Research Lines

Department of Communication y Education

The Department de Communication and Education works on three main lines of research:

Learning and Teaching Innovation

Today we face an important process of change, not only in the organization and functioning of different educational systems, but also in renovating their contents, methodologies and the use of digital technologies at all levels of teaching. This line of research aims to analyze and develop innovations in education in the digital environment, which influences the improvement in learning and real inclusion. The question we ask in this line of research is: how does innovation in education and in the use of educational technology favor inclusion and improvements in learning?

General Objective
To analyze the role of innovation in education, and its relationship with the digital environment and with the development of improvements in the processes of teaching and learning

Media and Positive Social Change

This line of research focuses on the use of the media for positive social change. Mainly we research the influence of the media on society as well as the use of its potential to promote social transformation: concretely, in topics related to youth, gender, cultural diversity, democracy and security.

General Objective
Center the attention and analysis of media reality on positive aspects, that is, to see how things can be done and how the media can be used to foster change and development for individuals and societies.

Positive Communication

The line is focused mainly on the communication emanating from brands, companies and institutions, It deals with investigating this advertising, public relations and marketing communication in general; it can increase both the internal and external happiness and wellbeing of witnesses of these instances.

General objective
To analyze, from a preeminently positive prisma, the effects of communication, mainly commercial, advertising and corporative, from a psychosocial point of view.

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Law Department

 The Department of  Law  is working on two main lines of research:

Economic and  Business Law

Interdisciplinary study of the regulation of the company according to its legal status, performance standards, economic activity, the legal peculiarities of the sector in which it operates, taxation and relations with employees and third parties.

General Objective
The line of research focuses on the company as the subject and object of law; it aims to develop a critical vision of the Law that regulates different legal forms that a businessman can adopt, the public and private regulation that outlines the limitations of its activity, the regulations that enable free competition and the network of legal relations that link them to the Administration, with third parties and with employees. The general objective is to contribute through the study of national, European and comparative Law and by formulating proposals for regulatory change, regulations, toward the development of a business model and one of legal relations of the company, to facilitate the development of a fair social and economic system.

Protection of  Fundamental Rights

It is a multidisciplinary and multilevel analysis of the regulation and protection of Fundamental Rights. In a globalized legal system, the configuration and guarantee of fundamental rights can only be addressed from a multilevel perspective that considers the articulation and interaction of the systems of state, international and regional laws, with special emphasis on the European system.

General Objective
The general objective is the analysis of the regulation of fundamental rights that is carried out at different regulatory levels of the respective instruments of protection. The multilevel approach is dictated by the current legal architecture, based on the existence of multiple supranational instances of the protection of fundamental rights that complement their domestic configuration and their guarantee.  Likewise, this is also dictated by the constant dialogue and mutual influence between the state, regions (the Inter- American system and especially the European system, with the double focus of the Council of Europe and the European Union), and internationally.  The comparative perspective plays a leading role in assessing the situations under study and enriches the formulation of policy and interpretative proposals  or prospective studies.

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Department of Economics

The Department of Economics is working on two main lines of  research: 

Agrarian economy in natural resources and  rural development

The study of agrifood systems from both macro as well as microeconomic approaches, in Europe and developing countries.

General Objective
To study the economic and environmental sustainability of agrifood systems in rural areas. This is part of the aims and strategies of Loyola University Andalusia through two of its main research topics: Development and Sustainability.

Regional economy

Analysis of the productive sectors of an economy, and its behavior with respect to changes both in socio-economic  and environmental variables as well as in public policies at regional, national or supranational level.

General Objective
To study the key sectors of economies capable of boosting economic growth, as well as the study of the economic impact provoked in the economy by alterations in the socio-economic context and different public policies.

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Department of Financial Economics and Accounting

The Department of Financial Economics and Accounting is working on two main lines of research:

Information  managment in financial credit

This line deals with the study of information problems in the credit relationship, and the resulting consequences and mechanisms to overcome them. It deals with financing and credit risk, as well as problems of exclusion or discrimination that take place as a consequence of the assessment of this credit risk.
Part of our work is dedicated to the analysis of credit risk measurement by financial entities, and we try to improve existing models of credit risk measurement. The success of these entities is essential in a market economy, and precise measurements of credit risk allow a better allocation of resources within the system. On the other hand, another point of interest to consider is the study of the financial institutions themselves, from the point of view of their characteristics as companies dedicated to the intermediation of resources (solvency, profitability, liquidity, strength, etc.).
We also analyze financial decisions made by companies and entities in the social sector, as well as the policies implemented to overcome the exclusion of the micro, small and medium sized company.
This line studies the importance of ethics in the financial environment and in auditing, both in private institutions as well as in Public Governments.

