Arien Mack is the Alfred and Monette Marrow Professor of Psychology Emeritus at The New School for Social Research, where she has edited Social Research since 1970. She established the Social Research conference series in 1988 that operated under the Center for Public Scholarship, which she founded and directed.
In 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall she founded and directed the Journal Donation Project, which for 26 years provided low-cost academic and research journals to libraries and universities in countries where access to those publications had been difficult for political reasons.
In 2007 she launched Endangered Scholars Worldwide, dedicated to drawing attention to the plight of scholars, students, and researchers around the world whose lives and livelihoods are under threat due to the nature of their work or political positions.
In 2018 Arien Mack founded and directs the New University in Exile Consortium, an expanding group of universities and colleges whose mission is to assist persecuted and uprooted academics, students, and artists.
As a research psychologist, she focused on the study of perception, cognition, and attention. Until her retirement, she was a member of the Psychology Department at The New School for Social Research. Her publications include more than 60 articles and the coauthored volume Inattentional Blindness (MIT Press, 1998).