PS315 Theories of Personality

for F2E 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


PS 315 Theories of Personality


F2E 2012 PE


Jenkins, Christina E.


Adjunct Professor of Psychology & Sociology


B.A. Pepperdine University, Public Relations
M.A. Pepperdine University, Counseling/Clinical Psychology

Office Location

Camp Pendleton campus

Office Hours

Before/after class with an appointment

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

October 22 - December 16, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 10:25 PM

Credit Hours



Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of Personality (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

ISBN-13: 978-0-07-338270-8

 Not required, but helpful:         American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author

ISBN: 978-1-4338-0561-5 (soft cover)

Additional Resources: (American Psychological Association) (writing resource)


Additional Theory web helps:


Personality Test Web Sites:

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:
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:

Research has proven that utilizing a variety of teaching techniques enhances learning, understanding and retention.  Consequently, this classroom atmosphere will be interactive and employ an assortment of learning methodology.  My personal goal will be to make the course content engaging in order to further the learning experience.  In a collaborative environment, there will be a frank exchange of ideas and learning from the literature as well as from one another’s unique set of experiences.  For this reason, class attendance and participation will be germane toward accomplishing class objectives. In turn, I will expect my students to be prepared, participating and providing input during class discussion.  I will set high expectations for myself and my students with relation to our performance and our professional behavior inside and outside of the classroom.  We will be required to interact with one another in an ethical and respectful manner. 

Instructional Methodology

A variety of instructional methods will be used in this course - possibilities include: lectures, guest speakers, small and large group discussions, brainstorming, multi-media, role-play, debates, demonstrations, games, case studies, group activity projects, hands-on class participation activities and a variety of readings, as well as lab/field work and assignments to be completed outside of class.

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:

1.    Presentation and Homework Assignments: The purpose of these assignments is to ensure familiarity with the literature and to maximize participation in class.  Assignments will be posted by students on appointed due dates in a word.doc via the Dropbox in eCompanion.?

2.   Core Assessment/ Literature Review:  The purpose of the literature review is for students to research a topic relevant to Theories of Personality, formulate a research question, and conduct a literature review to address their target question. A literature review is not simply a report or an annotated bibliography; a literature review is a summary of the available information on a specific topic organized by common themes, trends or findings.

3.   Examinations: The three examinations will primarily be multiple-choice questions with potentially short-response essay questions.  The final (last) exam will not be cumulative. There may be a possibility of a section of the exam to be completed outside of class.

4.     Instructor Evaluation/Participation and Preparation:  (a)  Each student will be assessed on his/her contribution to the lectures, discussion, debates, and class time activities.   (b)   In addition, course notes found in eCompanion will need to be printed out and brought to class each week as well as other requested materials. (c)   Attendance (students who do not make contact with instructor prior to class will be given an unexcused absence). In addition, student will lose all participation points for an unexcused absence.  

*Those students who attend and participate in all classes will be awarded an extra 10 points to the overall course grade



The final course grade will be determined using the following measurements:

Item / Assignment


Presentation and Homework on a Chapter Topics (20%)

4 Assignments x 50 pts. = 200 pts.


Core Assessment/ Literature Review (24%)


Exam # 1 (12%)


Exam # 2 (12%)


Exam # 3 (12%)


Participation and Preparation (20%)

8 wks. x 25 pts. =  200 pts.


Total Points Possible








1000 - 900


899 - 800


799 - 700


699 - 600


Less than 600



Core Assessment:

 Literature Review RUBRIC


One Hundred and eighty (240) points possible; below is the basic outline for the Lit Review.  

1. Formatting: APA Format utilized and followed (48 points total)

• Title Page- 4 points

• Body of paper- 12 points

• Summary of Paper- 12 points

• Reference Page* -20 points

*References used within the text are cited on the reference page and consistency in how you have cited the references. In addition, if the reference is used in the paper there should be a listing in the Reference Page and vice versa. 

