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. 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 preaching, Maas has received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Teaching Award and Cornell's Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching.

In 1995, a Cornell University ethics committee recommended sanctions against Maas for sexual harassment. The charges were based on the complaints of four women who graduated between the years 1990 and 1994. For five years Maas was prohibited from taking on female students as advisees, or hiring any female students to assist with childcare.[2]

For over forty 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 more than 1500 students, making it one of the largest classes in the country.[3] The class size required a large venue, Bailey Hall, the university's main concert hall.[3] He has instructed over 65,000 students in his career, and retired on December 31, 2011.


  1. ^ Maas, James B. (1998) Miracle Sleep Cure: London: Thorsons
  2. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/27/us/sexual-harassment-charged-at-cornell.html
  3. ^ 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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