Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

PSYC 304: Personality Theory

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  Course Description

Examination of the major personality theories, including those proposed by Freud and his followers, learning theorists, trait theorists, social learning theorists and the humanists.  Current research into personality, using modern methods, also reviewed.

Prerequisite: 6 hours of psychology courses and junior standing

Proctored Exams: Final


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Engler, B. (2014). Personality Theories: An Introduction (9th ed). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  eText


  •  American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association APA Manual (6th ed). Washington, DC: APA.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

This course examines personality theories from the major schools of thought in the field of psychology. These personality theories serve as the foundation for nearly every branch of psychology and the study of human nature. During this course, we will study, and critically evaluate, the philosophy, science, and art of these theories and the theorists who developed them. We will also review research methods regarding the study of personality and the history of theory development.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  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.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 300 30%
Theory Paper 200 20%
Quizzes 60 6%
Midterm Exam 140 14%
Final Exam 300 30%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction - Wednesday
Discussion 1 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 1 10 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 4 15 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 5 15 Friday
Paper Topic - Sunday
Quiz 2 10
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 7 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 3 10 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 9 15 Friday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 140 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Optional Rough Draft of Paper - Wednesday
Discussion 10 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 11 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 4 10 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 12 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 13 15 Friday/Sunday
Theory Paper 200 Sunday
Quiz 5 10

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 14 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 15 15 Friday/Sunday
Quiz 6 10 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 16 20 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 17 20 Friday/Saturday
Final Exam 300 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Each week you will be asked to respond to 2 discussion questions (except week 2, which has 3). In addition to an original post to one of the discussion questions, a minimum of 2 additional posts to classmates’ ideas is required for full credit.  Grading criteria are provided in the discussion assignments rubrics in the course Content.

In Week 1, you will be asked to introduce yourself to your classmates, using the “Personal Introductions” topic, located in the D2L Discussions area.

Analytical Discussion Assignments: The first discussion each week will present several critical thinking questions for you to choose from and develop a well thought out analysis. These assignments are intended to facilitate learning through critical analysis and evaluation of relevant issues, as well as dialogue among students. Citation of at least one scholarly source is required to earn higher grades.  Examples and guidelines for APA style are also available in the course content area.Your initial response will be due by Wednesday and responses to classmates by Sunday (except in Week 8, when responses are due by Saturday).

Practical Discussion Assignments: The second discussion area in each week is titled “Explorations in Personality Psychology” and poses a critical thinking problem, often accompanied by a video, for you to think and write about. These assignments are intended to facilitate learning through “hands-on” exercises, practical experience, and the exchange of ideas and information with fellow students. These assignments consist of applied learning activities and do not require additional research or citation of references. Your initial response will be due by Friday and your responses to classmates by Sunday (except in Week 8, when responses are due by Saturday.

Theory Paper

Each student is expected to write an original, scholarly paper, addressing a topic relevant to the course. You will be required to do a personality analysis of an important historical or contemporary person or a self-analysis by applying the theories studied in this course. Recommendations will be supplied to students who need assistance picking a topic. Specific requirements of the paper are available in the content area of the course.

The paper should demonstrate critical thinking skills commensurate with advanced levels of scholarship, such as evaluation, analysis and synthesis. The paper is expected to follow APA guidelines (refer to the APA Publication Manual and/or visit the APA website at www.apa.org for further assistance). The paper should be double-spaced, using a 12-point font size and a common font face, such as Times New Roman. The paper length is a minimum of 7 pages TOTAL. The body of the paper should be a minimum of four pages in length, excluding the title, abstract and reference pages. Grading criteria are provided in the Theory Paper Rubric in the Content area of the course.


Each student is required to complete an online quiz each week, except Weeks 4 (Midterm exam) & 8 (Final exam). Each quiz will consist of 20 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings (except for week 1 which has 10 questions). Each week’s quiz may be completed at any time during the week but must be submitted online no later than by Sunday, 11:59 p.m. CT for the assigned week, using the D2L Quizzes area for this course. Please note that all quizzes must be completed in one sitting and cannot be completed piecemeal or on separate occasions.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Examination will be administered during Week 4. It will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions, covering all course readings to date. The exam is not proctored, and may be completed online, using the D2L Quizzes area, at any time during the period from Monday, 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 4.

