PS315 Theories of Personality

for F2DD 2009

Printer Friendly

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


F2DD 2009 DC


Palmer, Noreen E.


Adjunct Faculty


MA, Humanities
MSW, Social Work

Office Location

By appointment

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 11:00 PM



Credit Hours



Feist, J. & Feist, G. (2009). Theories of Personality (7th Edition). McGraw Hill. ISBN #0-073-38270-1.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville 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.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PS 315 Theories of Personality: Examination of the major personality theories and contributing research evidence with particular emphasis upon motivation and dynamics of behavior. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: PS 101.

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator’s educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites and writings. The facilitator will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

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:

You will know in advance the standards for each assignment. My goal is to give you prompt, clear, and useful feedback to help you become a better writer and thinker. Each student is responsible for:

  • Completing weekly reading assignments
  • Completing weekly homework assignments
  • Completing weekly journal entries 
  • Completing weekly mastery questions  
  • Participating in a group debate 
  • Completing a research reaction paper
  • Completing a proctored final examination  
  • Participation in online discussions


You will be able to track your grade throughout the term. Grades will be determined by your performance on a final exam, a research reaction paper, weekly homework assignments, weekly journal entries, a group debate, mastery questions and participation in online class discussions. Points will be assigned as follows:

Final exam (Week 8) 100 points
Core Assessment - Research reaction paper (Week 7) 100 points
Weekly homework assignments 80 points
Weekly journal entries 35 points
Weekly mastery questions 70 points
Group debate 35 points
Participation in online discussions 80 points
Total 500 points

Final course grades will be determined as follows:

A 90% - 100% 448 points and higher
B 80% - 89% 398 – 447 points
C 70% - 79% 348 – 397 points
D 60% - 69% 298 – 347 points
F 59% and lower 297 points and lower

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late submission of weekly mastery questions - Will not be accepted if late without prior approval from instructor. 
Late submission of weekly journal entries - Will not be accepted if late without prior approval from instructor.  
Late Submission of the Research Reaction Paper - Subject to reduction in points if late. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students are expected to adhere to the standards of Park University.  Class participation is encouraged and each student is expected to demonstrate mutual respect for one another and engage in active listening.    

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

This course examines how major theoretical approaches address the structure, process, and development of personality. It is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of psychological terminology relevant to the personality field, assist students in becoming critical consumers of psychological information, and promote educated self-reflection concerning one’s own personality. In this course, students will analyze and discuss the application of personality theory to everyday life, and critique the relevance and value of various theoretical perspectives. In addition, students will develop effective critical thinking skills as they learn to integrate, evaluate, and synthesize diverse theoretical views of personality presented from various sources of information (textbook, Internet, supplemental activities, etc).

