College of Humanities and Social Sciences


The goal of Department of Psychology at George Mason University is the development and application of scientific psychology to enhance human potential through research-based practice and practice-informed research.

We support research-based practice because we want to bring our research findings into the everyday practice of psychology. We support practice-informed research because we want to attack real-world problems, not problems of interest only to other academics.

This dual focus has led our faculty to conduct research on topics ranging from what makes people happy to what keeps planes from crashing into one another. It has also led our faculty to serve on task forces, national committees (e.g., National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Aviation Administration), and advisory boards (e.g., the Air Force, the Guggenheim Foundation).

The importance and quality of the work we do have been recognized by many outside organizations. Government agencies, industry, and foundations have provided more than $24,500,000 in support for our research work. We count among our current and emeritus faculty eight presidents of Divisions of the American Psychological Association, and a president of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society.

We are committed to training students at all levels, from high school students who intern with us through post-doctoral students seeking to gain additional skills after receiving their doctoral degree. The department serves more undergraduate majors (roughly 1,000) than any other department in the university, as well as a strong cadre of graduate students (roughly 250) who participate in one of our five specialty areas of study: applied developmental psychology, biological psychology, clinical psychology, human factors and applied cognition, industrial-organizational psychology, and school psychology. Students at all levels have the opportunity to work side by side with our faculty in their labs; some of these students go on to do their own independent research through our undergraduate honors program.

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