Georg Matt


Georg E. Matt, Ph.D


Department of Psychology
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4611

Office Location: LS-110

Mail Code: 4611
Phone: (619) 594-2892
FAX: (619) 594-1332

Research Interests: My program of research examines multiple pathways  of human exposure to tobacco smoke toxicants and evaluates policies aimed at protecting nonsmokers from their harmful effects. My research lab was among the first to examine how microenvironments, such as private homes and cars, hotel rooms, and rental cars, become contaminated with tobacco smoke pollutants (i.e., thirdhand smoke), how nonsmokers are involuntarily exposed to these pollutants long after a cigarette has been extinguished, and how to better protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to the toxic legacy left behind by tobacco smoke. A second line of research aims to improve the validity of self-reports, especially retrospective quantitative estimates, by developing measurement strategies that rely on cognitive models of information processing (e.g., fuzzy set models). Finally, I am interested in the use of meta-analysis for probing the generalizability of causal relationships.


Lab: Measurement and Evaluation Research Group (MERG)

Research Keywords: secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke, exposure, tobacco control, measurement, evaluation, meta-analysis, generalizability, self-reports, retrospective quantitative estimates, information processing, fuzzy sets.

Selected Publications

Thirdhand Smoke

Northrup, T. F., G. E. Matt, M. F. Hovell, A. M. Khan and A. L. Stotts (2015). “Thirdhand Smoke in the Homes of Medically Fragile Children: Assessing the Impact of Indoor Smoking Levels and Smoking Bans.” Nicotine Tob Res. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv174

Kassem, N. O., N. O. Kassem, S. R. Jackson, S. Liles, R. M. Daffa, A. T. Zarth, M. A. Younis, S. G. Carmella, C. R. Hofstetter, D. A. Chatfield, G. E. Matt, S. S. Hecht and M. F. Hovell (2014). “Benzene uptake in Hookah smokers and non-smokers attending Hookah social events: regulatory implications.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23(12): 2793-2809.

Matt GE, Quintana PJ, Fortmann AL, Zakarian JM, Galaviz VE, Chatfield DA, et al. (2013). Thirdhand smoke and exposure in California hotels: non-smoking rooms fail to protect non-smoking hotel guests from tobacco smoke exposure. Tobacco Control. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050824. PubMed PMID: 23669058.

Matt GE, Fortmann AL, Quintana PJ, Zakarian JM, Romero RA, Chatfield DA, et al. (2013). Towards smoke-free rental cars: an evaluation of voluntary smoking restrictions in California. Tobacco Control. 22(3):201-7. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050231. PubMed PMID: 22337558.

Matt, G. E., Quintana, P. J. E., Destaillats, H., Gundel, L. A., Sleiman, M., Singer, B. C., et al. (2011). Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke: Emerging Evidence and Arguments for a Multidisciplinary Research Agenda. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(9), 1218-1226. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103500

Matt, G.E., Quintana, P.J.E., Zakarian, J.M., Fortmann, A.L., Chatfield, D.A., Hoh, E., Uribe, A.M., Hovell, M.F., (2011). When smokers move out and nonsmokers move in: Residential thirdhand smoke pollution and exposure.  Tobacco Control, 20(1), e1. doi: 10.1136/tc.2010.037382 [pii].

Fortmann, A.L., Romero, R.A., Sklar, M.S., Pham, V., Zakarian, J., Quintana, P.J.E., Chatfield, D., Matt, G.E. (2010). Residual Tobacco Smoke in Used Cars: Futile Efforts and Persistent Pollutants.  Nicotine and Tobacco Research, doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntq144.

Matt, G.E., Quintana, P.J.E., Hovell, M.F., Chatfield, D., Ma, D.S., Romero, R., & Uribe, A. (2008). Residual Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Used Cars for Sale: Air, Dust, and Surfaces. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 10(9), 1467-1475. PMID: 19023838

Matt GE, Romero R, Ma D, et al. Tobacco use and asking prices of used cars:  prevalence, costs, and new opportunities for changing smoking behavior.  Tobacco Induced Diseases. Tobacco Induced Diseases 2008;4:1-8.

Matt GE, Quintana PJ, Hovell MF, et al. Households contaminated by environmental tobacco smoke: sources of infant exposures. Tobacco Control 2004;13(1):29-3.

Meta-Analysis and Generalizability

Scott JC, Matt GE, Wrocklage KM, Crnich C, Jordan J, et al. (2015). A quantitative meta-analysis of neurocognitive functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Bulletin. 2015; 141(1):105-40. NIHMSID: NIHMS630572 PubMed [journal] PMID: 25365762

Matt, GE and Sklar, M (2015). Generalizability theory. In N.J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes (Eds.). International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.

Scott, J.C., Woods, S.P., Matt, G.E., Meyer, R.A., Heaton, R.K., Atkinson, J.H., & Grant, I. (2007). Neurocognitive effects of methamphetamine: A critical review and meta-analysis.Neuropsychology Review, 17, 275-297.

