Morris David Bell, PhD, ABPP

Professor of Psychiatry; VA RR&D Senior Research Career Scientist

Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Connecticut Mental Health Center | Mental Health Services Research, Division of | Psychology Section | VA-CMHC-Yale Learning Based Recovery Center | Yale Global Mental Health Program

Faculty Research

Office of Cooperative Research


Dr. Morris Bell is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and Senior Research Career Scientist for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. Trained as a clinical and neuropsychologist, Dr. Bell’s career as clinician and researcher has been devoted to exploring interventions to restore cognitive and work function for people with severe and persistent mental disorders. His work spans four decades and has had wide national and international influence.

Dr. Bell’s research on work rehabilitation has revealed that cognitive impairment is a rate-limiting factor in improving work function. As a result, he has been at the forefront of developing cognitive remediation interventions. He has found that cognitive remediation can improve vocational outcomes in work therapy and supported employment. His studies have been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Bell developed a computer-based, simulated job interview role-playing program that allows patients to prepare for job interviews through repeated practice with accurate and specific feedback. This program has been designated by SAMSHA as an evidence-based practice for job interview training and is commercially available. Dr. Bell has also developed a number of psychological instruments related to social cognition and social functioning including the Bell Object Relations Reality Testing Inventory (BORRTI) and the Bell Relationship Inventory for Adolescents (BRIA), both published by Western Psychological Services, the Bell Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test, the Social Attribution Test - Multiple Choice, and the American version of the Hinting Task. Other tests he has co-developed include the Work Behavior Inventory and the Vocational Cognitive Rating Scale. He currently has an NSF grant to create the first measure of embodied cognition.  This instrument, called the Activate Test of Embodied Cognition (ATEC) uses motion capture technology and machine learning to automatically evaluatie children as they do physical exercises that demand coordination, rhythm and executive functions such as attention, working memory, sequencing and set-shifting.

Dr. Bell is the director of an NIMH post-doctoral fellowship program for research training of psychiatrist and psychologists in disability interventions. He also serves as Chair of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System IRB. The American Psychological Association has recognized Dr. Bell with a national award for Distinguished Contributions to Science in Public Service.

Education & Training

PhD George Washington University (1976)

Honors & Recognition

  • Senior Research Career ScientistVA Rehabilitation Research and Development (2010)

  • Distinguished Contribution to the Science of Psychology in Public Service American Psychological Association (2002)

  • Research Career ScientistVA Rehabilitation Research and Development (2000)

Professional Service

  • VA Connecticut Healthcare System (2005 - 2015) Chairman, Human Studies Subcommittee

  • National Institute of Mental Health (2005 - 2014) NIMH T32 Grant Reviews

  • VA Rehabilitation Research and Development (2005 - 2014) VA Merit Review

  • VA Rehabilitation Research and Development (2005 - 2011) VA Merit Review Grant Committee


  • test4 Norway (2013)

    Research Consultant on vocational rehabilitation and cognitive remediation

  • Workshops & Lectures Zurich, Switzerland (2000)

    Vocational and cognitive rehabilitation

Edit this profile

Contact Info

Morris David Bell, PhD, ABPP
Mailing Address
950 Campbell Avenue

West Haven, CT 06516

Curriculum Vitae