a group of students surrounding a guest speaker in a field trip


Students in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences learn to apply psychological theories and methods to solve urgent problems facing individuals, communities and society. Our faculty members are active in mentoring student research, and several have been recognized for their prolific contributions to their fields of study.

Surrounded by the esteemed research and health centers that Washington, D.C., and GW have to offer, psychology students integrate practical experience and research into their coursework, preparing them for a wide range of successful careers.



Psychology News

Gabriela Rosenblau

Researchers Follow Social Distancing’s Path

Assistant Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Gabriela Rosenblau is in the midst of an international survey on decision-making during the COVID crisis. She is focusing on whether optimism bias — our belief in the probability of becoming infected — influences behavior like complying with social distancing guidelines.

Sophie Gengler

Students Step Up During COVID Crisis

Cognitive neuroscience major Sophie Gengler, BS '23, has volunteered at her local food bank every week since the GW campus closed in March due to COVID-19. With demand for food syrocketing, more than 1,000 families seek aid at the program every day.
A woman sits on a couch with two small children on her lap looking at a laptop

Q & A: Talking to Kids about COVID-19

Professor of Psychology Cynthia Rohrbeck shared some tips on the best approaches to discussing the global pandemic with children

Michelle Jacoby

Matchmaker, Matchmaker: An Alumna’s Labor of Love

As a professional matchmaker, psychology major Michelle Jacoby, BA ’87, uses her people skills to help D.C singles look for love in all the right places.

A graphic of a brain cross sections with points lighting up

What You Know is What You See

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Sarah Shomstein’s recent research examines how the brain processes the size of objects. The findings could aid in predicting performance for jobs involving visual search, such as air traffic controllers tracking small planes or radiologists analyzing scans. Shomstein's research was funded by the National Science Foundation and published in Nature Human Behaviour.

An African family of three (left to right: a mother, a toddler, and a dad)

The Mothers and Babies Course

The Mothers and Babies Course empowers mothers in Tanzania and Kenya to identify and manage stressors. Studies have shown that adult depression is a major public health concern in the developing world. Parental depression can manifest in an inability to bond with the baby, poor monitoring of a baby's health and nutritional needs, and lack of early stimulation. Mothers who learn mood regulation skills forge stronger bonds with their babies and are in a better position to meet their child's needs.

The Mothers and Babies Course was originally developed by Ricardo F. Muñoz and Huynh-Nhu (Mimi) Le. Download the course manuals.