General Objective
To propose mechanisms to mitigate problems arising from credit restriction, both in the assessment of risk as well as in the institutions that allow it to pass.

Regulations  of financial information

The field of study of this line of research is the accounting regulation in a globalized environment and presided by a process of international convergence.  Our studies in this field are based on different theories that try to explain the behavior of the agents participating in the regulatory process.
Our objectives are to surpass the framework of the positive theory of accounting that underlies the self-interested behavior of participants. However, our research aims to show that this “selfish” scheme is overcome in the long run by other altruistic behavior and thus we observe the increasing weight that non-opportunistic participants have in the regulatory process.
In this research framework, we also study the mechanisms used by the international regulator to legitimize its behavior, since these mechanisms are proof of the new modes of government of globalization; in our case, and for the moment , we have studied the international regulation on financial information,  an essential part of the processes of resource allocation.
This line of research also deals with the regulation of the financial information emitted by public entities and its aggregation into national accounting figures.

General objective
To propose improvements in financial information to permit better decision-making  in the allocation of resources and assessment of performance in public and private sectors.

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Department of International Studies

The Department of International Studies is working on three main research areas:

Education for development and cooperation

The line focuses on three approaches that address, from a comprehensive and holistic perspective, the promotion of development and global justice and the fight against poverty and exclusion: education for development from the perspective of global citizenship; the coherence of policies for development; and the evaluation of the impact and efficacy of cooperation interventions for development.

General Objective
This line is within one of the three priority areas of research in Loyola University Andalusia:
From this axis, the aim is to contribute to theoretical development as well as to generate evidence about the approaches that offer a global conceptualization of the principles, objectives and instruments that contribute to promoting development and global justice and the fight against poverty and exclusion.

Government, Public and Social Policies

This is transversal and multidisciplinary research that aims to analyze global issues on the international agenda, the challenge of governance and its implications for human  rights.

General Objective
To promote integrated and multidisciplinary teamwork between researchers (and collaborators) of the Department of International Studies of Loyola University Andalusia through the analysis of global issues, the challenge of governance and its impact on human rights.

Regional Integration

Regional integration and  regionalism are fundamental variables in the analysis of development in regions as diverse as Latin America and Europe, and increasingly in Asia and Africa. Loyola University Andalusia and the Foundation ETEA have been working for over 25 years in Central America, a region where the regional approach is essential as a complimentary area to the national one for the design and evaluation of development policies.
This line of research focuses on the analysis of contributions to development offered regionally, and regional integration as a policy area. The research line demands a multidisciplinary approach, especially to combine international relations, political sciences and economics. It requires, therefore, coordination with the Economics and Law Departments. It is a research line centered on the priority axis of development of Loyola University Andalusia and in a region where the university has been working for over 25 years.

General Objective
The general objective of this line of research is to use a multidisciplinary perspective to determine the contributions of the regional approach (group of countries) and of the processes of regional integration for development, applying the analysis especially to Central America.

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Department of Humanities and Philosophy

The Department of Humanities and Philosophy is working on two main research lines:

Human Rights and lines of social transformation

We consider human rights from the transforming social processes that react against denial or exclusion of human dignity in its many manifestations, and of the goods and conditions necessary for the full development of social and personal life.

General Objective
To investigate social, historical and cultural processes that articulate the human struggles for dignity in its many manifestations in search of full development of social and personal life in the axiological context of an inclusive, democratic, plural and  intercultural society that is sustainable socially and ecologically

Cultural Ignatian Matrix

We consider the Ignatian and Jesuit cultural Matrix as a tradition that is a specific contribution, historical as well as current, to the different social spheres or subsystems in which human life develops.

General Objective
To study the Ignatian and Jesuit tradition in its historical and current contribution  to different spheres of social life as another way to understand, be and recreate the different social spheres in which human life develops.

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Department of Engineering

The main line of research of the Department of Engineering is:

Optimization, monitoring and control in distributed systems

Distributed systems in engineering are a set of applications in which diverse technologies converge, like the control of dynamic systems, simulation, optimization, communications, information systems in real time and mobile robotics. Examples of distributed systems are: smart grids (networks of electrical transport) and smart cities. In these systems there are various technological elements that are strongly dependent on each other, geographically dispersed or with limited connectivity

General Objective
In the context of distributed systems, it is necessary to develop algorithms to coordinate local decision-making based on information from close by, and rapid reaction, by elaborating global strategies and consensus to pursue the efficiency and viability of the whole. At the same time, it is necessary to know and develop sensor, electronic and communication technologies for distributed management (embedded systems of low power consumption). In some applications, like the maintenance of electrical networks or the monitoring of contaminating emissions, autonomous aerial vehicles are also necessary, and for this reason, control algorithms of units and fleets will be studied.