 Week One - October 21st

Lecture Topic:  The Connection Between Personality Theories and Psychotherapy Approaches
Lecture Topic:  Compellingness
Lecture Topic:  Cultural Universality of Freudian Theory
Lecture Topic:  Freud's Impact on Other Theorists
Reading: Chapter 1 (Engler) Evaluating Personality Theories
               Chapter 2 (Engler) Psychoanalysis-Sigmund Freud
Assignment - In class - Personality Opinion Survey
Assignment- In class - Journal Writing 
Assignment- Homework- Mastery Questions - Due by October 28th (online drop box)
Week Two - October 28th
Reading Chapter 3 and Chapter 4
Lecture Topic:  Analytical Psychology - Carl Jung  Anima and Animus
Lecture Topic:  Popular Fiction as Influenced by
Lecture Topic:  Chapter 4: Interpsychic Theories Alfred Adler, Harry Stack Sullivan, License to Parent
Lecture Topic: Adler's Birth Order Theory
Classroom Exercise:  The Eight Psychological Types
Classroom exercise:  Adler's Birth Order Theory
Assignment- Journal Writing (Online Journal) Entry Due by November 2nd
Assignment - Mastery Questions - Due by November 4th (online drop box)
Classroom Exercise - Group Debate Team Assignments (Group Debates:  Week 5, Chapter 9)  
Week Three - November 4th  
Reading: Chapter 5 and Chapter 6
Lecture Topic:  Chapter 5 Psychoanalytic Social Psychology - Karen Horney, Erich Fromm
Lecture Topic - Cultural Influences on Womb Envy
Chapter 6- Ego Analytic Psychology - Anna Freud, Erik Erickson, Dan McAdams
Lecture Topic: Gilligan's Criticism of Erikson's Theory
Lecture Topic:  Developmental Stages of Ethnicity
Lecture Topic - Anna Frued as Youngest Daughter
Assignment - Journal Writing (Online Journal) Entry Due by November 9th
Assignment - Mastery Questions - Due by November 11th (online drop box)
Week Four - November 11th 
Reading:  Chapter 7 and Chapter 8
Lecture Topic:  Human Relations - Onject Relations Theory, The Stone Center Group
Lecture topic and Classroom Exercise:  Gender Differences in Responses to Stress
Lecture topic:  The neurobiological Basis of Relationships
Lecture topic:  Brain Wiring of Males and Females
Lecture topic:  Experimental Analysis of Behavior - John Dollard and Neal Miller, BF Skinner
Classroom Exercise:  A Shaping Demonstration
Assignment - Journal Writing (Online Journal) Entry Due by November 16th
Assignment - Mastery Questions - Due by Novemebr 18th (online drop box)
Week 5 November 25th*  (check class date may be changed based on availability of a classroom and student schedules due to Thanksgiving Holiday to November 23rd)
Readings:  Chapter 9 and 10 (Engler)
Lecture topic:  Social Learning Theories
Assignment in Class - Group Debate:  Television Recommendations for Children
Lecture Topic:  The Challenge of Self-Regulation
Lecture Topic:  Traits and Personology-Gordon Allport, Henry Murray 
Assignment - Journal Writing (Online Journal include topic that you decided for Paper) Entry Due by November 30th
Assignment - Mastery Questions - Due by December 2nd (online drop box)
Week 6 December 2
Reading:  Chapter 11,12 and 13
Lecture Topic:  Factor-Analytic, Genetic, and Evolutionary Theories-Raymond Cattell, The Big Five Personality Traits, Genetic and Evolutionary Developments
Classroom Exercise:  Self-Report Personality Measures
Lecture Topic:  Biological Traits - Hans Eysenck
Lecture Topic:  Psychotherapy vs. Psychopharmacology
Lecture Topic:  Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers
Lecture Topic/Discussion:  Unconditional Positive Regard at Work and School
Assignment - Journal Writing (Online Journal include Outline that you decided for Paper) Entry Due by November 30th
Assignment - Mastery Questions - Due by December 2nd (online drop box)
Week 7:  December  9th
Lecture/Discussion Topic:  Modern Myths
Lecture/Discussion Topic:  Awareness of Death
Lecture/Discussion Topic:  Accepting Nonbeing
Lecture Discussion Topic:  The Search for Meaning
Classroom Exercise:  The Rep Test   
Classroom Exercise:  Sheldon's Physique-Temperament Relationship
Classroom Exercise:  MaudsleyPersonality Inventory, Short Form
Lecture/Discussion Topic:  Whose Defintion of Irrational?
Lecture/Discussion Topic:  Mindfulness
Lecture/Discussion Topic:  Receptiveness of Western Clients to Buddhist Psychotherapy
Classroom Exercise:  Meditation  
Assignment:  Paper Due 
Assignment - Journal Writing (Online Journal include resources that you used for references for your paper such as Library, Internet sites) Entry Due by December 13th 
Assignment - Mastery Questions - Due by December 16th (online drop box)
Week 8:  Final Exam  December 16th

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 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 "F".
  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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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: .


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


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:10/20/2009 7:55:07 AM