The course covers the topics of personality and intelligence from the perspective of individual differences.
Some research psychologists explore the ways in which people are the same and seek to draw general conclusions about human nature.
However, other research psychologists explore the ways in which people differ and seek to describe the diversity inherent human nature.
That is the subject matter of this module.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- grasp many issues and controversies that affect the topic individual differences
- understand several major theoretical perspectives on personality
- understand several major theoretical perspectives on intelligence
- grasp the general nature of individual differences
- learn how to create high quality test assessment items
- learn how to write a concise critical essay weighting up a complex question on the topic of personality or intelligence
- compare and critically evaluate major theories about personality and intelligence
- appreciate the assumptions underlying major theoretical perspectives on personality and intelligence
- understand yourself and others better, in terms of who are you, and what your skills are
- understand some basic issues in psychometrics (item quality, scale structure, reliability, and validity).
- discuss and evaluate how empirical research can test theories about personality and intelligence
- understand how to construct scales to assess personality traits and/or mental abilities
COURSE CONTENT (BY WEEK)
I: PERSONALITY TOPICS will include:
Session 1: Introduction + Trait Theories
Session 2: Psychoanalysis (Freud) + Psychoanalysis (After Freud)
Session 3: Learning Theories I + II
Session 4: Social Learning Theory + Evolutionary Theory
Session 5: Biological Theories + Nature and Nurture
Session 6: Humanistic Theories + Cognitive Theories
II: INTELLIGENCE TOPICS will include:
Session 7: Introduction to Intelligence + Theory and Measurement
Session 8: Interpretations & Mechanisms + Heritability and Environment
Session 9: Gender & Race + Emotional (EQ)
III: APPLIED TOPICS will include:
Session 10: Scale Construction + Psychometrics
IV: ASSIGNMENT TOPICS will include:
Recorded Session A: MCQ Construction Overview
Recorded Session B: Essay Overview
Recorded Session C: Essay Topic 1
Recorded Session D: Essay Topic 2
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The standard approach each week (varying from COVID-19 lockdown conditions in 20/21, which employed a wholly-online “flipped-classroom” model) will be to
- lecture weekly in a face-to-face capacity, and
- organize a follow-up weekly session on Blackboard.
These synchronous lectures will provide information about, and help students to get to grips with, the basic topics on the course. The follow-up sessions will include Q & A, pop quizzes, issue discussions, and other activities designed to consolidate learning in an engaging way.
Students will also listen to four asynchronous lectures online, relevant to the two course assignments. One lecture will give an overview of, and advice concerning, the multiple-choice quiz assessment. Another lecture will give an overview of, and advice concerning, the essay assignment (which involves the receipt of two types of feedback and a follow-up submission). Two additional lectures will each cover one of the two questions that students must choose between for their essay.
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Deary, I. J. (2020). Intelligence: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nettle, D. (2007). Personality: What makes you the way you are. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Maltby, J. ,Day, L. & Macaskill, A. (2017). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Multiple Choice Quiz Creation Assignment
All students will create their own multiple-choice quiz (MCQ). Specifically, for each individual asynchronous lecture session they will an item designed to test for knowledge and comprehension of some of the material contained therein. In particular, they will devise 20 questions in all.
Participants will be provided with a set of guidelines as regards what constitutes an MCQ item of higher quality. Such guidelines will include: clarity, brevity, a unique right answer, reasonable "red herring" lures, unguessability at zero knowledge, a mix of difficulty levels, non-overlap with other items, non-arcaneness, etc. Such criteria also provide a principled basis for summative assessment.
The instructor will also run a dedicated session to explain to the collectively class what guidelines mean, and to illustrate the guidelines with concrete examples of good and poor practice. In addition, the instructor will provide all students with individual feedback on one of the MCQ items that they create.
After creating 20 items, student will select a subset of 5 to be subjected to individual marking. Each chosen item will count towards 15% of the total marks for the assignment, this constituting 5 x 15% = 75% in all). The remaining 15 items will be assessed globally and count towards 25% of the total marks for the assignment. This arrangement will empower students to reflect on and refine their work to seek the highest marks, but will still incentivize quality across the whole assessment, while also contributing to marking efficiency when class size is large.
The generation of MCQs is designed to replace the taking of MCQs while meeting many of the same learning outcomes. Note that, any advantage that taking MCQs enjoys, in terms of providing unpredictable and comprehensive summative assessment, is arguably counterbalanced by the advantage that generating MCQs enjoys, in terms of fostering formative engagement with the course material at a deeper and more enduring level, including material that they consider and reject.
The Multiple Choice Quiz Creation Assignment will count towards nearly half of marks for the module (47.5%).
Coursework Essay Assignment
All students will write a coursework essay of 1,200 words. Students will have choice between two general questions, which can be answered in respect of either personality or intelligence or both, one of which pertaining to the issue of their origin, and the other of which pertains to the issue of their structure. Content for these essays is supposed by regular sessions, as well as additional recorded or live sessions.
All students will submit a draft of their coursework essay. Thereafter, two types of feedback will be provided for them. First, the most common types of errors committed will be tabulated, and circulated as collective feedback, including in a supportive live session. Second, each student will receive targeted individualized feedback on their own essay. Thereafter, all students will create a second related document: a set of corrections. In this set of corrections, students will draw on both the collective feedback and individualized feedback given. Specifically, they will, for every error identified that applied to them, name the error made, write it out again, and then generate an appropriate correction or describe an appropriate remedial procedure. Students will be given separate credit, both for the quality of the coursework essay they originally submit, and for the quality of the correction sheet they subsequently submit.
The Coursework Essay Assignment will count towards nearly half of marks for the module (48%).
The remaining 2.5% of the final mark will be made up by research participation credits for the Psychology Research Participant Pool.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
|Multiple choice question||48.5%|
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
|Multiple choice question||50%|
Repeat type: Internal & External