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Psychology 270

Theories of Personality

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours per Week: 4

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Psychology 120 and 12 credits

Corequisite: English 100

Text: The Personality Puzzle (6th Ed). D. Funder. Norton Books, 2013

Course Description:

This course addresses the origins, major underlying assumptions, basic personality structure and major theoretical concepts, and applications, of major theories of personality. Students will become more familiar with a number of techniques and instruments widely used for the assessment of personality. Students’ grasp of deep understanding of personality theories will hopefully help them apply their knowledge to the understanding of their own as well as other people’s personalities.

Students will explore the essential concepts and research findings related to major personality theories including psychoanalytic, neo-psychoanalytic, life-span, trait, humanistic, cognitive, behavioral and social-learning approaches. This course will also review issues pertaining to psychometric instruments designed for the assessment of personality variables.

Course Outline:

Chapter Content

Chapter 1

The Study of the Person

Chapter 2

Clues to Personality: The Basic Sources of Data

Chapter 3

Personality Psychology as Science: Research Methods

Chapter 4

Personality Traits, Situations, and Behavior

Chapter 5

Personality Assessment I: Personality Testing and its Consequences

Chapter 6

Personality Assessment II: Personality Judgment in Daily Life

Chapter 7

Using Personality Traits to Understand Behavior

Chapter 8

The Anatomy and Physiology of Personality

Chapter 9

The Inheritance of Personality: Behavioral Genetics and Evolutionary Theory

Chapter 10

Basics of Psychoanalysis

Chapter 11

The Workings of the Unconscious Mind: Defenses and Slips

Chapter 12

Psychoanalysis After Freud: Neo-Freudians, Object Relations, and Current Research

Chapter 13

Experience, Existence, and the Meaning of Life: Humanistic and Positive Psychology

Chapter 14

Cultural Variation in Experience, Behavior, and Personality

Chapter 15

Learning to be a Person: Behaviorism and Social Learning Theories

Chapter 16

Personality Processes: Perception, Thought, Motivation, and Emotion

Chapter 19

Conclusion: Looking Back and Looking Ahead


Class Attendance 10%
Participation 10%
Term Project 10%
Mid-term 30%
Final Exam 40%


Gary Mangel, B.A. (McGill), M.A. (Simon Fraser)
Crystal Ehresman, B.A. (Saskatchewan), M.Sc. (Lethbridge)

Transferability: see