Humboldt State University

Department of Psychology

Mari (Kauyumari) Sanchez

Mari Sanchez
Assistant Professor
BSS #426
Office Hours: 
M 3:00-4:00 & T 9:00-11:00 or by appt.
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Lab: 

Teaching Interests:

Dr. Sanchez uses her skills as a researcher in the classroom. She tries to teach using research based techniques for effective learning (see below for examples).

Testing and feedback aid in information learning and Dr. Sanchez tries to incorporate regular testing and feedback schedules in the classroom. For example, she regularly make use of clicker quizzes in class especially after covering difficult material and after covering a large section of information. We then discuss the possible answers and the correct answer. Using clickers in this way provides students with immediate feedback on their own knowledge. In addition, repeated testing on the material also provides students with an opportunity to engage in information retrieval (e.g. testing), which has been found to be more effective for information learning than simply revisiting the material (e.g. studying). Regular schedules of testing and feedback also serve two additional purposes. First, it serves to break up the material in manageable chunks of information, which is especially useful for longer classes, given the limitations of human attention. Secondly, it provides a clean way to space and revisit information, as opposed to covering information in a singular and massive section; spaced learning has been found to help the formation of longer-lasting memories than massed learning.

Paramount to learning and understanding information is the ability to think critically. Dr. Sanchez aims to instill her students with this skill, as it is foundational to higher thought. She encourages her students to ask questions and have a thorough understanding of the scientific method. She aims to provide her students with the ability to identify the difference between good and bad research, credible and incredible sources, and identify if claims are supported by good research, which are essential skills for students to become judicious consumers of information, not only in my classes, but in all areas of their lives.

Dr. Sanchez encourages active critical thinking, is by assigning “reflection papers” which contain three parts. First, students find a video (e.g. TED talk, television show) and summarize it while relating it to concepts from our class. Second, students find two peer reviewed articles, summarize them, and relate them to the video and to the class material. Third, students provide their own thoughts on the topic and reflect on the information and how it can affect their own lives. This assignment encourages students to relate class concepts to their own lives while thinking critically. In addition, the act of generating information and relating information to what one already knows also aids memory retention.

Dr. Sanchez believes that learning can occur everywhere; it is not limited to the classroom. Thus she welcomes opportunities to mentor and advise students and encourages students to join research labs to gain experience with science in progress.


Dr. Sanchez completed her undergraduate work at California State University, Fresno, receiving a B.A. in Psychology with Magna Cum Laude honors. At Fresno State, Dr. Sanchez worked on independent research concerning speech and false memory. She was active in Psi Chi and was a member of several scholars programs, which included the Sally Cassanova Pre-Doctoral Program. Dr. Sanchez was also a National Institute of Mental Health – Career Opportunities in Research (NIMH-COR) Honors Scholar, McNair Scholar, and Psychology Honors Scholar. In addition, while completing her undergraduate degree, she was awarded a summer internship at Columbia University in the city of New York.

Dr. Sanchez received her Ph.D. and M.A. in psychology from the University of California, Riverside. At UCR, Dr. Sanchez specialized in the area of Cognitive Psychology. Her research emphasized speech perception, production, and memory. Her research concerned auditory and visual speech, talker-specific characteristics, and speech alignment / convergence.

Dr. Sanchez was awarded a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship with the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB) at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, NZ. Here she expanded her research to include social factors that may play a role in speech changes.

Dr. Sanchez is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Humboldt State University.