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PSYCH405: Theories of Personality

Unit 1: An Introduction to Personality Psychology   Personality theories and processes can be defined and conceptualized according to a variety of factors.  For example, personality theories and processes differ to the extent of which they address and are concerned with more fundamental evolutionary components of human behavior or to the extent of which they address individual difference in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  The first readings will help you to create a working definition of the nature of the research/theories, which encompass the field of personality psychology.  Next, you will learn about the science of personality psychology and the various research methodologies associated with addressing empirical questions in the field.  Following this section, you will receive a brief overview of how to read empirical journal articles to prepare you for later readings.  Finally, you will learn about particular components of personality including consciousness, perception, and adaptation.    

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 15 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 1 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 1 hours

☐    Subunit 1.6: 1 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Define the type of research/theories under the subspecialty area of personality psychology and the basic processes that contribute to personality.
  • Identify research methodologies involved in the science of personality psychology.

  • Lecture: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Oliver John’s “Wednesday 8/31: What Is Personality?” (Webcast) The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

  • Reading: Professor Brian R. Little’s “Personality Psychology: Havings, Doings, and Beings in Context” Link: Professor Brian R. Little’s "Personality Psychology: Havings, Doings, and Beings in Context” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the entirety of this webpage, which provides an overview of the defining characteristics of personality psychology.
     
    Note on the Text: Brian R. Little holds joint positions as Distinguished Professor of Research at Carleton University and Lecturer at Harvard University.  He is also an Affiliated Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

1.1 The Structure of Personality Psychology Research and Inquiry   - Reading: Personality Project: Dr. William Revelle’s (1995) “Personality Processes” Link: Personality Project: Dr. William Revelle’s (1995) "Personality Processes" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article by Dr. William Revelle. This reading covers subunits 1.1.1-1.1.5 and is geared toward introducing you to the breadth of research in personality psychology.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above. 

1.1.1 Three Dimensions of Personality Theory   1.1.2 Recent Trends in Personality and Related Fields   1.1.3 The Study of Species-Typical Behavior   1.1.4 The Study of Individual Differences and Similarities   1.1.5 The Study of Unique Patterns of Behavior   1.2 Science and Methods   - Lecture: University of California, Berkeley: Professor Oliver John’s “Wednesday 9/7: Personality and Measurement” and “Monday 9/12: Personality and Measurement” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](http://www.saylor.org/contribute/)
  • Reading: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: “Science and Methods” Link: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: "Science and Methods" (HTML)

    Instructions: Please note that this reading covers subunits 1.2.1-1.2.3.  Please read the entirety of this webpage.  If viewing the PDF version, just read from the Introduction through section 1.4.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

1.2.1 Correlation versus Experimentation   1.2.2 Phenomenology   1.2.3 Cautions on the Scientific Process   1.3 Empirical Journal Articles   1.3.1 Research Methods and Empirical Journal Articles   - Reading: Research Methods Knowledge Base: William M. K. Trochim’s “Key Elements of a Journal Article” and Muhlenberg College’s Find, Read, and Cite Psychology Articles: “Reading Articles” Links: Research Methods Knowledge Base: William M. K. Trochim’s "Key Elements of a Journal Article" (HTML) and Muhlenberg College’s Find, Read, and Cite Psychology Articles :"Reading Articles" (HTML)
 
Instruction: Please read the entirety of the webpage entitled “Key Elements of a Journal Article.”  Then, for the Find, Read, and Cite Psychology Articles text, please only read the “Reading Articles” section in its entirety.  For an optional review, you may want to look over the first section on finding articles and the last section on citing journals in a research paper on Muhlenberg College’s website linked above.
 
Note on the Texts: These readings will provide you with an overview of the anatomy of a journal article and provide recommendations for how to read empirical journal articles at an undergraduate level.   If you have recalled this information from the social psychology course, feel free to skim the contents.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3.2 Experimental Research in Psychology   - Reading: University of Waterloo: Professor Christian H. Jordan’s and Professor Mark P. Zanna’s “How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology” Link: University of Waterloo: Professor Christian H. Jordan’s and Professor Mark P. Zanna’s "How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link, and read the entirety of this webpage.  If you have recalled this information from the social psychology course, feel free to skim the contents.
 
Note on the Text: Although this reading refers to social psychology, it will also help you to gain a more in depth perspective in reading personality psychological research articles.  This article, which provides the anatomy of a research report, was originallypublished in R. F. Baumeister’s (ed.) The Self in Social Psychology (pp. 461-470), published in Philadelphia by Psychology Press and is now located through the University of Waterloo’s website. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.4 Consciousness and Perception   - Reading: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: “Consciousness” and “Perception” Link: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: "Consciousness" (HTML) and "Perception" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please note that this reading covers subunits 1.4.1-1.4.4.  Please read the entirety of these webpages.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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1.4.1 What Is Consciousness?   1.4.2 Qualities, the Senses, and Awareness   1.4.3 The Raw Material of Perception   1.4.4 Gestalts   1.5 Interaction   - Reading: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: “Interaction” Link: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: "Interaction" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please note that this reading covers subunits 1.5.1-1.5.5.  Please read the entirety of this webpage.

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.  
  

1.5.1 Anticipation   1.5.2 Images, Ideas, and Thinking   1.5.3 Person Perception   1.5.4 Social Interaction   1.5.5 The Phenomenal Field   1.6 Adaptation   - Reading: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: “Adaptation” Link: Dr. C. George Boeree’s Personality Theories: A Biosocial Approach: "Adaptation" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please note that this reading covers subunits 1.6.1-1.6.4.  Please this webpage in its entirety.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

1.6.1 Learning   1.6.2 Remembering and Forgetting   1.6.3 Mental Structures   1.6.4 Inferences