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Department of Business Management

The Department of  Mathematics and Engineering is working on six main lines of research:

Marketing oriented towards social transformation

To analyze the impact of marketing activities in the social system, and then in a person-centered approach, and go on to revise, develop and propose marketing concepts, approaches and instruments applied to profit and nonprofit sectors.

General Objective
Explore and broaden the possibilities of marketing to promote social changes and generate more advantages for society as a whole.

Branding and Communication strategies

This line aims to gather the latest theoretical and professional contributions in the field of branding understood as a strategic platform of the company, and that is built cumulatively over time as a portfolio of meanings that are linked to our offer.
The approach is open to the analysis of any of the aspects that influence the promise of the brand (name, product, price, distribution, sales point, internal culture and, of course , communication itself).

General Objective
Explore the aspects that influence the value of the brands of companies and organizations.

Organizational Design and People Management

The predominant competitiveness in the business world today demands flexibility and organizational changes in businesses, that are only possible if they are based on people ad values, promoting a new corporate culture based on the delegation of authority, open systems of communication, participation, collaboration and continuous learning. This goal can only be achieved in organizational contexts with managers who trust their subordinates and delegate decision-making capacity to them, and with employees that participate and also generate innovation and change.

General Objective
The objective of this line of research is to go deeper into the analysis, study and evolution of the strategic role that people play in organizations in the XXI century, understanding that they are a source of competitiveness and conflict at the same time. The core role of human resource policies for business success is that these practices are not harmless, but just the opposite; all of them transmit values and affect organizational culture in some way.


Social economics and social innovation

Social economics and social Innovation seek solutions aimed at addressing problems due to social change. From this point of view the social sector should generate transformations, and positive results when confronted with situations of discrimination, marginalization, exclusion, inequality, vulnerability or poverty.

General Objective
Study the reality of the social sector and of the development of innovative solutions to meet the challenges facing today’s society.


Government, Strategies and Social Responsibility

The principles of Social Responsibility (RS) or of the creation of shared value should guide the governing and direction of all types of organizations and institutions, whether non-profit or not, private or public. For this it is necessary that this vision be incorporated into the strategy and the management systems of the institutions transversely, and that it guide the relationships with all stake-holders. The analysis of the foundations is under study, as well as the level of adoption of the RS and its implications.

General Objective
The overall objective of this line of research is to generate knowledge about the governing and management of an organization in the framework of social responsibility and in the context of a sustainable economy. The research is two-fold: firstly, on one hand, to make our students aware of what a responsible business is like; on the other hand and secondly, to convey to companies and society in general the knowledge generated in this research, for example, through advances in the management of RS, relations with stakeholders, or the reporting on and analysis of RS management tools, or of partial aspects to identify responsible behaviors in organizations.


Rural territorial development, agricultural sector and environmental sustainability

A study of the development of rural environments in a variety of contexts of world geography from approximations in different micro- and macro-economic contexts, considering a territorial approach, agrifood systems, environmental, economic and social aspects, and the formulation, implementation, evaluation and impact of public policies in this context.

General Objective
To study the sustainable development of rural areas, of family agriculture and of the agrifood systems in general, in order to facilitate the incorporation of the disadvantaged into the general dynamics of development in these countries in more equitable terms. This is part of the aims and strategies of Loyola University Andalusia through two of its main research topics: Development and Sustainability.


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Department of Quantitative Methods

The Department of Quantitative Methods is working on three main lines of research:

Analysis, segmentation and short and medium-term forecasting

For the study of such complex systems in real life as climate change or the economic development of a country, it is essential to know the temporal evolution of a series of key indicators, as well as to predict their future behavior using various classical methodologies to study and predict time series. However, these techniques are not always efficient enough, which is why we try to analyze and apply computational techniques that surpass classical ones. Specifically it is a question of techniques that introduce the use of evolutionary techniques as an instrument for the segmentation of time series, in order to obtain statistical characteristics of the fragmented segments and proceed to their characterization.

General Objective
To develop algorithms for segmentation of time series, based on statistical and bio-inspired algorithms and medium-term forecasting.

Statistical and econometric models

This line deals with the development and application of models that can predict the future behavior of economic variable/ variables under study(endogenous), in function of other predetermined variables (qualitative / quantitative) that explain their behavior through single-equation / multi-equation regression models or other techniques based on the past behavior of the series (models of Box Jenkins, transfer functions or models X11).

General Objective
The development and application of statistical and econometric techniques to define modes that explain the relation between economic variables (at macro and / or micro level), and be able to calculate estimates, as well as simulations and evaluation of policies.

