PS315 Theories of Personality

for S1M 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PS 315 Theories of Personality


S1M 2007 CH


Crowe, Leif C.






Semester Dates

1/15/2007 - 3/11/2007

Class Days


Class Time

4:45 - 7:15 PM


PS 101

Credit Hours


REQUIRED:  Ewen, Robert E. (2003). An introduction to theories of personality, (6th ed.). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  ISBN: 0-8058-2719-6.

RECOMMENDED:  American Psychological Association (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.  ISBN: 1-55798-791-2

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
Examination of the major personality theories and contributing research evidence with particular emphasis upon motivation and dynamics of behavior.  Pre-requisite:  PS101.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is one of interaction based on lectures, readings, discussions, activities, videos, demonstrations, internet and web site exploration, and writing. My goal is to involve the class in an exploration of ideas that attempt to explain who we are, how we got here, and how we can change.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and differentiate among the major psychological approaches which explain personality.
  2. Define and apply key personality concepts, terms, and theories.
  3. Identify psychologists who have made major contributions to an understanding of personality.
  4. Explain research methodology and the ability to evaluate the merit of personality studies.
  5. Practically apply acquired insight of personality to one's own life

Core Assessment:

PS315 Theories of Personality
Core Assessment

Research Reaction Paper In order to help you relate theories of personality to current research in the field, students will complete a research reaction paper focusing on the analysis of an empirical research article relevant to the study of personality. The research reaction paper should include a summary and discussion of the research article including the following areas: 1) topic area; 2) hypotheses; 3) method; and 4) major results and findings. Most importantly, reaction papers should include a thoughtful commentary by the student. Specifically, not only should students provide a general summary, but focus on a critique of the research question and design, as well as a discussion of how the research relates to other theories of personality. In addition, students should include a commentary about the relationship of the research findings to their own life and personality development. Students' comments, critique, and discussion should form the majority of the paper.


  • Information must be organized, presented and referenced using APA style.
  • Research Reaction Paper should be 10 pages (plus title and reference pages).

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
Class performance will be evaluated based on essay assignments, examinations, and the Core Assessment paper.

Essay assignnments might ask you to apply the knowledge you have gained about a particular theory to your own or someone else's life, or to compare different theoretical approaches.

There will be a midterm and a final exam. Both exams will have questions in a range of formats: essay, short answer, matching, true-false, and multiple choice.

Instructions for the Core Assessment assignment are to be found above.

For written assignments:  Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  HOWEVER: students must recognize that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, back up your hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes. No variation on "The computer ate my homework" will be accepted as an excuse for missing an assignment deadline.

The course grade will comprise four Essay Assignments worth 25 points each, two examinations worth 150 points each, and the Core Assessment paper worth 100 points, for a total of 500 possible points to be earned in the course.

A seven-point grading scale is used by policy at Cherry Point.
500 - 462 points = A
427 - 461 points = B
392 - 426 points = C
357 - 391 points = D
0 - 356 points = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Essay Assignments will be penalized 2 points for each calendar day they are overdue.

Exams can be made up only under exceptional circumstances with verifiable excuses acceptable to the instructor.

The Core Assessment paper will be penalized 7 points (one letter grade) for each calendar day it is overdue.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
1. Be in class.
2. Be on time.
3. Be prepared.
4. Be respectful of others' opinions.
5. Be willing to participate and learn something new!
6. There is no rule 6.
7. Light eating and drinking will be permitted as long as others are not disturbed. Please clean up after yourself!

