Debra Poole, Ph.D.
  • Position: Experimental Faculty
  • Department: Psychology
  • Campus Address: Sloan Hall 231, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
  • Email:


Deb Poole received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Experimental Child Psychology from the University of Iowa in 1980. She taught for seven years at Beloit College, where she chaired the Psychology Department, before relocating to Central Michigan University in 1987.

Research Interest:

Dr. Poole is interested in the social policy implications of basic research in language and cognitive development. Her primary research program, on children's eyewitness testimony, has been funded by grants from The National Institute of Health and the national Science Foundation. Recently, she has been translating findings from these projects into guidelines for conducting investigative interviews. In addition to a recent book on this topic, she wrote the investigative interviewing protocol and training program that recently was adopted by the State of Michigan's Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice. She also writes on other topics with policy implications, as illustrated by recent papers on the heritability concept and gender differences in scientific knowledge. Her textbook on lifespan development, The Story of Human Development, is published by Prentice Hall.

Recent Research:

Poole, D. A., Brubacher, S. P., & Dickinson, J. J. (in press). Children as witnesses.  In B. L. Cutler & P. A. Zapf (Eds.), APA Handbook of Forensic Psychology (Vol. 2). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Poole, D. A., & Dickinson, J. J. (2013). Investigative interviews of children. In R. Holliday & T. Marche (Eds.), Child forensic psychology: Victim and eyewitness memory (pp. 157-178).  Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Poole, D. A., & Bruck, M. (2012). Divining testimony? The impact of interviewing props on children’s reports of touching.  Developmental Review, 32, 165-180.

Poole, D. A. (2012). What Poole and Wolfe (2009) actually said: A comment on Everson and Faller (2012).  Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21, 220-224.
Poole, D. A., & Dickinson, J. J. (2011).  Evidence supporting restrictions on uses of body diagrams in forensic interviews.  Child Abuse & Neglect, 35, 659-669.

Poole, D. A., Bruck, M., & Pipe, M.-E. (2011). Forensic interviewing aids: Do props help children answer questions about touching? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 11-15.

London, K., Bruck, M., Poole, D. A., & Melnyk, L. (2011). The development of metasuggestibility in children. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 146-155.

Colarelli, S. M., Poole, D. A., Unterborn, K., & D'Souza, G. C. (2010). Racial prototypicality, affirmative action, and hiring decisions in a multi-racial world. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 18, 166-173.

Poole, D. A., & Wolfe, M. S. (2009). Child development: Normative sexual and non-sexual behaviors that may be confused with symptoms of sexual abuse. In K. Kuehnle & M. Connell (Eds.), The evaluation of child sexual abuse allegations: A comprehensive guide to assessment and testimony (pp. 101-128). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Daniel, D. B., & Poole, D. A. (2009). Learning for life: An ecological approach to pedagogical research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 91-96.

Laimon, R. L., & Poole, D. A. (2008). Adults usually believe young children: The influence of eliciting questions and suggestibility presentations on perceptions of children's disclosures. Law & Human Behavior, 32, 489-501.


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