Psychology 2990B 650 FW23

Applications of Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 



Psychology 2990B    Section 650 




Welcome to our course, which explores how people ‘use’ psychology to achieve real-world goals. You will recognize concepts that we will discuss from other psychology courses, yet our lens is nevertheless to explore how these concepts are applied. This course is online and is primarily asynchronous. This syllabus is a critical resource for you to keep on track throughout the term.  






The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with some of the ways in which psychological evidence and techniques can be applied to the practice of law, business, education, the health sciences, etc.   


Antirequisite: Not Applicable. Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. If you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course. 


Prerequisite(s): A mark of at least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level. 


3 lecture hours; Course Weight: 0.5  


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 






Instructor: Dr. M. Blair Evans, Assistant Professor, Industrial/Organizational Unit  

Office and Phone Number: 8410 Social Sciences Bldg, 519-661-2111 x84663  


Office Hours: Office hours are from 9am-12pm on Wednesdays, and 1pm -3pm on Fridays. To meet during these time spans you must use this link below to schedule a slot: Book your time slot at least 12 hours beforehand and head to the following zoom room during your scheduled slot:    


Teaching assistant: TBD. 


Office hours: By appointment only, using e-mail. 




 Online: We will be using the BRIGHTSPACE course management system for most aspects of this course (i.e., posting modules, discussions, grading, exams).  Students are encouraged to follow the technology ‘policy’ outlined later in the syllabus. 







Time and Location of Classes: This is a virtual (online) course, which is asynchronous.  We nevertheless will schedule occasional ‘synchronous’ opportunities related to exams or for supplemental meetings for discussing content or exam reviews. Anything that is planned during this time will be communicated to students using BRIGHTSPACE.  



Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 



2.1 Online Learning Notice: 
Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 






There is no formal text for the course. We will use chapters, academic articles, and online content that will be available through a formal course readings page supported by Western Libraries. The class schedule below identifies weeks with assigned readings, and these readings are provided along with a guide identifies key messages to derive from each reading. 


Nevertheless, several chapters will be posted from the following textbook that is available through online access from our Library – this is a valuable tool for the concepts related to social psychology that we will be applying. 




Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (3RD EDITION) 

Gruman, Schneider, & Coutts (Sage publications) 







This course serves as an introduction to the concepts and tools from modern psychology that have found their way into real life. The themes from this course will span domains ranging from health psychology to the psychology of sport, consumer behaviour, organizations, law, human factors, and the environment. We will consider how psychology is used in many ways, ranging from large-scale policies to the design of behavioural interventions.  



After introducing the foundations of applied psychology, this course progresses through 12 modules focused on ‘big issues’ and then we will explore how those issues are addressed in several domains of applied psychology. We hope to instil recognition of how psychology is applied, so students will leave the course with awareness of available careers and applications of psychology. 







Following this course, successful students will have the capacity to (see table on the next page): 



Learning Outcome 

Learning Activity 



Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

Identify concepts, methods, and examples that are historically important related to applied psychology 

  • Lectures 
  • Readings 
  • Exams 
  • Graded quizzes  

Recognize the uses of psychology in everyday life and identify the extent that these applications connect with theory and empirical findings. 

  • Lectures 
  • Supplemental content (videos, articles, podcasts) 
  • Exams 
  • Graded quizzes 

Knowledge of Methodologies.  

Recognize the ideal ways that applied psychologists advance from ‘psychological theory’ toward ‘useful strategy/tool’ through empirical steps (e.g., valid research) and practical steps (e.g., working with stakeholders). 

  • Lectures 
  • Readings 
  • Exams 
  • Graded quizzes 

Application of Knowledge.  

Reflect upon examples of applied psychology in everyday life and propose creative/novel ways that psychology could be applied in the future. 

  • Supplemental content (videos, articles, podcasts) 
  • Group discussions 
  • Group discussion prompts and replies 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. 

Recognize the limitations in current practices and policies that are often attributed to applied psychology and understand the fundamental constraints behind any attempt to ‘use’ psychology. 

  • Lectures 
  • Group discussion prompts and replies 





The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Online Mid-term Exam #1 (20%), Mid-term Exam #2 (20%), and Final Exam (35%)   

Two mid-term examinations as well as a final exam will comprise most of the course evaluation activities, worth a total of 75% of the final grade. Items will consist of primarily multiple-choice, matching, and select-all-that-apply questions based on material from the preceding lectures and readings. Occasional short answer questions may be used, but students will be alerted that this will be the case before the exam if so. Exams will draw from assigned readings as well as lecture content. All exams are ‘open book’ with complete access to course materials. However, students must complete the exams independently, meaning that students must not interact with one-another or other people during the exam.  


