Pooyan Doozandeh, PhD


Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA


I do research on human behavior for applied reasons. I help in designing interfaces, products, and packages by informing designers of human behavioral characteristics. My research often requires knowing about human and technology; so, I am trained in psychology and computer engineering.

I belong to a group of old-school psychologists who have a strong commitment to practice. Research attempts from people like Edward L. Thorndike and John C. Flanagan exemplify my interests.

To read my opinions about some areas of my interest, see the Opinions page.

Highlights of Industry Experience

2022 – 2023: In Product Ventures Ltd. I managed research projects on packaging and product design for well-known clients. As a certified moderator from the Burke Institute, I moderated sessions with human participants, created experiments, conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses, wrote reports, and collaborated with design and prototyping specialists.

2020: In a collaborative project between Aira Tech Corp. (San Diego, CA) and Penn State University, I helped in the process of designing interfaces for agents who remotely guide people with visual impairments.

2018 – 2019: In a collaboration with Charles River Analytics Inc. (Cambridge, MA), I conducted a series of studies to understand the effect of simulation fidelity on training transfer (see references 7 – 10 in the Publications at the bottom of this webpage).

Teaching Experience

2021 – 2022: I was an instructor in Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) for a course with the title of Training and Technology. Because the topic was central to my dissertation research, I had the chance to design the entire course and create its content. Videos of some lectures are available here.

2016 – 2021: I was a teaching assistant in Penn State IST for several courses such as Foundations of Human-Centered Design and Statistics. Prior to joining Penn State (from 2016 to 2018), I was a teaching assistant in Lehigh University’s Psychology Department for courses in Psychology and Cognitive Science.

2015 – 2016: I was a high school instructor, teaching Introduction to Programming with C# to senior high school students.


I listen to classical music, work on my car and motorcycle, go hiking, create video content and short documentaries, write articles, travel, and read philosophy books in my free time. You can learn more about my personal taste in the Opinions page.

Last updated on August 2023


2018 – 2022
Ph.D., Human-Centered Design (Info. Sci. & Tech.) – The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

2016 – 2018
M.S. (unfinished), Psychology – Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA

2013 – 2016
M.S., Computer Engineering (AI and Robotics) – Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

2011 – 2013
B.S., Computer Software Technological Engineering – Jaaber Ibn Hayyan Higher Education Institute, Rasht, Iran

2008 – 2011
A.S., Computer Software – Shahid Chamraan Technical College, Rasht, Iran

Notes on Some Research Projects

These are some of my research projects during the last few years. You can find the reference numbers in the Publications at the bottom of this page.

Product Design and Packaging Research

A Clothing Iron

Designing a Clothing Iron

2022 – 2023: When you pass by the isles in your local grocery store, you probably see some of the products that I worked on in this role. As a part of the design consultancy of Product Ventures, I investigated consumers' acceptance of design concepts and prototypes. Clients were companies that produced various types of products, including drinking bottles, gym equipment, and food packages. We recruited a sample of consumers and investigated reasons behind their choices, how they used products, presented them with prototypes, and finally reported our insights to clients.

Designing Online Job Descriptions

A Video of An Occupation

A Job Video

2020 – 2022: I investigated the possible use of video on creating online job descriptions [11]. The question was whether embedding a short video of a job and a day of life of an employee could influence job-seekers' attitude toward that job and organization, and whether it could have any effect on job-seekers' decision to pursue employment in that job and organization. The results from this research informed hiring managers of whether and how to use videos in online job descriptions.

Designing Training Simulators

Truck Driving Simulator

A Simulator Used to Train Truck Driving

2018 – 2022: I tried to understand the effect of the realism of training materials (or simulation fidelity) on the effectiveness of training (or transfer). I conducted a series of studies, including a literature review and a meta-analysis, to determine the relationship between fidelity and transfer [7, 8, 10]. Then, I proposed a method that systematizes the use of experts' performance in designing training simulators. The method uses the videorecording of experts at work (ethnography) to model their performance, and the model can directly guide the design of training simulators [9]. Although the focus of these projects was the domain of troubleshooting electro-mechanical systems, other domains such as medical education, aviation, and transportation were also reviewed. The modality of training devices ranged from simple drawings on a paper to virtual reality systems and sophisticated flight simulators. The results of this research provided designers and developers with a set of easy-to-use guidelines in designing training simulators for troubleshooting tasks.

Sometimes, I enjoy addressing fundamental issues in my studies. For example, being convinced of the soundness of my research requires knowing about the history and foundational issues of psychology and its methods. In this respect, me and my colleague wrote a philosophically-oriented article that discusses the reason for our aversion to cognitivism and our defense of behaviorism [12].

As part of my education in computer engineering (machine learning and AI), I conducted a project to understand human learning of functional relations (continuous-valued causal relations) [5]. The ultimate goal was to implement human learning in machines and understand how human learning works.

I have also written articles on topics of interest to academia in general, such as the problem of relying on metrics in academic evaluations [13] and some aspects of technical and academic writing [6], as well as the design, maintenance, and policies of the built environment [14]. I am also sharing some unpublished manuscripts that I wrote some years ago [1 – 4]. They are not professional works in any sense; I was inexperienced when writing them. Nonetheless, they can show the evolution of my interests.

[14] Doozandeh, P., Cui, L., & Yu, R. (2022). Street surface condition of wealthy and poor neighborhoods: the case of Los Angeles. AI & Society (in press). (Access from publisher)

[13] Doozandeh, P. (2022). The tyranny of bogus numbers in academia. XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 29(1), 10–11. (Access from publisher) (Manuscript)

[12] Doozandeh, P., & Hedayati, S. (2022). Misusing concepts and cognitive crisis of psychology. (Unpublished manuscript)

[11] Doozandeh, P. (2022). Introducing and testing the benefits of videorecording for the analysis of tasks and jobs. [Doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University].

[10] Doozandeh, P., & Hedayati, S. (2022). The effect of simulation fidelity on transfer of training for troubleshooting professionals: A meta-analysis. IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 10(3), 117–134. (Access from publisher) (Manuscript)

[9] Doozandeh, P. (2022). Videorecording of experts as a method of training-simulator design. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 32(2), 131–154. (Access from publisher) (Manuscript)

[8] Doozandeh, P. (2021). From surface realism to training considerations: A proposal for changing the focus in the design of training systems. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 22(6), 689–728. (Access from publisher) (Manuscript)

[7] Doozandeh, P., & Ritter, F. E. (2019). Does simulation fidelity affect training? A lesson from a brief review of literature. In Proceedings of the 2019 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation (SBP-BRiMS). Washington DC: George Washington University. (Free access from publisher)

[6] Doozandeh, P., & Ritter, F. E. (2019). Some tips for academic writing and using Microsoft Word. XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 26(1), 10–11. (Free access from publisher)

[5] Doozandeh, P. (2016). Quantification of human confidence in functional relations. Cognitive Systems Research, 40, 18–34. (Access from publisher) (Manuscript)

[4] Doozandeh, P. (2015). A short essay on Hume’s philosophy, its essence and implications. (Unpublished manuscript)

[3] Doozandeh, P. (2015). Categorization of real-world causal events for causal modeling. (Unpublished manuscript)

[2] Doozandeh, P. (2015). Introspection, emotion, and computational theory of mind. (Unpublished manuscript)

[1] Doozandeh, P. (2014). Emotion behind intelligence. (Unpublished manuscript)