Matt, G.E., Brewer, A., & Sklar, M. (2010). Quantitative Methods and Research Design: External Validity. In Baker, E., McGaw, B., & Peterson P. (Eds). International Encyclopedia of Education (3rd Edition). London: Elsevier.

Matt, G. E., & Cook, T. D. (2009).  Threats to the validity of research syntheses.  In H. M. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.) (2nd edition), Handbook of research synthesis. (pp.537-560). New York: Russell Sage.

Matt, G. E. (2009). Meta-Analyse in der Evaluationsforschung [Meta-analysis in evaluation research]. H. Holling (Hrsg.) Enzyklopädie der Psychologie, Themenbereich B: Methodologie und Methoden, Serie IV: Evaluation, Bd. 1 Evaluationsforschung: Modelle und Methoden. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Matt, G. E. (2005). Uncertainty in the multivariate world: A Fuzzy Look through Brunswik’s Lens.  In In A. Beauducel, B. Biehl, M. Bosniak, W. Conrad, G. Schönberger, & D. Wagener (Eds.), Multivariate research strategies.  A Festschrift in Honor of Werner W. Wittmann (pp. 123-152). Maastricht, NL: Shaker Publishin.g

Matt, G.E. (2003). Will it Work in Münster?  Meta-Analysis and the empirical generalization of causal relationships.  In H. Holling, V. Böhning, & R. Schulze (Eds.).  Meta-analysis.  Berlin: Springer.

Matt, G.E. (2001). Generalizability theory.  In N.J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes (Eds.).  International Encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences, pp. 6032-6037. Oxford: Elsevier.

Matt, G. E., & Navarro, A. M. (1997).  What meta-analyses have and have not taught us about psychotherapy effects:  A Review and future directions. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 1-32.

Shadish, W. R. Jr., Matt, G. E., Navarro, A. M., Siegle, S., Crits-Christoph, P., Hazelrigg, M., Jorm, A., Lyons, L.S., Nietzel, M.T., Thompson Prout, H., Robinson, L., Smith, M.L., Svartberg, M., & Weiss, B. (1997).  The effects of psychotherapy conducted under clinically representative conditions.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 355-365.

Shadish, W.R., Matt, G.E., Navarro, A.M., & Phillips, G. (2000). Revisiting the effects of psychological therapies in clinically representative conditions: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 512–529

Fuzzy Sets, Measurement, and the Validity of Retrospective Self-Reports

Johnson-Kozlow, M., Matt, G.E., Rock, C.L., de la Rosa, R., Conway, T.L., Romero, R.A., (2011). Assessment of Dietary Intakes of Filipino-Americans: Implications for Food Frequency Questionnaire Design. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 43, 505-510,10.1016/j.jneb.2010.09.001.

Matt, G.E., Bernert, J.T., & Hovell, M.F. (2008). Measuring Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Children: An Ecological Measurement Approach.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33, 156-175.

Matt, G.E., Hovell, M.F., Quintana, P.J.E., Zakarian, J., Liles, S. Meltzer, S.B., Benowitz, N.L. (2007). The variability of urine cotinine levels in young children: implications for measuring ETS exposure.  Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 9, 83-92.

Johnson-Kozlow, M., Matt, G.E., Rock, C.L. (2006).  Recall Strategies used by respondents to complete a food frequency questionnaire: an exploratory study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106. 430-433.

Matt, G.E., Rock, C.L., & Johnson-Kozlow, M. (2006). Using recall cues to improve measurement of dietary intakes with a food frequency questionnaire in an ethnically diverse population: an exploratory study.  Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106,1209-1217.

Johnson-Kozlow, M. & Matt, G.E. (2003).  What respondents recall about walking and what self-report items elicit about walking.  Preventive Medicine, 38, 227-236.

Matt, G.E., Turingan, M.R., Dinh, Q.T., Felsch, J.A., Hovell, M.F., Gehrman C. (2003).  Improving Self-Reports of Drug-Use:  Numeric Estimates as Fuzzy Sets, Addiction, 98, 1239-1247.

Hovell MF, Meltzer SB, Wahlgren DR, Matt GE, Hofstetter CR, Jones JA, Meltzer EO, Bernert JT, Pirkle JL. (2002). Asthma management and environmental tobacco smoke exposure reduction in Latino children: A controlled trial. Pediatrics, 110, 946-956.

Gehrman, P. Matt, G. E., Turingan, M., Dinh, Q., Ancoli-Israel1, S. (2002). Towards an understanding of self-reports of sleep. Journal of Sleep Research, 11, 229–236.

Matt, G.E., Hovell, M.F., Zakarian, J.M., Bernert, J.T., & Pirkle, J.L. (2000).  Parent-reports of secondhand smoke exposure in infants:  reliability and validity in a sample of low-income families.  Health Psychology, 19, 232-241.

Matt, G.E., Wahlgren, D.R., Hovell, M.F., Zakarian, J.M., Bernert, J.T., Meltzer, S.B., Pirkle, J.L., Caudill, S. (1999). Measuring ETS Exposure in Infants and Young Children Through Urine Cotinine and Memory-Based Parental Reports:  Empirical Findings and Discussion.  Tobacco Control, 8, 282-289.