Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL)

The Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL) is a clinical assessment, research, and training service directed by Mark A. Blais, PsyD, Associate Chief of Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).


Psychological Assessment is a consultative service that employs a battery of psychological tests (combined with a clinical interview, observation, and medical chart information) to attain a complex, integrated, and detailed depiction of a person’s emotional, interpersonal, social, and cognitive abilities.

Psychological assessment services are found in a wide range of settings including: mental health, medical, legal, and educational.

The PEaRL (Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory) is a dedicated clinical assessment service offering a range of psychological evaluations. PEaRL evaluations are designed for adult patients with complex psychiatric illnesses that can be difficult to diagnose or resistant to treatment. Patients referred for PEaRL assessments often present with a combination of psychiatric and medical problems. 

PEaRL evaluations include psychological and neuropsychological instruments to provide a broad description of a patient’s intellectual, neuro-cognitive, and psychological functioning.

The goal of all PEaRL evaluations is to enhance patient care through diagnostic clarity, guidance around treatment selection, and progress monitoring.  

PEaRL psychologists are specialists with extensive training and experience in all aspects of psychological assessments. They collaborate with referring professionals to ensure that our evaluations address the specific concerns of each patient.

As a result, PEaRL evaluations aid clinicians by answering critical clinical questions while also providing unique insight into the neurocognitive and psychological bases of a patient’s difficulty.

We are committed to providing prompt service with most appointments being scheduled within a month and reports available 3 weeks after the completed evaluation.

In addition to providing clinical service, the PEaRL has an active research program and is a major training resource for the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School pre-doctoral psychology internship program.

Treating professionals within the Partners Healthcare system can refer patients for a psychological assessment through EPIC. Treating professionals outside the Partners Healthcare system can complete the referral form and fax it to 617-724-3726.

Group Members

Director of the PEaRL

Paul Blais

Mark A. Blais, PsyD
Associate Professor of Psychology (Psychiatry), Harvard Medical School


Michelle Stein, PhD
Staff Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital & Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Wei-Jean Chung, PhD
Staff Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital & Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Pre-Doctoral Interns

Anne Burke, MA
Clinical Fellow in Psychology
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

Seth Pitman, MA
Clinical Fellow in Psychology
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

PEaRL Alumni

Adrienne Abramowitz Christopher J. Hopwood Phoung T. Nguyen
Matthew R. Baity Rachel Leibman  Maren Nyer
Iruma Bello Jessica A. Little  Mike Roche
Brandon Bergman Sara Lowmaster  Gentiana Sadikaj
Christy Denckla Johanna C. Malone  Hal Shorey
Miriam Frankel Christina Massey  Caleb J. Siefert
Annie Gupta Julie Messigner  Janelle Slavin Mulford
     Michaela Smith
     Christina Temes

Research Projects

In addition to conducting state-of-the art psychological assessments, the PEaRL is an active and productive research program.

Consistent with our mission to advance the effectiveness of psychological assessment, PEaRL research is focused on understanding the validity and utility of common psychological and neuropsychological instruments. To achieve this goal, we have created an IRB-approved database that currently contains over 1,300 completed assessment protocols.

This extensive database allows us to explore the relationship of assessment findings to important life events (e.g., psychological trauma, hospitalization, academic problems and suicide attempts). Through this database, we are actively exploring the validity and clinical value of common psychological tests, while also seeking to increase our understanding of important psychiatric conditions. Members of our group have extensive expertise in psychometrics, scale development and validation, as well as specialized knowledge in the assessment of psychopathology, personality functioning, and treatment outcomes.

Trainees have the opportunity to join our ongoing research projects, or develop projects consistent with our research and clinical mission. Most of our recent trainees have had successful research experiences and have presented papers or posters at professional conferences or published research articles as part of their PEaRL training.

Some Current Research Projects

Validity and Utility of the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale-Global Rating Method (SCORS-G)

The SCORS-G is a well validated method for rating narrative data. A training manual for SCORS-G can be downloaded here. To assist in computing means, a SCORS-G scoring calculator can be downloaded here.

We also provide research consultation and reliability training for individuals or groups interested in using the SCORS-G in their clinical and/or research practice. Please contact Michelle Stein, PhD, if you have further inquiries and/or are interested in more intensive training.

