PS315 Theories of Personality

for S1D 2011

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PS 315 Theories of Personality


S1D 2011 DA


Brewster II, Franklin R.


Senior Instructor/Adjunct Faculty


M.A. Counseling-Career Counseling
B.S. Social Psychology (Suma Cum Laude)

Office Location

Park University Office

Office Hours

Tuesdays, 5:00pm- 6:00pm

Daytime Phone

520-241-2959 (Cell)


Semester Dates

March 10 - March 6, 2011

Class Days


Class Time

7:30 - 10:10 PM



Credit Hours


Feist, J. & Feist, G. (2009). Theories of personality, (7th ed.). McGraw Hill: California.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

Carver, C.S. & Scheir, M.F. (2000). Perspectives on personality, (4th Ed.).  Allyn and Bacon: Mass.

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:
I believe in the "transformational" view of learning where the student interacts within their community as part of the learning process.  The student is an active participant, not a passive learner.  I believe in challenging students to consider new and different views.  The classroom is an excellent setting to challenge current paradigms by being introduced to new concepts in a safe environment.  I challenge students to critically evaluate the new information and to reach their own conclusions.

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:
Exams, discussion, core assessment, presentations, journal, lecture, reviews, youtube.


Exam I                        100 points
Exam II                       100 points
Retention Questions      80 points
Journal/Toolbox           100 points
Core Assessment         100 points
Class participation         20  points
Grading Plan (500 points possible)
450- 500 .........A
400- 449 .........B
350- 399 .........C
300- 349 .........D
299 or Below ...F
Course Specific Requirements:
Students will be must read all assigned materials prior to class and be prepared to discussed the material.
Students will be required to complete two exams covering assigned materials to include lectures and handouts.
Students will be required to complete a journal/toolbox covering material learned in each of the different chapters during the semester.  There will be a minimum of 10entries, each entry must be at least 120 words in length and show how the material integrates into the student's over theory of personality.  Each entry is worth 10 points. Any entry less than 120 words will receive zero points. 
Students will be required to complete a core assessment as outlined in this syllabus. Each section of the rubric is worth a maximum of 11 points.  Students will be required to complete a power point presentation of their coare assessment and upload it into the "doc sharing" worth 12 points.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments will be marked down 40 points for each class period the assignment is late and a failing grade of zero, if not submitted prior to taking the final exam. Students should plan ahead to ensure all work is submitted timely and not late due to equipment malfunctions.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students must be respectful to all points of view, especially those which are different from their own.  Respect and courtesy must prevail in the classroom.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1
Chapters 1 & 2

Review Syllabus and Core Assessment

Threaded Discussion



Week 2
Chapters 3 & 4


 Threaded Discussion
Retention Questions



Week 3
Chapters 5- 8


Threaded Discussion
Retention Questions




Week 4
Chapters 9 & Exam I

Exam I (Chapters 1-9)

Threaded Discussion
Essay Topics Due




Week 5
Chapters 10 & 11

Discuss Exam I Results

Threaded Discussion
Retention Questions



Week 6 
Chapters 12- 14


Threaded Discussion
Retention Questions



Week 7
Chapters 15 - 17


Threaded Discussion
Journal/Toolbox Due
Retention Questions
Core Assessment Power Points Due


Week 8
Chapter 18
Review for Exam II
Exam II (Chapters 1-18)
Threaded Discussion
Core Assessments Due





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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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


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Last Updated:12/9/2010 4:48:24 PM