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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: PSYC 304
Course Title: Personality Theory
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Examination of the major personality theories, including those proposed by Freud and his followers, learning theorists, trait theorists, social-learning theorists, and humanists. Current research into personality, using modern methods, also reviewed. $20 lab fee (Day Program only). Prerequisites: 6 hours of PSYC courses and junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): 6 hours of PSYC courses and junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Theories of Personality
By Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (Wadsworth)
An Introduction to Theories of Personality
By Hergenhahn, B. R., & Olsen, M. H. (Prentice Hall)
Theories of Personality
By Feist, J., & Feist, G. (McGraw Hill)
Theories of Personality: Understanding Persons
By Cloninger, S. C. (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives
  • To engage in a comprehensive review of major theories, research methods, and assessment instruments used in personality psychology.
  • To understand reliability, validity, and standardization, practicality and cross-cultural fairness in psychological assessment.
  • To strengthen skills in self-assessment, archival research writing, and reporting using APA style.
  • To strengthen skills in critical thinking regarding assessment of subjective areas of human psychology.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe major and emerging theories of personality by achieving passing scores on criterion referenced tests.
  • Explain personality theories as they relate to assessment methods through classroom discourse and performance on criterion referenced tests.
  • Conduct archival research on a major theory and present findings to peers in the classroom setting.
  • Describe the differences between major theoretical approaches to personality in classroom discourse, performance on criterion referenced tests and in the personality self-assessment.
  • Engage in a critical discourse with peers about the difficulties encountered in assessment of subjective aspects of human behavior.
  • Demonstrate research skills by writing a personality self-assessment in APA style and format.
  • Apply assessment methods to the analysis of their own personality.
    Topical Outline: Students in this course are expected to conduct archival research, write a paper using APA style, and report their research findings to a forum of their peers.
  • Introduction to the study of personality
  • Overview of assessment, theory and research in personality
  • Standardization, reliability, validity and culture fairness in psychological testing
  • Psychoanalytic theory
  • Other psychodynamic approaches
  • Trait theories
  • Life-span approaches
  • Cognitive theories
  • Behavioral theories
  • Social Learning theories

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Graham Higgs Date: January 14, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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