James Maas

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Maas in October 2010

James Maas is an American social psychologist, professor at Cornell University, and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, and Chair of the Psychology Department for 8 years. He is best known for his work in the field of sleep research, specifically the relationship between sleep and performance. He coined the term "power nap"[1] and wrote the best-selling book Power Sleep. He holds a B.A. from Williams College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell. Maas has produced numerous film specials on sleep research for PBS, BBC, and others.

For his teaching, Maas has received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Teaching Award, Cornell's Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Merrill Presidential Scholars Award (four times) for being an outstanding mentor at Cornell.

For 48 years, he taught Psychology 101 (now entitled Psych 1101) at Cornell. Over the course of that time, the class achieved a "near-mythical status" and often had enrollments of 1,948 students, making it one of the largest classes in the country.[2] The class size required a large venue, Bailey Hall, the university's main concert hall.[2] He has instructed over 65,000 students in his career, and retired on December 31, 2011.

As reported in the January 27, 1995 issue of the New York Times, the Cornell University ethics committee recommended sanctions against Maas for sexual harassment. [1]


  1. ^ Maas, James B. (1998) Miracle Sleep Cure: London: Thorsons
  2. ^ a b Karen W. Arenson (2000-11-17). "Lining Up to Get a Lecture; A Class With 1,600 Students and One Popular Teacher". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 

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