Susan G. Straus

Photo of Susan Straus
Senior Behavioral Scientist, Research Quality Assurance Manager
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; B.A. in psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Susan Straus (she/her) is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on the social and organizational impacts of information and communication technologies, with specific interests in factors that influence adoption and effective use of these technologies in diverse contexts including national security, education, health care, and law enforcement. Current and recent projects address the mix of live, virtual, and constructive training for Air Force aircrews; staffing and training needs to support electronic health records adoption in the Coast Guard; virtual reality training technologies for law enforcement officer training; recruiting, training, and retaining Army Cryptologic Language Analysts; distributed communities of practice among K–12 STEM educators; evaluation of the National Science Foundations' Digital Library/Distributed Learning Program; virtual training capabilities for collective Army training; development of critical thinking skills and adaptive performance in Army leader education; and health information exchange in the military health system. Straus has extensive experience in program evaluation, experimental and quasi-experimental methods, survey design, qualitative methods including interviews and focus groups, and survey design and analysis. She has published her work in numerous RAND reports as well as in journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Small Group Research, and Human-Computer Interaction. Straus received her Ph.D. and M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Recent Projects

  • Improved Officer Decision Making and Stress Management with Virtual Environments
  • Use of Web 2.0 Technologies to Build Communities of Practice among K-12 Science Educators
  • Using Virtual Training Capabilities to Enhance Collective Training
  • Evaluation of U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program
  • Policy Issues for Health Information Technology and Health Informatics

Selected Publications

Marler, R. T., Straus, S. G., Mizel, M., Hollywood, J., Harrison, B., Yeung, D. et al., Effective Game-Based Training for Police Officer Decision-Making: Linking Missions, Skills, and Virtual Content, Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), 2020

Straus, Susan G., Matthew W. Lewis, Kathryn Connor, Rick Eden, Matthew E. Boyer, Timothy Marler, Christopher M. Carson, Geoffrey E. Grimm, and Heather Smigowski, Collective Simulation-Based Training in the U.S. Army: User Interface Fidelity, Costs, and Training Effectiveness, RAND Corporation (RR-2250-A), 2019

Karam, R., Straus, S. G., Byers, A., Kase, C., and Cefalu, M., "The Role of Online Communities of Practice in Promoting Sociotechnical Capital among Science Teachers," Educational Technology Research and Development, 66(2), 2018

Straus, Susan G., Tracy C. Krueger, Geoffrey E. Grimm, and Katheryn Giglio, Malleability and Measurement of Army Leader Attributes: Personnel Development in the U.S. Army, RAND Corporation (RR-1583-A), 2018

Straus, S. G., Parker, A. M., and Bruce, J. B. , "The Group Matters: A Review of Processes and Outcomes in Intelligence Analysis," Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 15(2), 2011

Bikson, Tora K., Susan G. Straus, Grace Agnew, Nidhi Kalra, David J. McArthur, Helen Crompton, Courtney Ann Kase, and Kristin J. Leuschner, Digital Resources for STEM Educators and Recommendations for Cyberlearning Initiatives: Results from the National Science Foundation Digital Library/Distributed Learning Program Evaluation, RAND Corporation (RR-414-NSF), 2017

Straus, Susan G., Michael G. Shanley, Carra S. Sims, Bryan W. Hallmark, Anna Rosefsky Saavedra, Stoney Trent, and Sean Duggan, Innovative Leader Development: Evaluation of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program, RAND Corporation (RR-504-A), 2014

Crosson, J. C., Etz, R. S., Wu, S., Straus, S. G., Eisenman, D., & Bell, D. S., "Meaningful Use of Electronic Prescribing in 5 Exemplar Primary Care Practices," Annals of Family Medicine, 9(5), 2011

Honors & Awards

  • Sloan-C 10th Annual Blended Learning Conference and Workshop, Best in Track Award, 2013, The Sloan Consortium

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CNN; New York Times; Shrink Rap