Final Exam

The Final Examination will be administered during Week 8. The Final Examination will consist of 60 multiple-choice, covering all course readings since the Midterm Examination; it is not comprehensive. The final exam is a proctored exam and no notes, books or aids are allowed. The exam may be completed online, using the D2L Quizzes area, at any time during the period from Monday, 12:01 a.m. through Saturday, 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 8.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Ch. 1 & 2
Describe yourself, using the “Introductions Topic,” located in the D2L Discussions area. Please provide us with more than your name. Include your present occupation, hobbies, interest in psychology and professional aspirations, and any other information that can help us get to know you.
Discussion 1

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

  • The text describes three "Viewpoints" for evaluating personality theories in chapter One. Using these concepts, give your view on what personality might be. How do people become the individuals they are and what influences are most dominant (genes, family social/cultural etc)?
  • In the culture in which Freud was raised, single-parent homes were far less common than they are in many areas of modern Western culture. How might Freudian theory be revised to better account for the psychological development of children being raised by one parent? To what extent are these revisions dependent upon the gender of the child? The gender of the parent? The presence (and gender, and age) of other family members, such as siblings, aunts, uncles, step-parents, romantic partners of parents, etc.?
Discussion 2

In psychology, there are a wide variety of theories about how people develop and eventually become who they are. Each theory that we will explore in this course has implicit philosophical assumptions about human nature and whether we are free to determine our own destiny or whether many other factors may form our ultimate personality. As a starting point I would like you to view two videos of famous individuals known either for their extreme generosity or destructiveness-Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler. How, in fact, did these people develop their personalities? How do we possibly explain such striking differences in human nature?

Two of the theorists in your text have addressed these issues, at least in part. Erich Fromm wrote extensively about Hitler and considered him as an individual attracted by both death and destruction. In contrast, Abraham Maslow thought that the best way for psychology to understand personality was to study exceptional people and learn from them. The implication is that we can learn much more from Mother Teresa than from Hitler. Think about and discuss these two lives and your views on how personality develops.

Quiz 1
The Quiz consists of 10 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings and may be found in the D2L Quiz area.
Ch. 3 - 5
Discussion 3