Computational Intelligence

Classical statistical techniques demand compliance with a series of requirements that usually, and especially, are not met in complex problems like those related to the socio-economic environment. That is why it is increasingly common to use more flexible alternative techniques that exploit the potential of computers that can mimic the human learning process to address and resolve these problems. The ultimate goal of this research is the development, continuous improvement and application of these computational techniques and artificial intelligence.

General Objective
The development and application of novel methodologies linked to the field of intelligent computation and artificial intelligence for resolving real problems in the field of social sciences and economics.

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The  Department of Psychology is working on five main research  lines:

Memory, language and cognition

Memory, language and cognition
Evaluation of systems and services of socio-care services
Prevention and promotion of mental health
Apprenticeship processes and their role in reading and writing
A study of the autobiographical memory of adolescents with respect to affective-sexual relations in which there has been violence. The role that experience and language play in the encoding, storage and recuperation of these memories is studied along with their potential reconstruction.

General Objective
Eric Kandel (2006) explains that we are who we are through what we learn and what we remember. From the social learning of an attraction to violence (Gomez, 2015) as well as the malleable nature of autobiographical memory (Conway, 2015), our research examines the possibility of transforming the autobiographical memory of adolescents concerning affective.-sexual relations where there has been some type of violence through the interventions of preventive socialization of gender violence.
Since memory is the base of cognitive schemes, that change in the memory – especially passing from attraction to rejection – is fundamental to facilitate the later selection of affective relations free of violence, passionate and healthy, that will promote human excellence in all their dimensions. We want to contribute scientifically to that objective of human development. This program of study is developed within the framework of the Community of Researchers in Excellence for All (CREA), and counts on national and international researchers. The line is affiliated with the Human Neuroscience Lab (HNL) Loyola

Evaluation of systems and services of socio-care services

Study on the systems of attention for persons in need of long-term care from a community perspective that includes both social as well as health care. The results are intended to support decision-making for management, planning and policy based on the evidence.

General Objective
Evaluation of public care systems for people who need log-term care through support instruments for social health management, planning and policy.

Prevention and promotion of mental health

Mental disorders are one of the greatest public health problems of our time. Promoting mental health and the prevention of mental disorders are key tools for reducing their prevalence and their devastating impact on the health of the population.

General Objective
This line of research aims to generate valid knowledge and transmit the information necessary for the population, scientific community and health service managers to integrate the prevention and the promotion of mental health and to apply the results obtained in routine clinical practice and in the organization of health services, both mental health and primary care.

Apprenticeship processes and their role in reading and writing

In the first place, this project aims to research learning processes, both implicit and explicit. Also, it tries to discover the role of these processes in reading and writing, and especially in the learning of these skills.

General Objective
Various studies suggest that certain non-strategic processes, like the implicit learning of sequences, have an important role in the learning of reading and writing. In spite of this, implicit learning is an under-investigated area, understood as a phenomenon in itself and as a process that underpins reading and writing.
For this reason, the project will research learning as a phenomenon of interest, while also searching for links with reading/writing processes. In this respect, the project will include the work of Arciuli and Simpson (2011a; 2012a).
The project will also directly consider other  less researched aspects of reading in Spanish, like prosody, in both children (Calet, Gutiérrez-Palma, Simpson, González-Trujillo, and Defior, 2015), as well as in adults (Calet, Dumitrache, and Simpson, 2015; Dumitrache, Calet,and Simpson, 2015).
As another parallel line of research, the project will adapt a computational model of writing developed in Greek into Spanish (Katidioti, Simpson, and Protopapas, 2012).
In all cases, the project will contribute to our scientific understanding of a phenomenon of implicit learning, and of how reading and writing develop in children, and how these capabilities can diminish in the elderly.  This knowledge will allow us to refine psycho-cognitive models of reading and writing.
The project will be in collaboration with research teams in Spain (Granada and Oviedo) and abroad (Australia), and the results will be published in international journals indexed in the JCR.


Psychobiological analysis  of cognitive impairment in adults

Precise and multidisciplinary evaluation (supported on clinical, neuropsychological and electrophysiological tools and techniques of Neuroimagen) of cognitive deterioration and of the effects of rehabilitation and stimulation in adult patients with diverse pathologies (especially Multiple Sclerosis, acquired Brain damage and adult ADHD).

General Objective:
This line of research aims to generate not only basic and applied scientific knowledge, but also techniques that will be valid for the daily clinical practice of diverse professionals and health centers who work with patients with cognitive impairment. Also, this line of research focuses its interest on researching physiological markers of cognitive impairment and their functional recuperation over time (longitudinal studies with techniques studying brain activity).


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