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:




Tues, 1/16



Thur, 1/18


A.  Introduction & Research
Chapter 1

Monday, 1/22

Last day of Add/Drop


Tues, 1/23


B.  Psychoanalysis I
Chapter 2 - Freud

Thur, 1/25


C.  Psychoanalysis II
Chapter 2 - Freud  

Tues, 1/30

Essay 1 Due

D.  Departures from Freud
Chapters 3, 4  - Jung & Adler

Thur, 2/1


E.  Neurosis & Growth
Chapter 5 - Horney

Tues, 2/6


F.  Ego Psychology
Chapter 8 - Erikson

Thur, 2/8

Essay 2 Due


Tues, 2/13

Midterm Exam (A - F)


Thur, 2/15


G.  Radical Behaviorism I
Chapter 14 - Skinner

Friday, 2/16

Last day to withdraw without an "F" grade


Tues, 2/20


H.  Radical Behaviorism II
Chapter 14 - Skinner

Thur, 2/22


I.  Social-Cognitive Theory
Chapter 16 - Bandura

Tues, 2/27

Essay 3 Due

J.  Self-Actualization Theory
Chapters 9, 10 - Rogers & Maslow

Thur, 3/1

Core Assessment paper due

K.  Existential Theory
Chapter 11 - May

Tues, 3/6

Essay 4 Due


Thur, 3/8

Final Examination (H - L)


Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Plagiarism will result in a grade of zero (0) for the assignment.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Student goes beyond identification of the major theory of personality to address the integration between various theories OR addresses specific, contemporary movements within a major conceptual framework.
Student correctly identifies and explains the major theory or theories of personality that underlie the research article.
Student inaccurately identifies the major theory OR fails to identify the most applicable theory.
Fails to use an empirical article relevant to theories of personality.
Student identifies and summarizes key aspects of the empirical study without including unnecessary or unimportant information; uses their own language to explain technical findings.
Student accurately understands and summarizes an empirical research study.
Student inaccurately understands the research article OR fails to correctly summarize the key points of the article.
No summary of the research article.
Student accurately critiques empirical findings or research methodology by going beyond the presented information to highlight original gaps, errors, inadequacies or unanswered issues.
Student accurately critiques empirical findings and methodology; focuses on the concerns that are specified in the article.
Student inaccurately critiques the research findings or methodology.
Fails to critique the findings/methodology.
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Student accurately and consistenly utilizes appropriate personality concepts that demonstrate a clear understanding of terminology.
Student accurately utilizes personality terminology to discuss the research article.
Student utilizes personality terminology inaccurately OR fails to consistently use personality terminology.
Utilizes no personality terminology.
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Student shows detailed insight into the conceptual basis underlying major theories of personality; extends the basic conceptual information to show unique, contemporary or innovative applications.
Student shows an accurate understanding of the conceptual basis of major theories of personality as they are applied to contemporary research settings.
Student show inaccuracies in their understanding of major personality theories OR fails to utilize key concepts relevant to specific personality theories.
Failure to discuss or address the conceptual basis of major theories of personality.
1, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Student shows extensive insight and self-reflection as they apply the key concepts of personality theory to explain personality development and maintenance.
Student provides an accurate description of the relevance of personality theories to their own life and personality development.
Student is inaccurate in their application of personality theory to explain their own personality OR provides a self-reflection that is unrelated to the theory addressed by the research article.
Fails to provide an application of personality theory to own life.
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Student utilizes APA style throughout paper with fewer than 3 errors.
Student utilizes APA style for title page, citations, references and overall organization of information; student has 4-6 errors in technical use of APA style.
Student utilizes APA style but has 7 or more errors.
Student fails to use APA style.
1, 2, 3, 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Body of literature review is 11 or more double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional) that includes the following subheadings: summary, critique, relationship to theory, self-reflections
Body of literature review is 10 double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional) that includes the following subheadings: summary, critique, relationship to theory, self-reflections
Body of literature review is 7-9 double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional) that includes the following subheadings: summary, critique, relationship to theory, self-reflections OR missing 1-2 specified components
Body of literature review is less than 6 double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, 12-point font (title and reference pages are additional) that includes the following subheadings: summary, critique, relationship to theory, self-reflections OR missing 3 or more specified components


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Last Updated:1/13/2007 5:14:18 PM