 2. Body of Paper: (130 points total)

·       Writing in a professional (non-conversational) manner. Professional writing includes, but is not limited to, the use of complete sentences, clear topic statements and supporting sentences, research or evidenced based rationales instead of unsupported opinions, transition sentences across paragraphs, integrating information from multiple sources, demonstrating multiple applications of critical thinking, and a concluding paragraph.

·       Minimum of three main points given [i.e., points that illustrate those in favor (pro), points that illustrate those opposed (con), and your conclusions and opinions.]

·       Main Points equally discussed; smooth transitions between points; convincing arguments made; points supported with references.

·       References cited within text; properly cited.

3. Length of overall paper (40 points total):

The paper should be between 10 – 12 pages in length (plus Title and Reference pages).

4. Spelling and Grammar (22 points total)




Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments are on the whole not excepted.  If there is a situation where the instructor agrees to take a late assignment, then the assignment will receive an automatic 50% deduction.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Phone/Pagers: These items are to be placed in the silent, vibrate, or off mode during class. Use of these devices in class (e.g., text messaging) is both rude and disrespectful. 

Be Respectful (both inside and outside of the actual classroom): As a student in this class, you should know upfront that you will encounter new ideas, topics, images and discussions, which may challenge your worldview. Some students may find this information personally offensive, uncomfortable, distasteful, or upsetting. Because the field of psychology addresses positive, neutral and negative aspects of human and animal behavior, we will discuss a broad range of topics that may not be pleasant for everyone. Please be respectful to your classmates and your instructor. Debates on relevant issues are encouraged, however no one should engage in personal attacks inside or outside of the classroom.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Our course follows the general schedule in the table below. 

 Wed. /Week

Reading Assignment


  Assignments and   Due Dates

Week 1

Tues. 10/23

Class Introduction


Chapters 1 & 2

Homework Due Sunday 10/28 NLT 1159 pm PST

Week 2

Tues. 10/30

Ch. 2, 3 & 4

Chapters 3 & 4

Study for Exam #1


Week 3

Tues. 11/6

Ch. 5 & 6

Exam #1 (Chap. 1-4)

Lecture: Chapters 5 & 6

Homework Due Sunday 11/11 NLT 1159 pm PST

Week 4

Tues.  11/13

Ch. 7 & 8

Chapters 7 & 8

 Homework Due Sunday 11/18 NLT 1159 pm PST

Week 5

Tues.  11/20

Ch. 9 & 10

Chapters 9 & 10


Study for Exam #2

Week 6

Tues. 11/27

Ch. 11 & 12

Exam # 2 (Chap. 5-10)


Lecture: Chapters 11 & 12

 Homework Due Sunday 12/2 NLT 1159 pm


Week 7

Tues. 12/4

Ch. 15 & 16

Chapters 15 & 16

  Lit. Review Due Monday 12/3 NLT 1159 pm PST

Study for Exam #3


Week 8

Tues. 12/11


FINAL Exam # 3 (Chap. 11, 12, 15 & 16)


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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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:

: Unless
I am sick or out of town, I will usually respond to emails within a 24-48 hour
period (Mondays-Fridays) when classes are in session.  During the weekdays
I do not make this guarantee on the weekends, when I’m ill, or over
holidays.  Please, do not be surprised or
upset if you do not receive an immediate response to your emails. 

[This is
supplemental to Park University’s standard attendance policy.]
.  Students are expected to attend all
classes.  As a reward, students with 0
(regardless of the type of absence i.e., excused vs. unexcused) will
earn an addition 10 points
toward their total course points.

Obtaining lecture notes for missed
classes is the responsibility of the student, meaning contacting a fellow classmate
for the notes/materials missed
. If you know in advance that you will miss class please
notify the professor immediately.  Ideally
any missed work is completed in advance of the due date.

: In
compliance with Park University’s policy, students will be dropped from the
course after two consecutive unexcused absences or three unexcused absences in a semester.



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:9/26/2012 3:29:29 PM