Psychology 461

PSYC 461:  Research in Personality

Prerequisite: PSYC 302, PSYC 361

Examines scientific investigations of various aspects of human personality, including development, change, and characteristics. Students will become familiar with empirical investigations of specific topics in personality research, and will be required to conduct their own research project and to submit a research report in American Psychological Association (APA) format. Fulfills lab course requirement.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Basic Issues in Personality

A. Personality Measurement
B. Development and Change in Personality
C. Issues of Nature vs. Nurture: The Source
D. Cross-Situational Consistency: The Person-Situation Debate

II. Topics in Personality Research may include

A. The Unconscious
B. Personal Efficacy
C. Gender Identity and Gender Schema
D. Locus of Control and Attributions
E. Self-Awareness and Self Consciousness
F. Identity, Self-Concept and Self-Esteem
G. Moral Character
H. Emotion: Content and Style
I. Aggression: Behavioral Coercion Models and Genetic Influence Models
J. Sexuality: Influences and Attitudes
K. Stress and Illness


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

PSYC 461 will be taught in a lecture, discussion and laboratory format. Students will be given reading assignments of experimental investigations of personality from psychological journals and will also have readings from an assigned text. Projects will be required in which the collection of data to investigate a specific hypothesis (generated from the readings and previous research findings) will occur. Analysis of data, and a complete experimental report in APA style will be required.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

1) Identify the major areas of contemporary research in personality
2) Understand the problems of measurement in personality research
3) Design an emporical test of a hypothesis regarding some aspect of personality
4) Perform an empirical investigation of some aspect of personality which includes collecting and analyzing quantitative data
5) Write up the results of an experimental investigation in APA format.


Assessment Measures

1) Examinations. Students in PSYC 461 will have a midterm and comprehensive final exam. Exams will contribute to 40% of the students' grades.
2) Term project. Students will be graded on the written form of their term project, and will also receive a grade for an oral presentation of their project hypothesis and results. Projects will contribute to 50% of the students' grades.
3) Participation. Attendance and participation will be graded on a daily basis and will contribute to 10% of the students' grades.


Other Course Information

Outside readings from a reading list of experimental reports in psychological journals will be assigned.


Review and Approval

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