Individual differences research is a branch of psychology concerned with how and why individuals differ in psychological traits. Increasingly, research has focused on the importance of these traits to life outcomes, values, psychopathology, and socially relevant behaviours. The Differential Psychology lectures of Psychology 2 follow from and build on the lectures of Psychology 1. The lectures will cover the two most widely studied forms of individual differences, namely cognitive abilities and personality traits. The first two-thirds of this topic will cover how these individual differences are measured, how they are hierarchically organized, and their genetic bases and developmental trajectories. The final third of the topic will cover the association between individual differences in cognitive abilities and personality to other measures. Finally, because humans are animals, and great apes in particular, whenever it makes sense to do so, I will highlight my research and the research of others on cognitive abilities and personality traits in nonhuman primates.
The lectures are accompanied by a 1-hour tutorial. The lab related to these lectures will be on literature database search and summarizing (addressed in the lecture that takes place before the Individual Differences lectures).
By the end of the course, students should be able to understand the above-described course content. They should also be ready to understand why measuring individual differences in these traits is important and to identify problems with some studies that do not do so. They should also understand the challenges pertaining to the research into individual differences.
Main Textbook: This is available in the library.
- Funder, D.C., (2016). The personality puzzle Seventh edition, International student., New York, N.Y. ; London: W.W. Norton & Company.
- Funder Chapter 1 and 2.
- Cronbach, L. J., & Meehl, P. E. (1955). Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281-302.
- Funder Chapter 3
- Funder Chapter 6
- Digman, J. M. (1990). Personality structure: Emergence of the Five-Factor Model. Annual Review of Psychology, 41, 417-440.
- Funder Chapter 7
Terracciano, A., Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (2006). Personality plasticity after age 30. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 999–1009.
- Roberts, B. W., Wood, D., & Smith, J. L. (2005). Evaluating Five Factor Theory and social investment perspectives on personality trait development. Journal of Research in Personality, 39, 166-184.
- Funder Chapter 9
- Bouchard, T. J., Jr. (2014). Genes, Evolution and Intelligence. Behavior Genetics, 44, 549-577.
- Bouchard, T. J., Jr., & Loehlin, J. C. (2001). Genes, evolution, and personality. Behavior Genetics, 31, 243-273.
- Deary, I. J. (2012). Intelligence. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 453-482. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100353
- Deary, I. J., Weiss, A., & Batty, G. D. (2010). Intelligence and personality as predictors of illness and death. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 11, 53-79.
- Ozer, D. J., & Benet-Martínez, V. (2006). Personality and the prediction of consequential outcomes. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 401-421.
Asbury, K., & Plomin, R. (2013). G is for genes: The impact of genetics on education and achievement. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1982). An approach to the attribution of aging, period, and cohort effects. Psychological Bulletin, 92, 238-250.
Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (2002). Looking backward: Changes in the mean levels of personality traits from 80 to 12. In D. Cervone & W. Mischel (Eds.), Advances in personality science (pp. 219-237). New York, NY: Guilford.
Cronbach, L. J. (1957). The two disciplines of scientific psychology. American Psychologist, 12, 671-684.
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Judge, T. A., Higgins, C. A., Thoresen, C. J., & Barrick, M. R. (1999). The Big Five personality traits, general mental ability, and career success across the life span. Personnel Psychology, 52, 621-652.
McCrae, R. R., Terracciano, A., & 78 Members of the Personality Profiles of Cultures Project. (2005). Universal features of personality traits from the observer's perspective: Data from 50 cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 547-561.
Nettle, D. (2009). Personality: What makes you the way you are. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pinker, S. (2003). The blank slate: The modern denial of human nature: Penguin.
Ritchie, S. J. (2015). Intelligence: All that matters: Hodder & Stoughton.
Rowe, D. C., Vesterdal, W. J., & Rodgers, J. L. (1999). Herrnstein's syllogism: Genetic and shared environmental influences on IQ, education, and income. Intelligence, 26, 405-423.
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Schwartz, J. A., Savolainen, J., Aaltonen, M., Merikukka, M., Paananen, R., & Gissler, M. (2015). Intelligence and criminal behavior in a total birth cohort: An examination of functional form, dimensions of intelligence, and the nature of offending. Intelligence, 51, 109-118.
Steel, P., Schmidt, J., & Shultz, J. (2008). Refining the relationship between personality and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 138-161.
Widiger, T. A., & Trull, T. J. (1992). Personality and psychopathology: An Application of the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality, 60, 363-393.