Avila University’s

PY333/633 Applied Research Methods:

Clinical Applications in Europe



Leah K. Gensheimer, Ph.D.

Office:             Foyle 1024

Telephone:       816 501 3689


Office Hours:   Tues. 10:30-11:30 am, Weds. 3:00-4:30 pm, or by appointment


Marcia Pasqualini, Ph.D.

Office:             Foyle 1008

Telephone:       816 501 3664


Office Hours:   Mon/Wed 1:30-3:00 or by appointment



Course Description

PY 333/633 is a Special Topics course. Students will learn about methods used in psychological research, including the theoretical and practical background behind the methods, with hands-on experience in the collection and interpretation of data. For Fall 2015, students will learn about clinical applications of psychology in the laboratories of researchers in France and Switzerland.


Classroom:    Foyle 900/Carondelet, Campus Ministry Office


Meeting Days/Times

  • Friday, September 11, 6-10 pm (Carondelet, Campus Ministry Office)
  • Saturday, October 3, 8:30-5 pm (Foyle 900)
  • Travel: October 9-18
  • Friday, October 23, 6-9 pm (TBA)


  • Selected articles, available on Canvas.
  • Optional book:

Nadel, J. (2014). How imitation boosts development: In infants and in children with ASD. Oxford University Press: Oxford.





Course Goals and Objectives


Intended Student Learning Outcomes


Course ILOs
(Psychology Competency)

Assessment Method


Accurately summarize ideas and conclusions from psychological sources. (Scientific Reasoning & Research Skills)

Note: PY 633 students will summarize more challenging articles in order to increase their competency at a higher level

Research Article Summary Presentation


Describe the focus of psychological research currently being conducted in the research labs of two prominent internationally recognized psychological scientists.

(Scientific Reasoning & Research Skills)


Research Article Summary Presentation


Identify within a published empirical study the research methods and procedures used and discuss their advantages and limitations. (Scientific Reasoning & Research Skills)

Research Article Summary Presentation


Describe how applying research in psychological science can impact the well-being of others, particularly those who are unable to advocate for themselves. (Psychological Knowledge & Application)

Research Article Summary Presentation; Course Reflection Assignment


Design and execute behavioral observations observing the same behavior in similar settings, but different cultural context.
(Scientific Reasoning & Research Skills)

Behavioral Observation Assignment


Describe how sociocultural contexts influence human behavior. (Psychological Knowledge & Application)

Behavioral Observation Assignment


Identify and describe the work of key historical figures in psychology who worked at the renowned La Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, site of humanitarian reforms in the treatment of the mentally in the early 19th century. (Psychological Knowledge & Application)

Historical Figures in Psychology Assignment


Identify and describe some key sites in Paris, France that are of cultural significance.

Exploring Paris Assignment


Discuss ways in which the government could or should fund basic and applied research designed to benefit the population and what criteria should be used to fund research. (Psychological Knowledge & Application; Social Responsibility)

Discussion Participation


Demonstrate professionalism in behavior, demeanor, and attitude appropriate for specific contexts and settings.

Instructor observations in and outside classroom settings.


(633 only)

Demonstrate leadership skills while working in a group (GR PY Professional Behavior)


Behavioral Observation Assignment


Teaching Methods


This class will consist of preparatory lecture/discussions, individual and group presentations, and in-class activities, with visits to two psychology laboratories.


Academic Expectations & Course Requirements


As your instructors, we are invested in seeing that every student has the opportunity to achieve their full potential; therefore, effort has been taken to design a grading system that is fair and provides every student the opportunity to do well in this course. To accomplish this there are a variety of assignments and activities you will be required to take part in throughout the semester. Below are brief descriptions of these requirements, their point values, and their weights in terms of your overall semester grade. Further details on each of these requirements will be provided during future classes.


  1. Historical Figures in Psychology Assignment (20 points)

To gain an historical perspective on the field of psychology, you are to research an historical figure in the field who is associated with either Paris, France or Lausanne, Switzerland. You are to present a brief biography on the person in class (approximately 5 minutes). Learning Outcomes: 7


  1. Exploring Paris Assignment (20 points)

To familiarize you with some of the historical and cultural sites and activities in Paris, and to assist you in planning your free time in the city, you are to identify a site or activity that may be of interest to you and those in the class and research it. Specifically you will make a brief presentation on your selection, providing the name of the site, rationale for its selection, location, hours of operations, and costs. Learning Outcomes:8


  1. Research Article Summary (50 points)

To familiarize you with the work of the researchers you will visit in Lausanne and Paris, you are to read and summarize articles of Dr. Patrick Gomez and/or Dr. Jaqueline Nadel. You will submit a written summary of your article, using APA style, and make a brief class presentation. Detailed instructions on this assignment will be provided.

Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


  1. Behavioral Observation Assignment (50 points)

In pairs or small groups you will design and execute two behavioral observations observing the same behavior in similar settings, but in different cultural contexts (i.e., one observation in the U.S., the other in either Switzerland or France.) Detailed instructions on this assignment will be provided.

Learning Outcomes: 4, 5, 11 (for PY 633)


  1. Course Reflection Assignment (50 points)

The purpose of this assignment is to have you reflect on what you’ve learned and experienced through this course, both in terms of your academic knowledge and skills and in areas of personal development. Included in your reflection, you are to describe how applying research in psychological science can impact the well-being of others, particularly those who are unable to advocate for themselves, and how cultural factors can influence behaviors. Detailed instructions on this assignment will be provided. Learning Outcomes: 4


  1. Class Attendance and Participation (50 points)

Academic success is directly associated with student active engagement in the learning process. Active engagement includes involvement during class through note taking, participating in class discussions and exercises, and critically thinking about new information. It also involves engagement with course-related information by reading assigned material before class, reviewing class notes after class, and making connections to other areas of study and life experiences. You are expected to attend all classes, complete readings and written assignments prior to the class sessions they are due, and actively participate in class discussions. Because of the weekend intensive format, attendance is mandatory; absences from class may result in the inability to complete this course.


