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CyGaMEs Consultant Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Date Posted: Wed Jul 16 2012

An image of Barbara TabachnickDr. Barbara Tabachnick, who has served as a consultant throughout the development of the CyGaMEs project at the Center for Educational Technologies, recently received the lifetime achievement award from the Western Psychological Association.

Tabachnick is professor emerita of psychology at California State University, Northridge, and co-author with Linda Fidell of Using Multivariate Statistics, now in its sixth edition, as well as Experimental Designs Using ANOVA. She is a graduate of UCLA, where her doctoral research in the psychophysics of value judgments was supported by a National Science Foundation fellowship. She has published more than 70 articles, chapters, and technical reports and participated in more than 50 presentations, many invited.

During her 25 years at CSUN, she was the "stat person" on more than 100 thesis committees and chaired the General-Experimental Graduate Committee. She currently consults in a variety of research areas and spends as much time as possible in her art studio.

Tabachnick has worked closely with Dr. Debbie Denise Reese, senior educational researcher at the Center for Educational Technologies, on Reese's research into assessing how and when players learn in educational videogames. She is slated to continue her work with Reese on the next phase of CyGaMEs work.

Tabachnick's career has encompassed an eclectic variety of work, to say the least. She's had a lifetime of adventures in and out of psychology. For instance, she's a belly dancer, and that avocation led her to write a multivariate statistics book. She also calls herself a math-hating schoolgirl who ended up in quantitative psychology, and a multivariate statistician who became an artist. In her 40 years of consulting she has done projects in Thurstone scaling, periodontics, marketing research, aircraft noise, educational therapy, transportation, professional ethics, aging, fetal alcohol syndrome, and educational computer games. As she says, it's impossible to become bored as a research design/statistical consultant.

The Western Psychological Association was founded in 1921 for the purpose of stimulating the exchange of scientific and professional ideas and, in so doing, to enhance interest in the processes of research and scholarship in the behavioral sciences.

Past recipients of the lifetime achievement award include:
  • Gordon Bower (2011)—one of the nation's leading experimental psychologists and learning theorists. He did some of the earliest work investigating the effect of mood states on memory.
  • Philip Zimbardo (2010)—perhaps the most widely recognized psychologist in the world. He is internationally recognized as the voice and face of contemporary American psychology through his widely seen PBS-TV series, Discovering Psychology.
  • Robert Rosenthal (2009)—psychologist whose more than 40 years at Harvard and at the University of California, Riverside, have been dedicated to the study of interpersonal expectations and nonverbal communication.
  • James L. McGaugh (2006)—distinguished neurobiologist and author of the book, Memory and Emotion: The Making of Lasting Memories (Maps of the Mind).
  • Albert Bandura (2004)—the originator of social learning theory and the theory of self-efficacy. Over almost six decades he has been responsible for contributions to many fields of psychology. A 2002 survey ranked Bandura as the fourth most frequently cited psychologist of all time, behind B. F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, and Jean Piaget, and as the most cited living one.