Whereas each mid-term will focus only on the units preceding them, the final exam will be cumulative and will be based primarily upon the concepts that are covered in each classes’ ‘Questions of the day’ (QODs). QODs are short-answer style questions and are learning preparation activities that will guide students toward the critical concepts when leading into the final exam. Although they are short-answer style, they represent a bank of topics that I will draw upon when designing final exam items. Students are thus expected to create their own responses to QODs following every class to ensure they retain key information for the final. 


Online exam protocol. The mid-term and final exams will be completed online. The specific protocol for completing exams (i.e., any video or proctoring software) are to be determined. You can nevertheless anticipate that completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets system requirements for completing online exams. 



The online assessment will be conducted using a remote proctoring service (Proctortrack), with the following key rules: 

  • Exams will be ‘closed book’ 
  • Students must work independently 
  • Exams are synchronous and items are linear (i.e., one at a time)  
  • Students may not use headphones but may request with a proctor to use the restroom.  
  • If you need any other accommodations for behaviours during exams then reach out to the instructors. 


By taking this course, you should be aware that this software will be used and will include providing personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded. Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 


Completing online exams synchronously means that technical difficulties may harm your performance. To reduce technical concerns: (a) If you know beforehand that you have limited access to required technology or internet, then reach out to the instructor, and (b) during the exam, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor immediately when any issues arise. If students do not communicate technical issues as they happen then there are few options to reconcile these challenges.  


Exam dates and times. Mid-term exams will be completed by students on Feb 7th and Mar 13th during synchronous exam sessions – students will be able to choose from among two synchronous times, each. The specific timing for these sessions is to be determined, and will be communicated using OWL. Students must gain access to the exams during these sessions and will have limited time available for completing the entire exam. The final exam date and time will be scheduled with the registrar.  


Exam conflicts.  For students who know that the mid-term exam time slot is not appropriate for them (i.e., time zone challenges), a single alternative time slot will be available. Students must individually reach out to an instructor to gain access to the link for this alternative time. Make-up exams will not be offered for mid-terms. Students with an adequate excuse for missing a mid-term, arranged through academic counselling, will be assigned a score based on your grade on the final exam. 


The final exam will be taken during the exam period and there will be only one formal time slot. To excuse yourself from the registrar-scheduled final exam, contact academic counselling with our course’s information, the final exam date, and any documentation to validate your excuse. If your accommodation is approved, you and the academic counsellor should contact me via email to schedule you to complete a make-up exam. 


Reviewing exam results. Exam grades will be posted within OWL. An online video reviewing exam items and response options will be posted within two weeks after the exam is completed. Each student is also permitted to view their midterm responses by scheduling a meeting with a teaching assistant at any point in time during the term.  


Quizzes (15%) 

Throughout this semester, students will complete brief quizzes on assigned reading material using BRIGHTSPACE. The purpose of these quizzes is to assess understanding of the reading material and to provide practice at retrieving information.  


Quizzes will be asynchronous, completed on Wednesdays as noted within the schedule during a 12-hour window (i.e., 9am EST to 9pm EST). There will be eight quizzes averaging 8 items in length in matching, multiple choice, and short-answer format. Students can submit late quizzes – but these are only accepted up until 48 hours after the quiz is closed, must be scheduled with an instructor over e-mail, and will have a 20% deduction in the grade. 


Quizzes may include 1-mark bonus activities. There will be a maximum of four of these opportunities throughout the term. Note that students cannot get higher than 100% on their quiz grade, so the bonus marks will only contribute up until a total of 60 marks is attained.  


Discussions: Discussion replies (3%) and posting a discussion prompt (7%) 

Our class will be broken into 20-member online discussion groups, who will be involved in six different discussions.  During specified weeks, we will discuss aspects of readings within these groups. Students will be graded for two components of these discussions – (a) replying to discussions, and (b) producing a discussion prompt. Discussions will require students to develop a deeper understanding of readings from the course and will be read by the instructor to understand students’ progression. Discussions will be open from Monday mornings until Wednesday evenings. 


Prompts. During the term, you will be assigned to initiate discussion using a single ‘leading’ discussion prompt. You will be randomly assigned to complete a post in your discussion group, and you will receive notification of this through the ‘PostEm’ tool in Brightspace. Your discussion post must be available for other students in your group by 9am on Monday morning on the week of the related reading/topic. A discussion prompt rubric will be posted in Brightspace. 


These 300-word prompts must include: (a) reflection on one or more ideas from the reading, including accurate definitions or descriptions of key concepts, and (b) a description of a ‘real world’ example this concept or idea within real life, such as by describing and sharing a source that you found online (e.g., YouTube video; blog post; podcast) or your reflection on a personal experience that you have had.  The assignment will be graded on the accuracy of the description of key concepts, the clarity of the explanation linking the online source to the reading, the presence of APA-style references for the reading and for the online source, and whether the prompt was posted ‘on time’. You must also respond to at least four of your peers’ “replies” thoughtfully.  


