Psychology 361

PSYC 361: Psychology of Personality (SS Core)

Prerequisites: PSYC 121

Credit Hours: (3)

Introduction to descriptions, dynamics and determinants of personality. The major theories of personality are discussed and compared.

Note(s): Fulfills one of the Social Science core requirements for the psychology major and minor.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course presents an overview of the major theories of personality, along with information on the theorists themselves. The course content covers descriptions of the basic tenets of each theory, applications each theory has for the practical understanding of human affairs, and a critical review of the assets and limitations of each theory. In addition, information is presented on research in current topics in personality.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will be primarily in the form of class lectures and discussions. Student participation will be elicited through regularly scheduled individual and small group activities. Selected films and other media will be used where appropriate.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Students will become familiar with the major theories in personality, along with information on the theorists themselves.
2. Students will be able to identify the key ideas that have been generated by each of the theories, and to evaluate the impact these ideas have had on our understanding of people and the study of personality.
3. The students will be able to critically examine each of the major personality theories in terms of its comprehensiveness, theoretical soundness, and demonstrated empirical validity.
4. Students will examine the practical applications each of these theories have provided for describing and measuring personality, and for treating people with psychological problems.
5. Students will become aware of major areas of research in the field of personality that go beyond any one theory, such as sex-role identification, self-concept, and anxiety.
6. Students will have the opportunity to think critically and creatively about a topic in personality psychology and to explore how that topic applies directly to a practical aspect of the student's life.


Assessment Measures

Assessment of student learning may include in-class examinations, a final examination, a written project on a selected topic in personality, personal autobiography where the student will examine her or his life in the context of the major theoretical approaches to the study of personality that are presented in class, and other exercises which allow the appreciation of personality theories to personal development and growth.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

September 2001 Updated and put in new format Dr. Alastair V. E. Harris