess or Not to Confess – That is the Choice.

British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference (Brighton, June 2016) A Path Analysis of the Factors Involved in Confession Decisions.

European Association of Psychology and Law (Toulouse, July 2016) A Path Analysis of the Factors Involved in Confession Decisions.

Glasgow Caledonian University Post-Graduate Mini Conference (May, 2012) Individual Factors Associated with False Confession:The Need for Empirical Research.

Glasgow Caledonian University Post-Graduate Mini Conference (May, 2011) An Aggression Typology: It’s Neuropsychological Basis and Utility in Forensic Research.

118th Annual APA Conference (San Diego, August 2010) Severity of Violent Recidivism, Aggression Type, Oxytocin and Decision.

71st Annual CPA Conference (Winnipeg, June 2010) Predicting Severity of Violent Recidivism by Aggression Type: What do Risk Instruments, Cognitive, and Personality Scales Contribute?

The Clinical Utility of the Revised Strategy Application Task. Social, Personality, Abnormal Meeting, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, March 2010.

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