Replies. Students will also receive grades for responding to at least one of their peers’ discussion prompts in the discussion forum. Each discussion reply must be 150 words or longer and must be posted by 9pm EST on Wednesday on the week of a given discussion. There are 6 discussions scheduled for the term and students will be graded on all six discussion thread responses based on timeliness and completeness. However, students may miss up to one of these – and the grade for the missing assignment will be assigned based on their average grade for the remainder of their responses. Late replies will not receive a grade. 





As a summary of the policies about assignment submission:  



Without approved absence 

With approved absence 

Graded quizzes 

Up to 48hrs late, 20% off grade. After 48hrs, no grade. 

Extension or reweighted quiz grade (onto other quizzes). 

Discussion prompts. 

Late prompts not graded.  

If previous to the final prompt submission week,  student will be assigned a later opportunity to submit prompt. 

Discussion replies.  

No grade for missed replies. 

Reweighted onto other sessions. 

Mid-term exam 

No exam make-up, and grade of zero. 

Exam weight reweighted onto final exam. 

Final exam 

No exam make-up, and grade of zero. 

Rescheduled final exam. 


Keep in mind that instructors are not permitted to receive documentation directly from the student in relation to accommodation requests. All documentation required for absences that are not covered by the absence reporting policy must be submitted to your Academic Counselling Office  










Grading details.  

The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 

70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 

A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 



Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 










  1. Quizzes (6 quizzes – 9AM-9PM EST, Wednesdays).  


  1. Discussions (6 discussions) 


  1. Prompts (1 required, posted by 9AM EST Mondays) 


  1. Replies (5 required, posted by 9PM EST, Wednesdays) 


  1. Mid-term Exams 


  1. Mid-term Exam #1  


  1. Mid-term Exam #2  


  1. Final Exam (Final Exam Period) 








The complete course schedule is provided on the next page.  Required readings are available in their entirely through BRIGHTSPACE at the outset of the term, and lectures as well as supplemental materials for each of our 12 modules will be posted at least a week before their scheduled week. 


This course is online and primarily asynchronous. 





Relevant ‘domain’ of application in focus 

Preparation notes 

(see BRIGHTSPACE for details on req’d readings) 



= Quiz  

(On Weds) 


= Discussion  

[Prompts: Mon] 

        [Replies: Weds] 

Jan 8-12 


Introducing applied psychology. Communicating psychological findings and adapting policy. 

Psychology informing public policy decisions. 

Schneider et al. (2017)–Ch. 1 


Jan 15-19 


Tools in an applied psychologist’s toolbox. 

Community psychology.  

Lodzinski et al. (2017)–Ch. 4 


Jan 22-26 


Can we actually change behavior? 

Health promotion / Exercise psychology. 

Hagger & Weed (2019). Do interventions based on behavioral theory work in the real world? 


Jan 29-Feb2 


Reshaping what ‘everyone else’ is doing, to change behavior. 

Environmental psychology.  

Coutts & Gruman (2017)–Ch. 13 


Feb 5-9 


Harmonizing interactions between groups and mitigating prejudice. 

Psychology and the media / Diversity and psychology. 

MIDTERM EXAM #1  - Feb 7 

Feb 12-16 


Cognitive psych and neuropsychology to understand expert performance. 

Cognitive psychology / Sport psychology. 

Williams et al. (2011). Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Sport. 


Reading week {Feb 19-23] 

Feb 26-Mar 1 


Is psychological evidence being used to improve the jury system? 

Forensic psychology.  

Borenstein & Greene (2017). The Jury Under Fire: Myth, Controversy, and Reform. 


Mar 4-8 


Helping people feel like they belong. 

Educational psychology 

Walton & Brady (2021). The Social-Belonging Intervention.  


Mar 11-15 


Making systems and places efficient. 


Engineering / Human Factors and psychology 

MIDTERM EXAM #2  - Mar 13 

Mar 18-22 


Setting the stage for people to cooperate in teams. 

Psychology applied to healthcare 

Coutts & Gruman (2017)–Ch. 10 


Mar 25-28 


Recognizing how psychological measurement enters into our daily lives. 

Organizational psychology 

Matthews, Pineault, and Hong (2022) – Single-item measure validity 


Apr 1-5 


Considering about how animals behave are applied for very ‘human’ problems. (e.g., collective behaviour) 

Comparative psychology 

Bak-Coleman et a. (2021) – Stewardship of global collective behaviour 


Exam period (Exam arranged by registrar, Apr 11-30) 




We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 




Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 




Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 





In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on BRIGHTSPACE for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.