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Ingrid Farreras

Ingrid Farreras

Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology

Tel: 301-696-3762
Office: Rosenstock Hall, Room 28
Office hours: By appointment


  • Stetten Post-doctoral Fellow in the History of Biomedical Sciences, Office of NIH History (Public History)
  • Ph.D., University of New Hampshire (Psychology)
  • M.S.T., University of New Hampshire (College Teaching, Preparing Future Faculty national program)
  • M.A., University of New Hampshire (Psychology)
  • B.A., Clark University (Psychology and Foreign Languages (French & German))

Courses taught

  • PSY 312: Nonexperimental Research Methods
  • PSY 315: Experimental Research Methods
  • PSY 370E: The Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • PSY 431, 531: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY 441: History of Psychology


Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Farreras's principal research has been on the history of the professionalization of the field of clinical psychology, with special emphasis on the scientist-practitioner ("Boulder") model of training. Focusing on the 1896-1949 time period, Farreras has explored the emerging and evolving role of clinical psychologists, from administrators of intelligence and occupational tests before, during and between the world wars, to their increased visibility as therapists and researchers during and after World War II. A secondary area of research has been the first American commitment law for "feeble-minded" individuals, in which psychologists were considered "expert witnesses" when testifying in court. Within the context of eugenics, the Progressive movement, and intelligence testing, the 1915 Illinois law was an example of how science was expected to inform social policy and the state was expected to regulate social ills and protect moral degeneracy.

In collaboration with Elizabeth MacDougall, she has been analyzing the factor validity and reliability of the Multidimensional Orientation Toward Dying and Death Inventory on an English-speaking sample, as well as analyzing the correlation between participants' death anxiety and religiosity scores.

In collaboration with Randy Ford, director of the data analytics program at Harrisburg University, she has also been using a novel natural language processing tool to analyze the evolution of psychological knowledge by analyzing the language used in 72 introduction to psychology textbooks since the 1880s, analyze the 30-year evolution of keyboard communication between Usenet and Reddit newsgroup users, and analyze communication differences between human vs. human and human vs. chatbot conversations.

Honors and awards

  • Hood College: Hodson Faculty Fellowship, BOA/McCardell Professional Development Grant, and Summer Research Institute Grant
  • American Psychological Association: Division 26 Early Career Award
  • Office of NIH History: Stetten Fellowship in the History of Biomedical Sciences and Technology, John Pisano Grant, and Outstanding Service Award


  • Hill, J., Ford, W. R., & Farreras, I. G. (2015). Real conversations with artificial intelligence: A comparison between human-human online conversations and human-chatbot conversations. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 245-250.
  • Farreras, I. G. (2014). Clara Harrison Town and the origins of the first institutional commitment law for the "feebleminded": Psychologists as expert diagnosticians. History of Psychology, 17(4), 271-281.
  • Farreras, I. G., & Boyle, R. W. (2012). The effect of faculty self-promotion on student evaluations of teaching. College Student Journal, 46(2), 314-322.
  • Farreras, I. G. (Fall, 2011). Changing students' attitudes toward seeking professional help. Academic Exchange Quarterly,15(3), 5-10.
  • Farreras, I. G., Hannaway, C., and Harden, V. A. (Eds.). (2004). Mind, Brain, Body, and Behavior: The Foundations of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institutes of Health. Washington, D.C.: IOS Press.
  • Farreras, I. G. (2004). The historical context for NIMH support of APA training and accreditation efforts. In W. E. Pickren and S. F. Schneider (Eds.), Psychology and the National Institute of Mental Health: A Historical Analysis of Science, Practice, and Policy (pp. 153-179). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press.