Featured Students

CHFA Featured Student: David Crittendon


  • Name: David Crittendon
  • Year: Senior
  • Major: Psychology
  • Hometown: Murray, KY
  • Quirky Fact: I own a 4 and a half foot iguana named Iggy. She bites, but we still let her run around the house. I have two pit bulls who are afraid of her, but she loves my kids.
  • Favorite movie: Heartbreak Ridge
  • Favorite Place to Study: My shared lab in Wells Hall.
  • I’ll never eat: pickles
  • I like to listen to: Hank Williams Sr.

Q & A

Tell us about yourself:

I graduated high school in 2002, and joined the Marine Corp and lived in Okinawa, Japan for 3 ½ years and then went to Iraq. I moved back to Murray (my hometown) in 2009 and worked around town until 2012, when I came to Murray State. I was a nursing major until I took Jana Hackathorn’s PSY180, and changed my major. I’m married and have two daughters – 8 and 3, which is why I don’t have any free time.

Who have you enjoyed working with?

I’ve liked all my psych classes, especially on the social side. Dr. Hackathorn has been my faculty adviser and mentor for the last three years; I’ve done multiple studies with her. I’ve also worked with Dr. Brown, and I just got done presenting a poster at a conference in SD, California. I’m also working with newer faculty members working on projects in video gaming.

Who inspires you in life?

Dr. Hackathorn has been so good to me helping me at Murray State and outside while I’m doing personal research. My mother has helped me with getting a house (we built our own house). My family has been supportive with helping with the kids and everything else.

I’m really interested the work of:

Craig Anderson looks at video gaming and aggression. Because video games grew up with me, I really wonder if video games really produce short term or long term aggression. Why do we continue to allow these games to be given to children? People get desensitized and don’t show that aggression anymore, so what is the effect of these higher technologies?

Cool things you’ve done here?

I went to the SPSP (Society for Personality and Social Psychology) conference in San Diego with Dr. Jana Hackathorn, Dr. Eric Smith, and Dr. Sean Rife. I was the only undergraduate from Murray State to go. I got to network with doctors. I presented a poster about attitudes predicting patriotism and nationalism.

Projects related to your major?

My first set of posters came from the idea that patriotism and nationalism are two different concepts. What I wanted to look at is how they correlate and whether or not they can be separated and manipulated individually. Patriotism is an idea of love for country, while Nationalism is derogatory toward others. Research shows they’re correlated, and the research I’ve looked at shows whether or not we can prime each concept individually using quotes, pictures, and video games to raise one without another. The video games range from Tetris to Call of Duty.

We’re also looking at prejudice – one big thing is Islamophobia. It’s just because of the aftermath of the War with Iraq. We’re looking at how well this holds up in our local community – how and where does it exist?

About David, Jana Hackathorn writes, “David is fully deserving of this attention.  I met David when he was a Nursing student in my General Psychology course four years ago.  And, during that course he realized he should change his major to psychology.  His work ethic and motivation is truly inspiring, and it is obvious he is passionate about our discipline and will go far.  I often tell people he was the best thing I ever ‘poached’.”


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