Ethics and Social Justice Issues in a Psychology Research Methods Course

Dalia L. Diab, PhD
Mentor: David J. Burns, DBA (Marketing)

Dalia L. Diab, PhD

Changes Implemented in the Course
Changes that were implemented in the Methods II class as part of the Ignatian Mentoring Program related to two topics: ethics and social justice. The topic of ethics is extremely relevant to a Jesuit education, and it is also extremely important in a psychology research methods class; therefore, the first two changes that were made related to ethics. Social justice is another topic that is relevant to a Jesuit education. Therefore, the third change that was implemented related to this topic.


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Introduction to Social Psychology - Development of a Jesuit Identification Measure and a Sense of Becoming "Women and Men for Others"

Christian M. End, Ph.D.Christian M. End, Ph.D.
Mentor: Ginger McKenzie, Ph.D.


A primary purpose of PSYC 261 is to introduce students to the basic concepts, theories, and research in the field of Social Psychology with the hope that the students will be able to apply the content to aid in their understanding of social interactions. While "Walking Ignatian" themes were incorporated into multiple chapters, (i.e., Behavior and Attitudes, Aggression, etc.), the activities associated with the Social Self-concept and Altruism chapters will be the focus of this report.


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Community Engagement and Adolescent Psychology: Infusing Ignatian Values

Anne K. Fuller, Ph.D. (Psychology)
Mentor: Linda Schoenstedt, Ed.D. (Sport Management, Marketing & Administration)


Adolescent psychology (PSYC 233) is an elective course that focuses on the development of adolescentsand emerging adults (18-25-year-olds) across a broad range of contexts.

The course includes the following learning objectives:

SLO 1: Students will be able to identify key principles and themes of adolescent development across
biological, psychological, and social domains.

SLO 2: Students will be able to analyze connections between principles and themes of adolescent
psychology and the trends, strengths, and challenges of contemporary adolescent development.

SLO 3: Students will create informational materials regarding contemporary adolescent development to
be disseminated to community stakeholders (e.g., youth organization staff, parents of adolescents).

When I began preparing to teach this course for the first time, I enrolled in the Eigel Center’s Academy
for Community-Engaged Faculty in order to incorporate service learning into the course objectives and
assignments. I partnered with WordPlay Cincy, a local organization that offers programs in reading,
writing, storytelling, and the arts for children, adolescents, and young adults.

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Integrating Ignatian Pedagogy into an Abnormal Psychology Course to Reduce Mental Health Stigma

Heather McCarren, PhD
Mentor: Lisa Jutte, PhD, AT (Sports Studies)


Before I came to Xavier in 2018, I worked in the Department of Veterans Affair as an organization development psychologist implementing solutions designed to improve healthcare. While there, the benefits of a common language became clear. Moving together synchronously towards new healthcare solutions, was always more successful when we had a shared understanding of how to do it. The knowledge of the benefits of a common language made me grateful to join Xavier University, where a shared understanding of our mission and values is an explicit and reinforced goal for students and employees. The IMP program is one example of that, and it gave me the structure and motivation to learn the language and apply it explicitly in the classroom. 

My mentor, Lisa Jutte, has been an invaluable resource along the way. She gave me good starting points for reading about the gifts of our Ignatian heritage and the five principles of Ignatian pedagogy. We talked about how best to apply these principles and I ultimately opted to use them to help Abnormal Psychology students learn how to reduce mental health stigma. Meeting Lisa was one of the highlights of the program for me and she graciously gave time and advice on things beyond what she was asked to do as an IMP mentor. I am so thankful for her guidance and I’m sure I will be seeking it for many years to come!   


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Experiencing Ignatian Core Values in Health Psychology: Utilizing "Inspiration" and "Aspiration"

Debra K. Mooney, Ph.D.

Overview of the Sub-fieldDebra K. Mooney, Ph.D.

Over the past 30 years, Health Psychology has become a major subfield of psychology. Health Psychology is one of 56 divisions of the American Psychological Association, psychology's major professional organization. The specialty is defined in the following way: Health Psychology seeks to advance contributions of psychology to the understanding of health and illness through basic and clinical research, education, and service activities and encourages the integration of biomedical information about health and illness with current psychological knowledge.

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Adaptation of an Ignatian Spiritual Exercise in the Training of Doctoral-Level Psychologists

Jennifer E. Phillips, Ph.D.
Mentor: Thomas Knestrict, Ed.D. (Education)


I am very grateful to have participated in Xavier University’s Ignatian Mentoring Program (IMP) during the 2019-2020 academic year. My goal for participating was to deepen my exploration of what it means to work at a Jesuit university, and to benefit from the unique contribution that this community can make to my practice and teaching of clinical psychology. The IMP has certainly helped me to meet this goal.


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Enhancing PSY 245 - Culture and Psychology, Through Service and Reflection

Stacey Priya Raj, PhD
Mentor: Debora Kuchey, PhD (Education)

Students holding books

PSY 245 – Culture and Psychology is a 3-credit hour course that I taught in the Spring of 2020. The course had not been offered at Xavier for a number of years, and I had the opportunity to develop the course with the support and guidance of Deb Kuchey, my Ignation faculty mentor, and Sean Rhiney at the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning.

Teaching to the mission was a priority in developing this course and the course received the following designations/attributes: Diversity Flag and Service Learning

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Infusing Personal Discernment into PSYC 200 - Orientation to the Major

Tammy L. Sonnentag, Ph.D.
Mentor: Diane Ceo-DiFrancesco, Ph.D.

The School of Psychology at Xavier University serves the following mission: "In keeping with the Jesuit, Catholic, liberal arts tradition, the School of Psychology educates students in the science of behavior and mental processes with sensitivity toward the diversity of all people so students may use psychological knowledge and insight to address human concerns" (School of Psychology, 2016). As part of this mission, students who major in psychology are required to complete a one-credit hour course called "Orientation to the Major." The primary aims of this course are to expose students to career options in psychology and encourage students to begin building a network of professional relationships in the field. As a part of the Orientation to the Major course, student are asked to meaningfully reflect on psychology as their chosen major and identify possible (and, potentially the "best") career paths for their abilities, strengths, values, and experiences. Given the nature of the course, teaching students about Personal Discernment from the Ignatian tradition should enhance their ability to make important career choices, as a reflection of their strengths and weaknesses, emotions, and desires - thereby promoting Xavier's mission in the hearts, minds, and actions of the students.

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Is more ethics training in general psychology better?

Renee' A. Zucchero, Ph.D.Renee' A. Zucchero, Ph.D.
Mentor: Bob Ahuja, Ph.D. (Marketing)


Training in ethics is fundamental to Jesuit education; but, ethics are infrequently discussed in courses other than theology and philosophy. One-fourth of Xavier undergraduates enroll in General Psychology (PSYC 101) at some time during their time at the University. Yet, ethics are infrequently addressed in undergraduate psychology courses and are most likely covered in advanced courses, such as research or practicum/internship, or at the graduate level. Nevertheless, ethical issues pervade roles of a psychologist, including researcher, practitioner, and teacher. Therefore, increased content in the area of ethics would expose an array of students to a key component of Jesuit education. Furthermore, future psychologists and consumers of psychological services might develop a better understanding of psychologists' ethical behavior.

The following question is posed: "Are PSYC 101 students who are exposed to additional psychology ethics content more knowledgeable about psychology ethics at mid-semester than those who are not?"

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