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PSYC1018 Individual Differences

Module Overview

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

Module Aims

To acquaint students with several leading theories designed to characterize and explain variations in what people are like psychologically (their personality). To acquaint students with several leading theories designed to characterize and explain variations in what they can do mentally (their intelligence). To acquaint students with how theories of personality and intelligence are rationally evaluated and empirically tested, how they have developed historically, and whether and to what extent they are currently supported by scientific evidence. To acquaint students with the basic methodology and statistics used to develop questionnaire measures of personality and intelligence.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • grasp the general nature of individual differences
  • understand yourself and others better, in terms of who are you, and what your skills are
  • develop capacity to critically appraise popular psychology theories of personality, and express those appraisals in written form
  • 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
  • appreciate the assumptions underlying major theoretical perspectives on personality and intelligence
  • compare and critically evaluate major theories about personality and intelligence
  • 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
  • understand some basic issues in psychometrics (item quality, scale structure, scale, reliability, scale validity)

Syllabus

I: PERSONALITY TOPICS 1a Personality: Introduction 1b Personality: Trait Theories 2a Personality: Psychoanalysis (Freud) 2b Personality: Psychoanalysis (After Freud ) 3a Personality: Learning Theories I 3b Personality: Learning Theories II 4a Personality: Social Learning Theory 4b Personality: Evolutionary Theory 5a Personality: Biological Theories I & II 5b General: Nature and Nurture 6a Personality: Humanistic Theories 6b Personality: Cognitive Theories II: INTELLIGENCE TOPICS 7a Intelligence: An introduction 7b Intelligence: Theory and Measurement 8a Intelligence: Interpretations & Mechanisms 8b Intelligence: Heritability 9a Intelligence: Gender & Race 9b Intelligence: Emotional (EQ) III: APPLIED TOPICS 10a General: Scale Construction I 10b General: Scale Construction II

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lecturing: Weekly 2-hour sessions Tutorials: Held in Weeks 5 and 6.* The tutorials are designed to complement and support the two coursework essay topics. Tutorial 1: The structure of personality/intelligence Tutorial 2: The origin of personality/intelligence the larger class is divided into subgroups of about 40 students each. Activities involve more student participation and direct interaction with class instructors. * Subject to timetable changes

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Nettle, D. (2007). Personality: What makes you the way you are. 

Deary, I. J. (2001). Intelligence: A very short introduction. 

Maltby, J. Day, L. & Macaskill, A. (2013). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

(I) Midterm (19.5%) 25-item Multiple-Choice Quiz (II) Final Exam (39%) 50-item Multiple-Choice Quiz (III) Coursework ([a]26%+[b]13% = 39%) [a] Essay (1 of 2 Discussion Questions) [b] Correction Sheet (IV) Research Participation (2.5%) Lab or online studies as part of the Psychology Participation Pool.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1200 words) 39%
Examination  (1.5 hours) 39%
Midterm Quiz  (1 hours) 19.5%
Research Participation 2.5%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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