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

  • According to Carl Jung, human beings are inherently bisexual, possessing characteristics of both the anima and the animus (the feminine and masculine archetypes). Jungians argue that we increase our psychological health or “balance” to the extent that we are able to experience and express the opposite-sex side of our personality. In today’s society, is it more acceptable for a male to express his anima or a female to express her animus? What factors lead to challenges for each gender? How would your parents’ generation answer the above questions? Your grandparents’ generation? Your children’s generation?
  • Jung said that a sort of "second puberty" occurs between the ages of thirty-five and forty. At this time, a person's outlook shifts from materialism, sexuality, and having children to concern with one's community and spirituality. Can you think of examples of famous persons who have undergone this sort of transformation at around that age? Can you think of others for whom the reverse is true, who started out being spiritual and community-minded and turned around in their late thirties to become materialistic or focused on sexuality and starting a family?
  • Adlerian parent-training programs have led to some suggestions that parent training should be a prerequisite for parenthood, or that parenting should somehow be a "licensed" activity. Discuss the following questions (as offered in the Thinking Critically box in the text): Should our society require a license for parenting? If so, what should the prerequisites be (education, training, money, others)? Who should have the power to set the criteria for parenting licensure? To what extent should criteria for parenting licensure be sensitive to cultural diversity? What types of punitive or corrective actions should be available to authorities regarding parent licenses (suspend, revoke, etc.)?
  • The textbook states that Eric Fromm’s marketing character has become the dominant personality type of our age. Do you agree with the statement that the marketing character has become dominant in contemporary society? If so, why do you think this has occurred? If not, which of Fromm’s other personality orientations (e.g., receptive, exploitative, hoarding, productive) is dominant in contemporary society, and why?
  • One consistent finding of the birth order research has been the relationship of birth order and achievement motivation. Specifically, firstborns tend to have higher achievement motivation. What might be the reason for this finding? Recent research by Frank Sulloway suggests that later-born individuals are more likely to be innovative and more likely to question traditional values. Out of twenty-eight scientific revolutions in the last four hundred years, twenty-three were led by later-born individuals. Later-born people were also more likely to lead reform movements such as the civil rights movement, the abolition of slavery, union organizing, and women’s rights. Can we account for this finding in terms of the family constellation?
Discussion 4
One of the main contentions of Freud and his followers is the notion that all of us have aspects of our personalities that we are unaware of and not immediately available to awareness. In strict analytic terms, the goal of therapy is often to make the unconscious conscious, so that unresolved issues can be addressed. In recent years, the notion of “repressed memories” has been widely discussed in psychology especially as it relates to trauma, often sexual trauma. Many clients and therapists contend that in therapy, via many techniques, people become aware of what they perceive as some form of abuse that they have been subjected to. Stanford Professor Elizabeth Loftus has done numerous research studies on past memory retrieval and its accuracy. In this week’s virtual tour, the issue of memory retrieval is explored in the video you will watch. Take a position on the issue of repressed memories and its implication for the individual and society.
Discussion 5
Take the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator test and comment briefly about your experience taking the test. Post your results and comment about your result. Did your type surprise you or were you expecting the results given?
Paper Topic
Select a topic for your scholarly psychology paper and post in the appropriate topic labeled Theory Paper Topics. Email the instructor to discuss ideas or any questions you may have about the paper.
Quiz 2
The Quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings and is located in the D2L Quizzes area.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Ch. 6 - 7
Discussion 6

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

  • Recall Adler's theories of birth order from a previous chapter. In this context, analyze how Anna Freud's position as the youngest daughter of Sigmund Freud might have influenced her career and her contributions to the field of psychology.
  • In Margaret Mahler’s theory of separation-individuation, at about two months of age, the infant first develops awareness that his or her needs are satisfied by an outside source. From that point on, from the symbiotic phase until the consolidation stage in the third year when the self-concept is formed, Mahler says that the mother’s role is crucial. It is the mother’s continued emotional availability that helps the child’s ego to develop optimally. Her involvement provides the infant with a secure base from which the infant can then proceed toward being his or her own person. Without it, the mother is exposing her child to a lifetime of relationship problems. Do you agree with Mahler that mothers need to be available to their children for the first three years of life? Fifty percent of all mothers of infants do work outside of the home today. Is it possible to raise emotionally healthy children without being physically there all the time? Can a daycare worker provide the child with the same security as his or her mother could? Are some children better off in a daycare
  • Each of Erikson’s developmental stages has long been associated with a particular age range: trust vs. mistrust occurs during infancy, autonomy vs. shame and doubt occurs during the toddler years, etc. However, recent research by McAdams and others (as mentioned in the textbook) suggests that a life-course perspective on generativity is more helpful than Erikson’s original stage model. This idea implies that generativity vs. stagnation may not be locked into the age range originally assigned to it (adulthood), but may occur at other times as well. Looking at a life-course perspective on the other seven of Erikson’s stages, can any of them take place at any time, or is each locked into its own age range?
  • The author of the textbook argues that male brains and female brains are “wired” differently, such that male brains are predisposed to understand and build systems while female brains are predisposed to experience empathy. Do you agree with this statement? How much plasticity is present in the brain regarding these gender-based predispositions? Can males or females learn to respond differently than their brain wiring would suggest? To what extent is there overlap between the most empathic, non-system-oriented males and the most system-oriented, non-empathic females?
Discussion 7

One of the key personality theorists in psychology is Erik Erikson. Erikson basically redesigned Freud’s theory to include not only biological drives but social and cultural conditions. Erikson contended that the entire lifespan is a time of personality development with specific issues or “crises” more intense at specific times in life. One area of concern in contemporary society is the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Erikson viewed this time as one of coming to terms with one’s personal identity while moving toward rewarding relationships and productive work. Some commentators have suggested that attaining maturity in contemporary culture has become increasingly more difficult for a variety of reasons, therefore delaying full personality development in the 20’s and 30’s.

