Events · Faculty

Psychology Faculty Receive Award


(Left to Right) Sean Rife, Michael Bordieri, Jana Hackathorn, Paul Anderson, Maria Vázquez Brown, Amanda Joyce, Patrick Cushen, and Marie Karlsson

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) has recognized a group of assistant professors in the Murray State University Department of Psychology for their contribution to the scholarship of teaching and learning. On October 22 in Atlanta, GA, the research team composed of Drs. Jana Hackathorn, Maria Vázquez Brown, Amanda Joyce, Patrick Cushen, Sean Rife, Marie Karlsson, Paul Anderson, and Michael Bordieri received the 2016 Best Early Career Poster award at STP’s 15th Annual Conference on Teaching for their presentation “How do I learn what I don’t know? Students’ preference and use of study guides”.

In a series of two studies conducted at Murray State University, the researchers investigated students’ preferences for study guides and the impact of providing a study guide on exam performance and long-term retention in introductory psychology courses.

The researchers found that although students preferred receiving a prepared study guide for the upcoming exam over making one themselves, students who received a ready-made study guide had significantly poorer exam performance than students who had to develop their own study guide.


“Our results suggest that students might not realize that what they want from the instructor may not be what they need to succeed.”

-Patrick Cushen


“This is a prestigious award that recognizes the prowess of these early career scientists. Their research has important implications for improving students’ study skills and performance and exemplifies a strong faculty commitment to connecting research and practice.”

-Department of Psychology Chair Dr. Paula Waddill


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