Dr. Mary Ann Hanson has been part of Pearson’s global Research and Development team since October of 2016. She is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with a PhD from the University of Minnesota. In her role as a Senior Research Director at Pearson, she provides research expertise for the North American sales team, answering client questions and helping them design sound solutions using Pearson’s assessments.
Dr. Hanson conducts research to develop, evaluate, and improve Pearson products, and to support the use of these products in client organizations. This includes criterion-related validation and adverse impact analyses, development of updated assessments and reports, and evaluation of new releases and product enhancements. Within the team she serves as the content expert for personality and interest inventories including the Workstyle Lens (WS-Lens).
Prior to joining Pearson, she worked at Personnel Decisions Research Institutes (PDRI) in Minneapolis (and Tampa) for more than 15 years, conducting selection and classification research for the U.S. Army, Navy and the FAA. She also conducted training and employee development research for the Air Force and the Alabama Department of Transportation. While with PDRI, she helped lead the development of the O*NET, a national database of job description information. She left PDRI to found a small nonprofit company (CCCR) conducting research on career development/decision-making and issues facing the nonprofit sector. CCCR obtained two large NSF grants to conduct research focused on career paths and the barriers and supports to success. CCCR also conducted research supported by the U.S. Department of Education to develop career guidance tools. More recently she worked at ACT for seven years, leading their Career Transitions Research Department with primary responsibility for developing and providing research support for their “noncognitive” products, including interest and values assessments, career guidance tools, as well as psychosocial, behavioral, and personality assessments. She is a published author of more than 20 journal articles and chapters on selection research, career development, job performance, and education, and has presented more than 40 papers at professional conferences.