Human Personality (PSYL10157)

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Human Personality (PSYL10157)

Semester 1, Monday 11:10am-1:00pm

BPS core areas - Individual Differences


What will be covered?

The course will cover the following topics: the mission of personality science; assessment of personality and person perception; the units and structure of personality; associations of personality with life outcomes; age, gender, cultural and regional variation in personality; studying genetic and environmental influences on personality; main principles development; and maladaptive personality. The final lecture focuses on the main theories in the light of empirical findings.

How will it be delivered?

The teaching will consist of shorter video lectures that students are ASSUMED to watch prior to classes and classes themselves (there will be no video for the first lecture). In the classes, the video-lectures-material will be expanded on and illustrated with studies and research methods, discussed in groups and with the whole class, and reinforced with quizzes. During the interim week in the middle of the semester, a series of student debates will be hosted. There will be formative multiple-choice quizzes at the end of each lecture class, with correct answers provided.

Lecture recording policy: The classes will not be recorded.

What skills will be gained?

Students will develop skills associated with learning deeper and more systematically about one of the core areas of psychology. Due to the broad nature of personality, students will develop their ability to integrate different fields of psychology.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Understand and describe the main concepts and goals of personality psychology.

2. Understand and describe the main ways of representing and measuring personality.

3. Understand and describe the main relations between personality traits and other constructs and life outcomes.

4. Understand and describe the main principles of personality development.

5. Critically assess and debate the methods and findings of personality psychology.


30% Mid-term Presentation (week beginning 21st October; exact date TBC)

Mid-term assessment (debates) will take place during the mid-term break week. Each presentation (debate) will involve two groups of students arguing for opposite positions on a pre-set topic. Each debate involves opening arguments, a break for further preparation, rebuttals and discussion. Each debate group can receive feedback from the course organizer on their debate preparation during an office hour and on their debate arguments following the debate by fellow students.

70% Final Exam (December Exam Diet)

The exam will comprise two sections. Section 1 will require students to answer 40 MCQ questions. Section 2 will require students to answer two short essay questions from a choice of four. Questions will pertain to central concepts, findings or methods of personality research.

Relationship Between Assessment and Learning Outcomes

The assessment requires all items listed among learning outcomes.

Reading resources

Indicative reading:

DeYoung, C. G. (2015). Cybernetic Big Five Theory. Journal of Research in Personality, 56, 33–58.

Mõttus, R. (2017). Five-Factor Theory and personality development. In Personality Development Across the Lifespan (pp. 87–100). Elsevier.

Roberts, B. W., Kuncel, N. R., Shiner, R., Caspi, A., & Goldberg, L. R. (2007). The power of personality: The comparative validity of personality traits, socioeconomic status, and cognitive ability for predicting important life outcomes. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 313 - 345.

Resources list:


27/08/2019 - 3:40pm