Make it stick–the Cliff’s Notes version

Learning statistics can be a challenge.  Using effective study habits can make that challenge more manageable.  Unfortunately, many students ignore or are unaware of the best study habits and instead adopt approaches that are less than optimal.

In the new textbook, Geoff and I try to help point students in the right direction, offering a brief summary of the invaluable Make it Stick–a superbly well-researched examination of the best study habits by Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel (2014).

Today, APS has published a shorter, peer-reviewed version of Make it Stick in the Journal Perspectives in Psychological Science (Putnam, Sungkhasettee & Roediger, 2016).  The article was commissioned by editor Robert J. Sternberg “so that instructors would be able to give students who wanted to improve something that is short, easy to read, and to the point.”

Click here to get this gem of an article. [[An earlier version of this post claimed that the article was not open-access.  But I was wrong!  The article is open-access.  WINNING!]]

Mission mostly accomplished–the new article indeed distills the essential aspects of Make it Stick and provides a great handbook for students looking to get the most out of their studies.  The one problem?  The article is pay walled.  SAD.

If you’re library has a subscription to Perspectives in Psychological Science, then click here to get this gem of an article.  Otherwise, you could get a used copy of Make it Stick for 1/2 the price APS would charge you to buy this short article (used copies of Make it Stick are currently selling for about $16 USD on Amazon; APS charges $35 to purchase a pdf of a single article!) .  Perhaps if enough people emailed APS to let them know this is an article that should be open access…


I'm a teacher, researcher, and gadfly of neuroscience. My research interests are in the neural basis of learning and memory, the history of neuroscience, computational neuroscience, bibliometrics, and the philosophy of science. I teach courses in neuroscience, statistics, research methods, learning and memory, and happiness. In my spare time I'm usually tinkering with computers, writing programs, or playing ice hockey.

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