Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe

Spotlight: Working Mothers in S. Korea, Israel and the US

The competing demands of job and family can both inhibit and enrich the lives of working mothers. Dr. Karen O'Brien and her colleagues have received a grant to study the lives of working mothers in South Korea, Israel and the United States Learn more . . .

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Spotlight: Improving Our Cognitive Abilities

Recent research has shown that the structure and function of neural tissue in the brain changes as the result of experience in both children and adults. Dr. Michael Dougherty has received a grant from the Office of Naval Research to explore how these changes can serve as the basis for improvement in cognitive abilities such as reasoning and language comprehension. Learn more . . .

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Spotlight: Prenatal Drug Exposure and Brain Development

Prenatal drug exposure may have important long-term consequences for the future lives of unborn children. Tracy Riggins has received a grant to use fMRI studies to examine whether prenatal exposure to addictive drugs affects the development of the neural pathways in the brain that are associated with engaging in risky behavior. Learn more . . .

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Spotlight: Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

An NIMH-sponsored conference identified the development of an assessment tool designed for the diagnosis and treatment of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia as the number one research priority in this field. Dr. Jack Blanchard has received a grant from NIMH to develop this needed diagnostic tool. Learn more . . .

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Spotlight: Choosing Means that Contribute to Several Goals

How do means that contribute to achieving several goals affect our decisions about the means we choose to achieve a single goal? Dr. Arie Kruglanski has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study this question. Learn more . . .

Welcome to the Department of Psychology


Psychology is a remarkably broad field that studies mind and behavior at all levels of analysis ranging from the micro to the macro; from single cells to complex systems; from individuals to groups and cultures; and from invertebrates to humans. Our department is committed to research, teaching/mentorship, and service. We have over 1,000 undergraduate majors and enroll approximately 100 graduate students in our Ph.D. programs. Graduate students have an unusually high success rate in securing external funding, and we have an excellent track record for placing them following their Ph.D.s. Much of the research within the department is funded by extramural sources and is published in highly visible outlets. Over 60% of the faculty members are fellows in their scientific societies, almost half have received an external career award, and a third have held Editor or Associate Editor positions.

Our department is organized into five Ph.D. program areas:

  • Clinical
  • Cognitive and Neural Systems (CNS)
  • Counseling
  • Developmental
  • Social, Decision, and Organizational Science (SDOS)

Cutting across these areas and knitting them together are three research themes:

  • Brain, Mind, and Behavior
  • Mental Health
  • Social, Group, and Cultural Processes

Please browse through our site to learn more about our department.

Department News

Ryan Curtis Wins Teaching Award

May 13, 2014

Ryan Curtis has received the Undergraduate Studies Teaching Award. This award is the result of student...

Professor Gelso publishes New Edition

April 25, 2014

The third edition of Charlie Gelso’s leading text on counseling psychology has just come out, published...

Professors Riggins and Redcay Receive NIH Award

April 25, 2014

Professors Tracy Riggins and Elizabeth Redcay, both of the Developmental Area, were recently awarded a...

Skyler Jackson Wins Fellowship

April 25, 2014

Skyler Jackson, a graduate student in the Counseling Psychology Area, has been selected as a Fellow...

Alex Schackman Publishes Paper

April 16, 2014

Evolutionarily-conserved prefrontal-amygdalar dysfunction in early-life anxiety A new fMRI paper ...

All News

Event Calendar

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OCT 13

Dissertation Defense - Margo Anne Gregor

Dissertation Title: Understanding Career Aspirations Among Young Women: Improving Instrumentation Mentor: Dr. Karen O'Brien Abstract: The purpose of this study was to improve an instrument used to assess career aspirations (the Career Aspiration Scale) so the revised measure can be used with confidence by counseling psychologists in research and practice.

OCT 23

Cognitive Science Colloquium - Celeste Kidd

Title: Rational approaches to learning and development Abstract: Good decision-making requires the decision-maker to generate accurate expectations about what is likely to happen in the future. Adults' decisions, especially those pertaining to attention and learning, are guided by their substantial experience in the world. Very young children, however, possess far less data. In this talk, I will discuss work that explores the mechanisms that guide young children's early visual attention decisions and subsequent learning.

NOV 17

Jude Cassidy Distinguished Scholar Teacher Presentation

Early Experiences, Later Functioning:How and Why a Secure Base Matters Compelling research evidence indicates that secure attachment is linked to a variety of aspects of children’s healthy development. This presentation presents a comprehensive model whereby both cognitive and non-cognitive mechanisms may mediate the link between secure attachment and children’s response to threat, with consideration of long-term and pervasive mental and physical health functioning. A reception with snacks and beverages will be served after the presentation. All undergraduate psychology students are encouraged to join us for the presentation and stay for the reception.

OCT 9

Cognitive Science Colloquium - Ann Bradlow

Title: Linguistic experience and speech-in-noise recognition Abstract: The language(s) that we know shape the way we process and represent the speech that we hear. Since real-world speech recognition almost always takes place in conditions that involve some sort of background noise, we can ask whether the influence of linguistic knowledge and experience on speech processing extends to the particular challenges posed by speech-in-noise recognition.

All Events

New Findings


Behavioral activation therapy helps mildly depressed people quit smoking. Learn More . . . .

Dr. Gelso studies the complex relationships between therapists and clients. Learn More . . . .

A massive study carried out by Dr. Michele Gelfand and colleagues examines nations around the world in terms of whether they are tight or loose. Learn More . . . .

Dr. Jens Herberholz discovers that crayfish integrate information from different sources in the environment in previously unexpected ways. Learn more . . .

A study carried out by Dr. Andrea Chronis-Tuscano provides new evidence of an association between childhood diagnoses of ADHD and depression and suicide among teenagers. Learn more . . .

Research carried out by Dr, Michele Gelfand and her colleague Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles indicates that bias in workplace evaluations can be affected by both the perceived status of the employee and the person making the evaluation. Learn more . . .

A theory of judgment that unifies the processes underlying deliberative and intuitive judgements is presented by Dr. Arie Kruglanski and his colleague Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer. Learn more . . .

Department of Psychology
University of Maryland

1147 Biology/Psychology Building
College Park, MD 20742