Winter Semester 2014

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Francis

Office: SN 3082

Telephone: 864 4897

Email is the best way to reach me. S. Francis

Lectures: Mondays 400 - 630

Classroom: SN 4083

Office hours: Mondays 2-4

Course Webpage:

Calendar Description: This course is designed to allow students to gain research experience in selected areas of clinical psychology.

Prerequisites: Psychology 2520, 2570, 2911, and 3650.

Textbook: Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment by David L. Watson & Roland G. Tharp, 10th edition, 2013

Selected readings

Course TAs

For students whose last names start with A-K, please contact Julian Torres (

For students whose last names start with L-Z, please contact Marsha Rowsell (

Please contact your assigned TA whenever you have a question concerning course assignments or requirements. TAs are available to meet with you on an as-needed basis by emailing to set up an appointment.


Here is Quiz 11. Please print this out, complete it, and bring it to class with you on 31 March to have this quiz added into your total quiz mark for the semester.


Here are the guidelines for the final paper.

Here are the marking criteria for the final paper.


Here are the marking criteria for the final presentation.



Here is the weekly discussion schedule.


Here is the final presentation schedule.

Overview of the Course: This course will provide research experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of a single-case design study. Students will acquire experience with research methods that are used to advance the body of knowledge in clinical psychology.

Course Requirements: You are responsible for all material discussed in the class and the assigned reading material. Weekly discussions will encourage students to actively participate in the class discussions on each assigned reading, while each student will also be responsible for leading one discussion during the semester (see Guidelines below). Final presentations will require students to give a presentation on a topic in abnormal psychology of their choosing (see Guidelines below). Final papers will comprise a synthesis and integration of the steps involved in the self-directed behavior project (see Guidelines below).

Course Evaluation: Weekly Quiz (10) – 2% each (20% of Final Grade) Weekly Quiz Questions (10) – 1% each (10% of Final Grade) Leading a Weekly Discussion (1) – 10% of Final Grade Weekly Steps in Self-Directed Behavior Project (10) – 2% each (20% of Final Grade) Final Presentation – 20% of Final Grade Final Paper (due Wednesday, November 30 by 2pm) – 20% of Final Grade

Weekly quizzes and discussions cannot be made up if missed. Instead the overall mark for quizzes and discussions will be calculated across the number of quizzes and discussions completed. Missing leading a weekly discussion or final presentation without a documented reason will result in zero for that assignment; a reason that is deemed legitimate by the instructor and which is appropriately documented (e.g., a doctor’s note) will result in a 5% deduction in the final mark; however, with documentation and the instructor’s permission, this assignment can be completed at a later date. For each calendar day that a weekly self-directed behaviour assignment is late, ½ point will be deducted to a maximum of 4 calendar days. For each calendar day that the final paper is late, 1 point will be deducted to a maximum of 5 calendar days, after which the paper will receive a mark of zero.

Tentative Course Schedule:

Date: January 13th

Topic: Introduction to Methodology and Research Design in Clinical Psychology

Reading 1: Chapter 1 in SDB – The Skills of Self-Direction

Date: January 20th

Topic: Selection of the Research Problem and Design

Reading 1: Chapter 2 in SDB – Forethought: Planning for Success

Reading 2: McGuire, W. J. (1997). Creative hypothesis generating in psychology: Some useful heuristics. Annual Review of Psychology, 48, 1-30.

Reading 3: Barlow, D. H. (1981). On the relation of clinical research to clinical practice: Current issues, new directions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 147-155.

Reading 4: McFall, R. M. (1991). Manifesto for a science of clinical psychology. Clinical Psychologist, 44, 75-88. Here is the McFall article.

Assignment due: Step 1 in SDB

Date: January 27th

Topic: Validity in Clinical Research

Reading 1: Chapter 3 in SDB – Self-Knowledge: Observation and Recording

Reading 2: Mook, D. G. (1983). In defense of external invalidity. American Psychologist, 38, 379-387.

Reading 3: Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation. American Psychologist, 9, 705-717.

Assignments due: Step 2 in SDB

Topic selection for presentation

Date: February 3rd

Topic: Ethical Issues and Guidelines for Research

Reading 1: Chapter 4 in SDB – The Principles of Self-Direction: Theory and Practice

Reading 2: Rosenthal, R. (1994). Science and ethics in conducting, analyzing, and reporting psychological research. Psychological Science, 5, 127-133.

Reading 3: Pope, K. S., Tabachnick, B. G., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1987). Ethics of practice: The beliefs and behaviors of psychologists as therapists. American Psychologist, 42, 993-1006.

Reading 4: Hargrove, D. S. (1986). Ethical issues in rural mental health practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 17, 20-23.

Assignments due: Step 3 in SDBEthics certificate

Date: February 10th

Topic: Validity and Bias

Reading 1: Chapter 5 in SDB - Antecedents

Reading 2: Chapter 6 in SDB – Behaviors: Actions, Thoughts, & Feelings

Reading 3: Wampold, B. E., Davis, B., & Good, R. H., III (1990). Hypothesis validity of clinical research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58, 360-367.

Reading 4: Goldfried, M. R., & Wolfe, B. E. (1998). Toward a more clinically valid approach to therapy research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 143-150.

Assignment due: Step 4 in SDB

Date: February 17th

Winter Semester Break

Date: February 21st – Friday on a Monday schedule

Topic: Single-Case Research Designs

Reading 1: Chapter 7 in SDB – Consequences

Reading 2: Borckardt, J. J., Nash, M. R., Murphy, M. D., Moore, M., Shaw, D., & O’Neil, P. (2008). Clinical practice as a natural laboratory for psychotherapy research: A guide to case-based time-series analysis. American Psychologist, 63, 77-95.

