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Tamarah Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychology

Tamarah Smith, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Cabrini University. Her research focuses on the impact of statistics apprehensions; that is, the mindset, anxieties, attitudes and other motivational factors that impact student learning in statistics. She has created and tested various interventions and measurement techniques to help dissect and influence the relationship between such apprehensions and learning. Her work has implications for the classroom in general; however, given her specific focus on statistics, it also has large implications for the current concerns regarding the quality of research methods in STEM fields such as psychology. 

Smith has published and presented several pieces on statistics anxiety, attitudes, mindset interventions, and game based learning in statistics. 

Her work has been funded by the Society for Teaching Psychology, Psi Chi and the Buzzallino Family Faculty Scholars Award. She is also co-PI on a National Science Foundation grant that incorporates her work with high-risk STEM majors. She has implemented her intervention work in statistics courses for psychology majors and developed and run programming to train tutors, high school teachers, and administrators, as well as college faculty to utilize mindset interventions in their classrooms and institutions.

She teaches two-semester course sequences in Statistics and Research Methods for psychology majors in addition to Attitudes and Learning and Laboratory Experiences in Learning.

Smith holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Temple University and Master of Science in Applied Statistics from West Chester University.

Areas of Expertise

Statistics education, STEM education, statistics anxiety, mindset, learning


  • Smith, T., & Smith, S. (in press). Reliability and validity of the Research Methods Skills Assessment. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
  • Smith, T. (2017). Reducing anxiety in the statistics classroom. In Stowell, J.R., & Addison, W.E. (Eds.), Activities for teaching statistics and research methods in psychology: A guide for instructors. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Farley, F., McMenamin Bakley, A., Dai, T., Funk, K., Litchfield, B., Smith- Dyer, T., & Walsh, J. (2009, Winter). Public psychology: Demand, supply- an exploration, Amplifier, 10-11. 


  • Smith, T.  (2017, May). From NSHT to the new statistics: How do we get there? Symposium presentation at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA.
  • Smith, T.  (2017, May). Mindset inside and outside the classroom: The implications of mindset on students' holistic educational experiences and subsequent impacts on academic achievement. Symposium presented at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA.
  • Smith, T., & Dai, T. (2017, April). Predicting student effort in statistics: A path model of student attitudes and effort towards statistics. Poster presentation accepted to the American Education Research Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.
  • Smith, T. (2017, March). Gamification in the teaching of statistics. Invited presentation for the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.
  • Smith, T., & McMahon, A.* (2017, March). Perceived teacher quality mediates math anxiety and increased interest in math. Presentation given at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

Awards and Recognitions

  • 1976 Foundation Faculty Fellowship Award (2016)
  • Buzzallino Family Faculty Scholars Award (2015)
  • Science scholars for social justice program, Co-Investigator, National Science Foundation, S-STEM program (2015)
  • Research Methods Skill Assessment: Reliability and Validity Project, Psi Chi-Society for Teaching Psychology Assessment Resource Grant (2013)

Vision. Impact. Growth.

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