Laura Michaelson

Senior Researcher

Laura Michaelson is a senior researcher at AIR. She uses quantitative modeling and evidence synthesis methods to improve the use and translation of evidence in youth development. Her research also focuses on the cognitive and social factors that promote healthy functioning and prevent problem behaviors from early childhood through adolescence.

Dr. Michaelson’s work has been published in leading academic journals such as Psychological Science, Developmental Scienceand Behavioral and Brain Sciencesand has also been featured in the popular press, such as MediumHer current responsibilities at AIR include designing research studies, conducting quantitative analyses, preparing manuscripts and technical reports, and developing data visualizations and interactive websites. She employs experimental and quasi-experimental methods and has served on multiple evidence clearinghouse entities including the What Works Clearinghouse and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. She is also a co-founder of the Methods of Synthesis and Integration Center (MOSAIC), an inter-disciplinary collection of research synthesis projects conducted at AIR.

Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Michaelson earned her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she also completed a Graduate Certificate in Quantitative Methods in the Behavioral Sciences. Her extensive quantitative training includes several workshops and advanced coursework in longitudinal analysis, factor analysis, multilevel modeling, and meta-analysis, and she regularly teaches courses and workshops to train others in these methods. Dr. Michaelson also currently serves as an Associate Methods Editor with the Campbell Collaboration and was recently appointed to the Women in Quantitative Methods board with the Society for Research in Education Effectiveness.


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Ph.D., Psychology and Neuroscience and M.A., Cognitive Psychology, University of Colorado Boulder; B.A., Cognitive Science, Vassar College