Personality and Individual Differences

Module titlePersonality and Individual Differences
Module codePSY2205
Academic year2014/5
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Avril Mewse (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

200

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module focuses on current and historical understanding of personality and individual differences. We review the main theories of personality and use contemporary empirical evidence to explore the complex relationship between personality and behaviour. In-depth examples of the complexity of individual differences will be provided, and some lectures will focus of personality disorders and problems assessing and classifying such disorders.

The academic tutorial component of this module provides you with an experiential learning process that will further develop your understanding of the complex theoretical and conceptual issues involved in the measurement and assessment of personality and individual differences. In particular, the tutorial component will provide you with the opportunity to experience projective and objective personality tests and to further explore the problems associated with diagnosing personality disorders.

The module can be suitable for interdisciplinary students who have some background in psychology. PSY1204 Introduction to Clinical Psychology is a pre-requisite and PSY2206 Methods and Statistics in Psychology is a co-requisite.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aims of the module are:

(1) to promote in you a broad and critical understanding of the ways in which personality and individual differences influence various aspects of human behaviour.

(2) to make explicit to you the problems and issues surrounding the measurement of personality and individual differences

(3) to promote in you a broad understanding of the application of a range of psychometric tests and of the theoretical underpinnings of such tests.

(4) to provide you with hands on experience in personality testing and assessment through the academic tutorials.

Many employers use personality tests to assess the suitability of applicants. This module will enable you to have insight into such testing and should help you to understand how to best present yourself in these tests.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Assess the usefulness of the concepts of personality and individual differences in accounting for human behaviour and apply these concepts to a broad range of psychological phenomena
  • 2. Illustrate how our understanding of personality and individual differences depends on the methods used to measure these concepts and the theories employed to frame them
  • 3. Describe the application of a range of psychometric tests and the theoretical underpinnings of such tests

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Illustrate detailed factual and conceptual knowledge of the subject and identify a variety of ideas, contexts and frameworks
  • 5. Review and critically evaluate published work and identify the strengths and weaknesses of this work, and at a well-developed level structure this literature to present logical and coherent arguments
  • 6. Solve complex problems systematically, think critically and creatively, and appreciate the complexities of the issues
  • 7. Apply essential principles in designing research, and critically evaluate and analyse empirical evidence, and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using a range of defined techniques at a well-developed level
  • 8. Discuss the wider ethical issues relating to the subject and its application

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Interact effectively within a learning group, giving and receiving information and ideas and modifying responses where appropriate
  • 10. Manage learning using resources for the discipline
  • 11. Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses, challenge received opinion and develop your own criteria and judgment, and seek and make use of feedback
  • 12. Manage and select information and data from a range of sources and develop appropriate information finding strategies
  • 13. Take responsibility for your own learning with minimum direction
  • 14. Communicate effectively in the manner appropriate to the discipline and in a variety of formats
  • 15. Identify key areas of problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  • 16. Act with increasing autonomy, with reduced need for supervision and direction, within defined guidelines
  • 17. Manage time effectively to meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The first 14 lectures of this module will focus on our current and historical understanding of personality and individual differences using evidence from contemporary research and will explore the complex relationship between these concepts and behaviour. Specific issues including emotion, motivation, cognitive style, temperament, mood and arousal will be covered alongside consideration of the main theoretical perspectives. The remaining lectures will provide in-depth examples of the complexity of individual differences, and of our attempts to work with, around or against these differences through psychological therapy.

The academic tutorial component of this module will provide you with an experiential learning process that will further enhance understanding of the complexities surrounding the field of personality and individual differences. In particular, the tutorial component will provide you with the opportunity to experience projective and objective personality tests and to further examine the complex issues involved in assessing and diagnosing personality disorders. Measurement issues will be considered alongside the historical, cultural and social specificity issues involved in personality and IQ testing. This will deepen your understanding of the complex theoretical and conceptual issues involved in the measurement of personality and individual differences.

  1. Personality and Individual Differences: general introduction

  2. Psychoanalytic theory (Freudian theory)

  3. Neo-Freudians

  4. The Freudian legacy

  5. Personality trait theory 1 - psychological testing and measurement issues

  6. Personality trait theory 2

  7. Personality trait theory 3

  8. Personality type theory – health and well being

  9. The person-situation debate.

  10. Biological and evolutionary approaches

  11. Behaviourist, Social Learning and Cognitive approaches

  12. Phenomenological approaches

  13. Intelligence  1   

  14. Intelligence 2

  15. Personality Disorders I                            

  16. Personality Disorders II

  17. Personality and crime

  18. Psychological disorders and individual differences – a transdiagnostic approach

  19. Social Phobia

  20. Individual differences and psychosis.

  21. Consolidation of learning: Review

  22. Revision

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
251250

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching18Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Tutorials (3 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study125Reading and preparation for lectures and examination, researching and writing essay

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial3 hoursAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
50500

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination501 hourAllGeneric
Essay502000 wordsAllIndividual

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExaminationAllAugust Ref/Def
EssayEssayAllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. For the examination and essay, the reassessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred in the examination you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August/September re-assessment period. This will constitute 50% of the module. Where you have been referred/deferred in the essay you will be required to resubmit the essay. This will constitute 50% of the module. Deferred marks are not capped; referred marks are capped at 40%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Burger, J. M. (2007). Personality (7th Ed). New York: Thomson Learning Wadsworth.

Funder, D. C. (2007). The Personality Puzzle (5th Ed). London: W.W. Norton and Company.

Recommended reading

Kline, P. (1999). The handbook of psychological testing (2nd Ed). London: Routledge.

Harvey, A.G., Watkins, E., Mansell, W. and Shafran, R. (2004). Cognitive behavioural processes across

psychological disorders. Oxford University Press.

Module has an active ELE page

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

PSY1204

Module co-requisites

PSY2206

NQF level (module)

5

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/11/2011

Last revision date

23/04/2014