MRES Members

Patrick E. McKnight

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Founder of the MRES lab at George Mason University in 2005. Patrick E. McKnight is a scientist and adventurer living in Fairfax, VA.  His pursuits take him around the world to explore his limits and what some of the world's greatest adventures offer. Patrick’s work largely focuses on applications of psychological science to content areas in medicine, psychology (usability, psychophysics, trust, purpose in life, and anxiety/depression) and methods (crowdsourcing, data validity, and scale development).  He serves on the Advisory Board of and contributes to many scientific initiatives in commercial, military, and public domains. You can find out more about Patrick by visiting his personal website and his blogs "Climbing On Purpose" and "Life's Purposeful Adventure."  

Jeff Stuewig is a research associate professor in the psychology department at George Mason University. His graduate school (University of Arizona) and post-doctoral training (Arizona State University) were in developmental psychology, evaluation, and prevention/intervention research. He has a wide variety of research interests including developmental psychopathology, the moral emotions of shame and guilt, family violence, evaluation, and more generally centering around the topic of risk and antisocial behavior broadly defined (e.g. conduct disorder, delinquency, criminal behavior, substance abuse, etc.) over the life course. Recently he has been involved in a study examining the moral emotions of shame and guilt and their relationship to future recidivism and rehabilitation among a sample of jail inmates. Additionally, he is part of a research group evaluating interventions for jail inmates nearing release

Simone McKnight (Erchov)

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Simone McKnight (Erchov) holds a Doctoral Degree in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from George Mason University. Her primary research focus has been on measurement development, experimental design alternatives, and applications of trust across multiple domains. Dr. McKnight has managed and assisted with multiple grant-funded research projects as well as consulted in the community on several aspects of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF/E).  This work includes the assessment of the impact of psychological stress on performance (Army), methods to assess and improve decision-making in intelligence forecasting (IARPA), the influence of simulated training on marksmanship performance (ONR, Marine Corps), and the examination of system-level factors that can improve patient safety (Children's National Medical Center). Her current work primarily focuses on consulting support for TSA's Human Factors group and Innovation Technology Division as well as Google's Health AI product development group. Dr. McKnight occasionally guest lectures for the Masters of Public Health program at George Mason University on the role of Human Factors in patient safety and medicine.  She also maintains an adjunct position at both George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College instructing undergraduates in Global & Community Health and Psychology on statistics and their relevance as applied to research design. 

Michael Waltrip

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Research: Open-label placebo effects, placebo effects, expertise, performance under pressure

BA in Psychology from California State University San Marcos
MA and PhD in Psychology from George Mason University

I dropped out of AP Statistics in high school because I thought I did not need it. Then, I became a statistics professor and consultant 

Justin Mensen

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Research: Human Factors/Applied Cognition Sustained Attention and Vigilance

Active Duty Military Officer with aviation and flight test experience.
Masters of Aerospace Science specializing in Human Factors in Aviation - 2013
MS Flight Test Engineering - 2016

Kristin Carpenter

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Human Factors/Applied Cognition: Cognitive Development, Developmental Neuroscience, Educational Interventions, Literacy, Dyslexia

Kristin graduated with a BA from Louisiana State University in 2008 and a MA from Georgetown University in 2013. She has spent the past nine years working with children with learning disabilities and behavioral issues through her company, Linder Educational Coaching. Her current research is on cognitive development, specifically literacy and dyslexia. She is broadly interested in how advances in neuroscience can inform educational interventions. Her thesis research considers the comorbidity of dyslexia and anxiety, and if educational interventions can improve psychological and behavioral outcomes.

Ami Getu

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Dean Cisler


Dean Cisler received his M.A (Concentration in Human Factors and Applied Cognition) at George Mason University while working in the cognitive genetics research group and is currently pursuing a PhD in HFAC.  His main areas of research have been in the field of cognitive training, focusing mainly on the use of working memory and visual perceptual training to increase fluid intelligence and decrease distractor suppression.  He is currently interested in investigating changes in attentional state while driving using EEG methods

Amie Mackay 

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Amie is a first-year doctoral student in Human Factors & Applied Cognition at George Mason University. She has diverse research interests that span across the disciplines of Psychology and Philosophy.

Kara Masick 


Information Operations professional improving my craft through studying and applying measurement, research, evaluation, and statistics under Patrick, within GMU’s HFAC Psychology program.


Certificate in Theological and Pastoral Studies - University of Oxford

BS in Behavioral Science (with Arabic and Religious Studies minors) - United States Air Force Academy

MA in Sociology - George Mason University

Daniel Singer 

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