Professor of Psychology Emeritus

I have been very blessed to have a long run of 44 years as a faculty member and academic administrator at UVM. I have learned a great deal from my undergraduate and graduate students, and from a wide variety of faculty drawn from all corners of the University of Vermont. In my teaching, research and academic administrative programs, my actions, thoughts, and ideas have been guided by two principles, namely “Chance favors the optimist because the pessimist is unlikely to take a chance” and it is critical “To think logically and act compassionately.”

— Robert B. Lawson

Research and/or Creative Works

Research and academic administrative programs funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, National Eye Institute, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of State yielding $7.1 million dollars in awards.


Publication Highlights:

  • Twenty-five major articles in addition to the following books.
  • Lawson, R. B., Graham, J., & Baker, K. (2007).  A History of Psychology: Globalization, Ideas and Applications.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice-Hall.
  • Lawson, R. B. and Shen, Z. (1998). Organizational Psychology: Foundations and Applications.  New York:  Oxford University Press. .
  • Gulick, W. L. and Lawson, R. B. (1976).  Human Stereopsis: A Psychophysical Approach.  New York:  Oxford University Press.
  • Lawson, R. B., Goldstein, S. G., and Musty, R. E. (1975).  Principles and Methods of Psychology.  New York:  Oxford University Press.
  • Lawson, R. B., Goldstein, S. G., and Musty, R. E. (1975).  Experiments in Psychology.  New York:  Oxford University Press.
  • Goldstein, S. G., Lawson, R. B. and Musty, R. E. (1975).  Teachers Manual and Item File.  New York:  Oxford University Press.

Awards and Recognition

George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award (UVM), 2003.  The Athletic Department Award for Loyal Support and Continuing Devotion to UVM Athletic Programs, 2005.

Associations and Affiliations

Served as president-elect, president, and past-president of the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools, Council of Graduate Schools 1982-1986. Served as member or chair of accreditation committees for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges for the University of Connecticut, Salve Regina University, the Dental School of Harvard University, University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University, American International College Simmons College, and Clark University. Member, Executive Board, Vermont Psychological Association.  Chair, Committee to Revise Accreditation Standards for Graduate Programs, New England Association of Schools and Colleges.  Chair, Steering Committee, UVM-NCAA Accreditation Program (1996-1998).  Chair, Board of Governors, University Press of New England.  Member, Board of Directors, Graduate Record Examination and Research Committee Educational testing Service, Princeton, NJ 1984-1988. Member of the Allocations committee, United Way.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Human Visual Perception—Stereoscopic Vision, Organizational Psychology, and History of Psychology.


  • B.A., 1961, Monmouth University
  • M.A., 1963; Ph.D., 1965, University of Delaware


Courses Taught

Having worked with thousands of UVM students since 1966.  Undergraduate courses: General Psychology, Perception and Cognition, Sensory Processes, Motivation and Emotion, Experimental Psychology, Organizational Psychology, History of Psychology, and Organizational Psychology: Global and local Issues. Graduate courses: Seminars in Visual Perception, Sensory Processes-Vision, Perception and Information Processing, Organizational Psychology, Organizational Behaviors and Cultures, Public Sector Organizations, and History of Psychology.