Reading 3: Hilliard, R. B. (1993). Single-case methodology in psychotherapy process and outcome research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 373-380.

Reading 4: Jones, E. E., Ghannam, J., Nigg, J. T., & Dyer, J. F. P. (1993). A paradigm for single-case research: The time series study of a long-term psychotherapy for depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 381-394.

Assignment due: Steps 5 & 6 in SDB

Date: February 24th

Topic: Evaluation of the Single Case in Clinical Work

Reading 1: Chapter 8 in SDB – Developing a Successful Plan

Reading 2: Kazdin, A. E. (1993). Evaluation in clinical practice: Clinically sensitive and systematic methods of treatment delivery. Behavior Therapy, 24, 11-45. Here is the Kazdin article.

Reading 3: Hayes, S. C. (1981). Single case experimental design and empirical clinical practice. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 193-211.

Assignment due: Step 7 in SDB

Date: March 3rd

Topic: Assessment Methods & Strategies

Reading 1: Chapter 9 in SDB – Problem Solving and Relapse Prevention

Reading 2: Schwarz, N. (1999). Self-reports: How the questions shape the answers. American Psychologist, 54, 93-105.

Reading 3: Haynes, S. N., Richard, D. C. S., & Kubany, E. S. (1995). Content validity in psychological assessment: A functional approach to concepts and methods. Psychological Assessment, 7, 238-247.

Assignment due: Step 8 in SDB

Presentation outline

Date: March 10th

Topic: Assessment and Evaluation of Interventions

Reading 1: Chapter 10 in SDB – Staying in Control

Reading 2: Ogles, B. M., Lunnen, K. M., & Bonesteel, K. (2001). Clinical significance: History, application, and current practice. Clinical Psychology Review, 21, 421-446.

Reading 3: Hubbard, R., & Ryan, P. A. (2000). The historical growth of statistical significance testing in psychology – And its future prospects. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60, 661-681.

Assignment due: Step 9 in SDB

Date: March 17th

Topic: Publication and Communication of Research Findings

Reading 1: Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1997). Writing narrative literature reviews. Review of General Psychology, 1, 311-320.

Reading 2: Beutler, L. E., Williams, R. E., Wakefield, P. J., 7 Entwistle, S. R. (1995). Bridging scientist and practitioner perspectives in clinical psychology. American Psychologist, 50, 984-994.

Assignment due: Step 10 in SDB

Date: March 24th

Topic: Final Presentations 1

Date: March 31st

Topic: Final Presentations 2

Assignment due: Final paper

Weekly Quiz Questions Guidelines:

For each assigned reading, each student will be responsible for submitting, at the beginning of the class period, at least one potential quiz question. These questions can be written in any format (true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short-answer). Each question turned in will have the potential of being included on the following week’s quiz.

Leading a Weekly Discussion Guidelines:

For each assigned reading, one student will be responsible for leading the class discussion of the relevant reading. Leading the class discussion might entail (but is not limited to) raising questions for thought about the reading, raising points of debate, discussing how the importance of the reading to conducting research in clinical psychology, or discussing how the reading fits in with the material covered in the lectures (e.g., how does this reading complement or contradict what has been discussed in class). Leading a class discussion should not include providing a summary of the article, but should instead encourage participation in a discussion by others.

Final Presentation Guidelines:

Selecting a Topic: Select any topic in Clinical Psychology that is of interest to you. You may choose a diagnostic/disorder-based topic (e.g., Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder), or a methodology-based topic (e.g., treatment outcome research, instrument development). You are encouraged to discuss your idea with the instructor and solicit feedback as needed.

Researching Your Topic: Select three articles pertaining to your topic. These articles must be published in peer-reviewed journals within the last 7 years (since 2006). The articles must also be empirical studies, not theoretical papers, commentaries, or review articles (meta-analyses are acceptable, however). Synthesizing Your Article Findings: Using your three selected articles, comment on and critique the methodology the authors used to research the topic. For example, if you have read three articles evaluating different treatment approaches for depression, comment on some aspect(s) of the methodology used to assess treatment outcome (e.g., hypothesis generation, sample selection, assessment instruments used, points at which assessment occurred, analyses employed, etc.). If you have selected a methodology-based topic, compare and contrast the methods of study used across the articles (e.g., for instrument development, critique methods of item selection, reliability assessment, pilot testing, factor analysis, etc.). Creating an Outline: Develop an outline of your presentation ideas. This outline should include mention of how you will introduce your topic, the key points you will cover in your synthesis of the articles, and your conclusions about what you have read (this might also include suggestions for future research). Presenting Your Topic: The presentation should be in Powerpoint format. Design your presentation to be between 10 and 15 minutes in length (no more than 15 minutes). On the date of your presentation, also turn in a list of relevant references, in APA 6th Edition format.

Tips: Select a topic that is of interest to you. Plan to discuss some aspect of your articles’ methodology – do not try to be exhaustive in your analysis – the presentation can only be 20 minutes long. You will be evaluated on your ability to apply the concepts we’ll be discussing in class to the literature that you read, not on your selection of articles. Choosing articles with imperfect methodology will provide you with more to discuss.

Final Paper Guidelines:

This paper should be formatted according to the APA 6th edition guidelines. It should not exceed 20 pages (not including references), but should include a title page, an abstract, and an appropriately headed body. Relevant empirical literature should be appropriately cited. This paper will be based on a synthesis of the steps that were followed throughout the semester in the self-directed behaviour project. Specifically, the text should clearly state the behaviour that was addressed, summarize the steps followed, include relevant data in a Results section, and discuss the process and outcome of the project. The paper should conclude by critically evaluating the process of self-directed behaviour and the implementation of this project.

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