hero image
Dave Kolar - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Dave Kolar Dave Kolar

Associate Professor, Psychology | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dave Kolar is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington.



How does short-term mentoring impact the lives of at-risk youth in schools? That’s just one of many research topics that Dave Kolar has explored throughout his career. An associate professor of psychological science at the University of Mary Washington, Dr. Kolar has also conducted research on social perception, accuracy in personality judgment and applying psychological principles to environmental behavior.

Dr. Kolar has presented his work at numerous professional conferences, and his research on social perception and mentoring at-risk children has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning. In addition, he is currently the external evaluator on a 5-year, $996,000 National Science Foundation grant. He also served as the assessment and evaluation coordinator on 3-year, $475,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and co-authored a 3-year, $300,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Kolar earned a Ph.D. (1995) in social and personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside, after receiving an M.A. (1993) in psychology from the University of California, Riverside and a B.A. (1989) in psychology from San Diego State University.

Areas of Expertise (9)

Social Psychology

Personality Assessment

University Teaching


Program Evaluation


Grant Writing


At-Risk Teens

Education (3)

University of California: Ph.D., Psychology 1995

University of California: M.A., Psychology 1993

San Diego State University: B.A., Psychology 1989

Media Appearances (2)

Experts: Pandemic, isolation can change your personality

The Alpena News  online


“Like any competent politician, President Biden has changed to reflect the electorate,” said Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. “What worked for a Democrat in the 1970s does not work today. This is a much more diverse country, and the Democratic Party is offering very different messaging than it did when Biden entered the Senate.”

view more

Students Explore New Cultures with UMW’s Summer Trips

University of Mary Washington News  online


The students, led by Associate Professor of Psychology Dave Kolar, spent two weeks at historical and cultural sites relevant to the study of psychology ...

view more

Articles (4)

A Behavior Intervention to Reduce Sexism in College Men

Gender Issues


Sexism is associated with a number of negative outcomes, including gender-based violence and pay inequity. Men overestimate their male peers’ sexism, which may make them reluctant to intervene. Moreover, they often have little practice at doing so. Several researchers have demonstrated that attitude change can be affected through behavior change. The current study involved a preliminary investigation of the power of a behavior intervention to reduce sexist attitudes in undergraduate males at a southeastern United States university.

view more

Mentoring At‐Risk Youth in Schools: Can Small Doses Make a Big Change?

Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning


The impact of length of the match and age of the child was evaluated in a site‐based mentoring program. At‐risk children ranging in age from 7 to 12 were matched with an adult mentor and met approximately once a week at school during the academic year. Results indicated that neither the length of the match nor the age of the child influenced the impact of mentoring.

view more

A Real-Time Social Norms Intervention to Reduce Male Sexism

Sex Roles


College males’ overestimation of peers’ sexism may result in reluctance to challenge these toxic attitudes. Researchers investigated the power of a brief intervention to correct these cognitive distortions in Southeastern U.S. undergraduate samples of unacquainted (N = 65; 86.2% Caucasian) and acquainted males (N = 63; 82% Caucasian).

view more

Comparing the Accuracy of Personality Judgments by the Self and Knowledgeable Others

Journal of Personality


In this article we compare the accuracy of personality judgments by the self and by knowledgeable others. Self- and acquaintance judgments of general personality attributes were used to predict general, videotaped behavioral criteria. Results slightly favored the predictive validity of personality judgments made by single acquaintances over self-judgments, and significantly favored the aggregated personality judgments of two acquaintances over self-judgments.

view more