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PSY 3442 Psychology of Personality


Course Description

Overviews the major theoretical approaches to personality development and research in the field.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to

  • Define personality
  • Discuss the study of personality in terms of psychotherapy and research
  • Discuss the personality differences and similarities between and among people
  • Explain the biological influences on personality
  • Discuss the experiential influences on personality and its development
  • Discuss personality and personality development through the many perspectives, including classical psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic-social, psychosocial, interpersonal, trait, earning, cognitive social, biological, and humanistic
  • Differentiate among the theorists behind the development and modification of these perspectives
  • Discuss the major strengths, weaknesses, contributions to, and criticisms of the various perspectives, models, and theories of personality

Week 1


Lecture: Course Introduction and Welcome
Lecture: Introduction to Personality Theory

Outcomes

  • Explain the study of personality in terms of psychotherapy and research
  • Define personality
  • Understand the personality differences and similarities between and among people
  • Explain the biological influences on personality
  • Discuss the experiential influences on personality and its development
  • Discuss personality and personality development through the many perspectives, including classical psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic-social, psychosocial, interpersonal, trait, learning, cognitive social, biological, and humanistic
  • Differentiate among the theorists behind the development and modification of these perspectives

Week 2


Lecture: Freud's Theory
Lecture: Carl Jung’s Theory
  • Differentiate between Freud’s concepts of conscious and unconscious
  • Explain the key elements of Freud’s theory
  • Describe the effects of unconscious motivation
  • Discuss his ideas on the structures of the personality, intrapsychic conflict, personality development and psychoanalytic treatment
  • Discuss the underlying theory of psychoanalysis
  • Describe Jung’s theory of personality and explain his concept of the structure of personality
  • Discuss key elements of his theory including the Psyche, the Self, the Ego, the Persona, the Shadow, the Animal, and the Animus
  • Explain the concept of personal unconscious
  • Describe the collective unconscious
  • Discuss symbolism
  • Explain Freud's ideas on effective therapy
  • Describe psychological types, their measurement, and their application

Week 3


Lecture: Individual Psychology: Alfred Adler
Lecture: Psychosocial Development: Erik Erikson
Lecture: Cultural and Interpersonal Factors: Karen Danielson Horney

Outcomes

  • Examine the styles of life as proposed by individual psychology
  • Discuss the influence of family constellation
  • Describe how social interest influences personality development
  • Discuss the three tasks of life as proposed by Individual Psychology
  • Explain the applicability of individual psychology
  • Discuss the eight psychosocial stages of the life as proposed by Erikson
  • Describe the crises associated with the psychosocial stages
  • Compare Horney’s psychoanalytic theory to that of Freud’s
  • Describe Horney’s interpersonal orientations
  • Discuss neurotic orientations and the parental role
  • Compare neurotic to healthy orientations
  • Discuss the strategies used to adjust to anxiety
  • Describe Horney’s therapeutic approach

Week 4


Lecture: Personological Trait Theory: Gordon Allport 
Lecture: Factor Analytic Trait Theory: Raymond Cattell
Lecture: Evolution and Temperament: Biological Theories

Outcomes

  • Explain Allport’s Trait Theory
  • Contrast his ideas with those of psychoanalysis
  • Define personality in light of his theory
  • Discuss personality and traits in terms of consistency and variability
  • Discuss the application of Trait Theory
  • Describe Cattell’s  Factor Analytic Theory
  • Discuss the model Cattell proposed to measure personality
  • Provide examples of the applicability of Cattell’s model
  • Explain personality from an evolutionary perspective
  • Describe how genes contribute to personality
  • Discuss the interaction between our genes and our environment
  • Identify specific areas of the brain relevant to personality

Week 5


Lecture: Behaviorism: B. F. Skinner
Lecture: Psychoanalytic Learning Theory

Outcomes

  • Discuss the goal of behaviorism
  • Identify the major theorists  in the development of behaviorism
  • Outline Skinnerian principles
  • Discuss the application of Skinnerian Psychology
  • Identify the contributions of behaviorism to personality theory
  • Discuss Psychoanalytic Learning Theory as set forth by Dollard and Miller
  • Explain how learning theory can be applied to psychoanalytic theory
  • Outline key components of psychoanalytic learning theory
  • Evaluate psychoanalytic learning theory’s contributions to the study of personality theory

Week 6


Lecture: Cognitive Social Learning Theory: Mischel and Bandura
Lecture: Personal Construct Theory: Kelly

Outcomes

  • Discuss the Cognitive Social Learning Theory
  • Explain Mischel’s ideas
  • Describe Social Learning Theory from the perspective of Bandura
  • Describe key elements of Bandurian Theory including reciprocal determinism, perceived self-efficacy, and observational learning
  • Explain how these key elements contribute to the development of personality
  • Explain Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory
  • Discuss the key elements of Kelly’s theory
  • Evaluate Kelly’s theory in terms of limitations and contributions

Week 7


Lecture: Person- Centered Theory: Rogers
Lecture: Self-Actualization Theory: Abraham Maslow

Outcomes

  • Discuss Carl Rogers and his Person-Centered Theory
  • Discuss some key figures in the development of the Humanistic Perspective
  • Describe  key elements of Rogerian Theory
  • Discuss the ideas Rogers proposed with regard to the basic nature of humans
  • Explain his vision of the structure of personality
  • Describe his model for effective therapeutic intervention
  • Evaluate Rogers’s  theory in terms of limitations and contributions
  • Discuss Maslow’s Self-Actualization Theory
  • Describe the key elements of Maslow’s theory
  • Discuss key elements of Maslow’s theory
  • Explain the ideas Maslow proposed to explain the basic nature of humans
  • Explain Maslow’s vision of the structure of personality
  • Describe his model for effective therapeutic intervention
  • Evaluate Maslow’s theory in terms of limitations and contributions

Week 8


Lecture: Conclusion

Outcomes

  • Generally discuss the dominant theories of personality
  • Address the different personality issues of the past and present, from different theoretical perspectives
  • Discuss the status of personality theory today
  • Discuss the merits of eclecticism
  • Differentiate eclecticism vs. pluralism

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. November 2013