  1. Online/In-class Assignments (TBD points)


Additional assignments may be required; TBD

Learning Outcomes: TBD


  1. Professional Conduct (20 points)

You are expected to maintain a high level of professional conduct throughout this course, which includes: completing all assignments on time; behaving in a professional, courteous manner to everyone in class and others while on site visits; and adhering to all travel-related rules and procedures set by your instructors.


You will receive 20 points for maintaining professional behavior throughout the semester, which is defined as no more than two instances of being informed of misconduct. If there is a third instance, you will receive “0” points for this element. For each instance after the third, you final course grade will be dropped by a half a letter grade (e.g., if you were earning a “B” you will earn a “B-”).

Learning Outcomes: 10


Summary of Course Requirements & Point Values






Historical Figures in Psychology Assignment



Exploring Paris Assignment



Research Article Summary



Behavioral Observation Assignment



Course Reflection Assignment



Discussion Participation



Online/In-class Assignments



Professional Conduct







Grading Criteria

Individual grades will be determined by computing the percentage of points earned divided by the total potential points, with 90% or greater = A; 80% = B; 70% = C; 60% = D; below 60% = F.


“+” and/or “-“ may be used for PY 333 students at the discretion of the instructors, based on students’ overall performance taking into consideration non-quantifiable factors.


While the above outlines grading criteria for semester grades of A – F, it is expected that if you choose to take this course, you will perform at the highest levels   .


Course & University Policies


  • Official communication policy:   Avila’s official form of communication is through your Avila email account, or through Canvas. It is your responsibility to check your Avila email account on a regular basis for important information for this class and from the Psychology Department and University.
  • Use your Avila email address when communicating with us by email. Due to privacy issues, we will not send course information to a non-Avila account.


  • Please adopt professional standards when sending email messages. We should all expect one another to behave professionally when interacting face-to-face as well as when communicating in written form. This refers to email communication as well. Although email can be informal, when used in a professional setting such as academia, your emails should be formal in nature. Thus all of your email correspondence with me should: a) include a salutation (e.g., “Dr. Gensheimer:”), b) be courteous, c) be devoid of IM speak (e.g., “I need 4 u 2 send me my assignment.”), d) include a subject line, e) always include a message even when sending an attachment, and f) sign your name. If your email to us fails to satisfy all of the above points, we will paste this paragraph from the syllabus to our reply and will ask you to resend your email.


  • Canvas Discussion Boards:   All of your comments on Canvas discussion boards should be composed with attention to spelling, grammar, honesty, and tact, as these communications reflect your level of professionalism. Write your comments using the same style you would use when writing an essay, not the style you would use when text-messaging a friend.


  • Academic honesty & plagiarism:   The University recognizes that academic honesty is essential for the intellectual life of the University. Students have an obligation to read and adhere to the standards listed in the University Catalog under Academic Policies, Academic Honesty ( The policy of Avila University concerning cheating and plagiarism will be strictly followed in this class.

Plagiarism consists of stealing ideas – and not just words – without giving proper credit. Please be aware that this is a matter of respecting other people’s “intellectual property,” which consists of anything from published PowerPoint presentation to photographs to written works. When in doubt, cite the author! Even when you cite the author, however, you may still not use the same (or nearly the same) words without identifying those words as a direct quotation. Avila University’s plagiarism policy will be strictly enforced (see the Academic Honesty section in the Avila University Catalog).


  • Disability assistance & accommodations: Avila is committed to providing equal access to its learning environment. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services (in the Learning Center in Hodes; 816-501-3670) immediately so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Services before any accommodations are arranged.





Psychology 333/633

Applied Research Methods:

Clinical Applications in Europe

Course Schedule

Fall 2015


Readings assigned for each topic should be read prior to the class date so
that you may participate effectively in class. The dates are to serve as a guideline.
This schedule may be adjusted at the discretion of the instructors if found warranted.



Time & Location


Readings & Assignments

F- 09/11


6-10 pm

Campus Ministry Office

– Introductions

– Logistics of traveling abroad, presented by Dr. Ken Parsons, Director of the Center for Global Studies and Social Justice

– Overview of course assignments & expectations

– Create Learning Groups

– Roommate assignments


– Online submission of university required travel-related paperwork to Center of Global Studies & Social Justice.

Note: you will be contacted by the Center to complete 3 forms—due Friday 9/11 by 9:00 am


– Complete online Course Survey; due Friday 9/11 by 9:00 am

Sa- 10/03



8;30-5 pm

(60 min. lunch break)

Foyle 900

– Historical Figures in Psychology presentations

– Work of Drs. Nadel & Gomez: discussion of assigned readings; student presentations on research articles

– Behavioral observations; lab behavioral observation exercise; overview of assignment

– Exploring Paris, presentations

– Travel information, polices, etc.


– Read assigned readings

– Historical Figures in PY

– Exploring Paris

– Research Article Summary & presentation


F-     10/09 –

Su-   10/18




Travel: Paris, Switzerland

– Detailed itinerary of trip and travel information will be provided in class.


F- 10/23




6-9 pm


– Behavioral Observation, presentations

– Course Reflections, presentations

– Behavioral Observation Assignment

– Course Reflection Assignment