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

Class information for Psy 270
Class information for Psy 770

Research Interests:  Dr. Matt’s research interests are in tobacco control, behavior-environment interaction, measurement, evaluation research, and the use of meta-analysis to better understand the generalizability of causal associations. Specifically, he examines how microenvironments, such as homes and cars, become contaminated by tobacco smoke pollutants, how nonsmokers are involuntarily exposed to these pollutants, and how to better protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure.  With support from California’s Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, he is studying how smoking at home, in hotel rooms, and cars can lead to persistent pollution of these microenvironments long after smoking has ended.  Also known as thirdhand smoke, aged secondhand smoke, and residual secondhand smoke, a nonsmoker may be exposed to toxic tobacco smoke pollutants even if they have never been near a burning cigarette.  The goal of this research is to design better strategies to protect nonsmokers from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. Dr. Matt also studies methods to improve the validity of self-reports, especially retrospective quantitative estimates, by developing measurement strategies that rely on cognitive models of information processing.  Specifically, he has developed a fuzzy set model of magnitude estimates of health and social behaviors that tries to captures how humans encode, process, and communicate quantitative information. Finally, Dr. Matt is interested in the use of meta-analysis for probing the generalizability of causal relationships.

Lab: Measurement and Evaluation Research Group (MERG)

Research Keywords: tobacco control, behavior-environment interaction, measurement, evaluation, meta-analysis, generalizability of causal relationships , validity of meta-analytic conclusions, tobacco smoke pollution, microenvironments, secondhand smoke, secondhand smoke exposure, thirdhand smoke, thirdhand smoke exposure, tobacco policies , validity of self-reports, retrospective quantitative estimates, cognitive models of information processing, fuzzy set theory, fuzzy set models of magnitude estimates 

Selected Publications

Thirdhand Smoke

Matt GE, Fortmann AL, Quintana PJ, et al.  (2012).  Towards smoke-free rental cars: an evaluation of voluntary smoking restrictions in California. Tobacco Control, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050231 .

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, 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.