Exploring Meta-Cognition through Method Convergence

We are interested in exploring clinically useful information embedded within our standard clinical assessment tools, consisting of both performance-based and self-report measures of similar constructs. We are currently interested in how meta-cognition—people’s ability to accurately evaluate their strengths and limitations—may be demonstrated through utilization of standard clinical assessment tools.

MGH Psychiatry Treatment Monitoring Program (Completed)

Maintain, monitor and analyze outcome data for all clinical services provided within and across the Mass General Department of Psychiatry.

Schwartz Outcome Scale (SOS-10) Project

The SOS-10 is a unique and highly versatile mental health outcomes measure. We maintain a growing SOS-10 database and engage in projects that expand the use and application of the scale.

Research Collaborations

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Borderline Psychopathology: MGH DBT program, Michelle Jacobo, PhD, Director

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Processes and Outcome Research Program, The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, Mark J. Hilsenroth, PhD., Professor of Psychology

Inpatient Treatment Outcome Project, Nassau University Medical Center, Greg Haggerty, PhD, Staff Psychologist

Psychological Instrument Validation Project, Psychological Assessment Center, University of California, Santa Barbara, Steve R. Smith, PhD., Associate Professor of Psychology

Forensic and Aggressive Personality Assessment Project, New York University School of Medicine,  Daniel Antonius, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute for Social and Psychiatric Initiative.

Research Positions


Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School offers a full-time, pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology to matriculated doctoral students enrolled in clinical or counseling psychology programs. The PEaRL is a significant training site for the elective in adult clinical psychology. Please visit the MGH Psychology training web site for detailed information about the internship program.

There is typically a full-time, post-doctoral fellowship position in Clinical Psychology available to individuals who have successfully completed an APA-Approved Pre-Doctoral Internship and are strongly interested in assessment and measurement. The Fellowship year runs from July to June, it offers a competitive stipend, four weeks vacation, and healthcare benefits. All Fellows receive appointments at Harvard Medical School as Clinical Fellows in the Department of Psychiatry.


Journal Articles

In Press

Slavin-Mulford J,  Perkey H, Sinclair SJ, Stein MB, & Blais MA External Validity of the Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45) in a clinical sample. Comprehensive Psychiatry (in press)

Sinclair SJ, Walsh-Messinger J, Siefert CJ, Antonius D, Baity M, Haggerty G, Stein M, Blais M  Neuropsychological functioning and profile validity on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI):  An investigation in Multiple Psychiatric Settings. Bull Menninger Clin (in press)


Siefert CJ, Stein MB, Slavin-Mulford J, Sinclair SJ, Haggerty G, Blais MA  Estimating the effects of Thematic Apperception Test card content on SCORS-G ratings: Replication with a nonclinical sample. J Pers. Assess, 2016; DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2016.1167696


Stein MB, Slavin-Mulford J, Siefert CJ, Sinclair SJ, Smith M, Chung WJ, Liebman R, & Blais MA  External validity of SCORS-G ratings of Thematic Apperception Test narratives in a sample of outpatients and inpatients. Rorschachiana, 2015; DOI: 10.1027/1192-5604/a000057.


Haggerty G, Blanchard M, Baity MR, DeFife JA, Stein MB, Siefert CJ, Sinclair SJ, Zodan J Clinical Validity of a dimensional assessment of self and interpersonal functioning in adolescent inpatients. J Pers. Assess, 2014;  DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2014.930744

Sinclair SJ, Smith M, Chung WJ, Liebman R, Stein MB, Antonius D, Siefert CJ, Haggerty G, Blais MA Extending the validity of the Personality Assessment Inventory’s (PAI) Level of Care Index (LOCI) in multiple psychiatric settings. J Pers. Assess 2014; DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2014.941441.

National Awards

Michelle B. Stein, PhD

2014 Samuel J. and Anne G. Beck Award, Society of Personality Assessment, for “outstanding early career research in the field of personality assessment”

Mark A. Blais, PsyD
2009 Theodore Millon, Award in Personality Psychology, American Psychological  Foundation,“For outstanding work in advancing the science of Personality Psychology


Contact Us

The Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL)

One Bowdoin Square. 7th Floor Boston, MA 02114
  • Near Public Transit
  • Accessible

Please contact us with any questions or comments:

Dr. Mark A. Blais, Director, PEaRL
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School
One Bowdoin Square, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

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