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Matthew W. Kirkhart, Ph.D.

Associate Department Chair & Chair of the Faculty
Matt Kirkhart


  • B.A. (Psychology, magna cum laude) - West Virginia University
  • M.A. (Clinical Psychology) - West Virginia University
  • Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) - University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Pre-doctoral Internship - Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Shands Hospital at University of Florida College of Health Professions
  • Licensed Psychologist in Maryland

Courses Taught

  • PY 221 - Psychology of Learning
  • PY 620 - Theory of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • PY 621 - Principles and Practices of Psychotherapy
  • PY 622/845 - Advanced Techniques: Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • PY 820 - Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior
  • PY 918 - Professional Development and Case Conceptualization


  • Kirkhart, M. W. (2014). Contributions of knowledge and intention to deceive in defining a lie. Psychology and Education: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 51(2), 1-23.
  • Blake, R. A., Lating, J. M., Sherman, M. F., & Kirkhart, M. W. (2014). Probable PTSD and impairment in witnesses of work-related fatalities. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 19(2), 198-195. [doi]
  • Dornfeld, M. D., Green-Hennessy, S., Lating, J., & Kirkhart, M. (2012). Student ratings of selection factors for PsyD programs. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(3), 279-291. [doi]
  • Seebach, C. L., Kirkhart, M. W., Lating, J. M., Wegener, S. T., Song, Y., Riley, L. H., III, & Archer, K. R. (2012). Examining the role of positive and negative affect in recovery from spine surgery. Pain, 153(3), 518-525. [doi]
  • Kaminsky, K. J., & Kirkhart, M. W. (2011). Visitation rebound behavior: Guardian ad litems need to recognize when a child's behavior from parental visits is reaction to grief. The Iowa Lawyer, 71(8), 12-13.
  • Landis, S. K., Sherman, M. F., Piedmont, R. L., Kirkhart, M. W., Rapp, E. M., & Bike, D. H. (2009). The relation between elevation and self-reported prosocial behavior: Incremental validity over the Five-Factor Model of Personality. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(1), 71-84. [doi]
  • Konig, A., Lating, J., & Kirkhart, M. W. (2007). Content of disclosure and health: Autonomic response to talking about a stressful event. Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, 7(3), 176-183. [doi]

Areas of Specialization

I have two primary research interests and several secondary interests. My first primary research interest is in medical/health psychology, primarily focusing on those who have a serious or chronic medical condition. This includes such things as factors that affect general adaptation and adjustment to the medical conditions (e.g., adjustment to chronic pain conditions, adaptation to lifestyle changes necessary to manage diabetes, etc.), and in the prediction of adjustment and adaptation to future medical procedures (e.g., predicting adjustment post organ transplantation). 

My second primary research interest is in basic research examining learning and memory. Primarily, my interest in this area lies in conscious and unconscious learning and memory, rule-governed behavior, and a functional analysis of language in efforts to understand how verbal behavior affects other behavior.

I have several secondary research interests, some of which include mentoring and teaching in psychology, adult psychopathology, and interpersonal psychotherapy models and methods.


  • Mentor of the Year Award (2007) - Awarded by the Maryland Psychological Association for Graduate Students (MPAGS)