This week’s virtual tour is a clip from the movie “Failure to Launch” (in the D2L content area). The movie’s protagonist, Tripp, is a young adult who still lives with his parents. In your discussion comment on whether you think Tripp’s personality presentation is typical today and if there are social/cultural factors that may be impeding personality development for people in this age group.

Quiz 3
The Quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings and is located in the D2L Quizzes area.
Ch. 8 - 9
Discussion 8

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

  • According to the textbook, Bandura's theories acknowledge that individuals have a certain degree of power, or agency, over their own lives. This belief is in contrast to that of learning theorists (e.g., Skinner), who believed that people are essentially reactive and shaped by the environment. Which of these perspectives do you believe more strongly? Do you essentially believe that people are "agentic," or are controlled by forces outside of themselves?
  • As the textbook states, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two watch no television at all, and that older children watch no more than two hours per day of educational, nonviolent programming. Given Bandura’s research regarding television for children, to what extent do you agree with these recommendations? On what basis do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, what recommendations would you offer? If you agree, what should be done to assure that children are exposed to only the appropriate amount and type of television?
  • In his book, Walden Two, Skinner describes a utopian community based on the principles of operant conditioning. This community has no major social problems like crime, poverty, racism, or unemployment. Even jealousy, boredom, and laziness have been eliminated. Instead of currency people get paid with labor credits. Goods and services are free, but each member of the community agrees to contribute 1200 labor credits per year. Unpleasant work receives more credit than pleasant chores. The average work week is twenty-eight hours. What aspects of Walden Two do you find most agreeable and most objectionable? Additionally, to what extent do you think those in power may have already attempted to engineer or customize the behavior of the population? (cite examples of this-policies, laws, etc.). Who, if anyone, should have the power to determine the values of a utopian society and the methods by which this power may be attained?
Discussion 9

The Marshmallow Study, conducted in the 1960’s by Stanford University researcher, Walter Mischel, demonstrated how important self-discipline is to life long success. Mischel started his longitudinal study by offering a group of 4-year-old’s one marshmallow, but told them that if they could wait for him to return after running an errand, they could have two marshmallows. The “errand” took about 15 to 20 minutes. Almost 14 years later, when children in the experiment graduated form high school, the study revealed that the children who were able to wait were, now at age 18, were more positive, self-motivated and persistent. They also scored 210 points higher on the SAT’s.

One key issue in personality psychology is how certain characteristics develop and if they are stable over time. In this week’s virtual tour we will view a contemporary discussion of the Marshmallow Study. What are your thoughts on the “Marshmallow Study” as it applies to personality development? Does it make sense? Are the conclusions valid?

Midterm Exam
The Midterm Examination consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, covering course material from Chapters 1 through 9. The Midterm Examination is an unproctored exam.
Ch. 10 -12
Optional Rough Draft of Paper
You can submit a rough draft of your theory paper for review. This gives you the advantage of having me review your content and APA style prior to formal submission.
Discussion 10

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

  • Murray’s Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is sometimes used as one of many projective techniques to assess personality. Let us imagine that you are a clinical psychologist who used the TAT as part of a child custody evaluation. In this scenario, you administered the test to both the mother and father of a child whose custody is being argued, and concluded that the TAT results suggest that one parent is clearly preferable to the other. If you were called to the witness stand during the trial, and an attorney questioned your use and interpretation of the TAT, how comfortable would you be in defending the assessment practice? Which of the attorney’s questions regarding the TAT would be most difficult or anxiety-provoking? What does this imply about personality testing, especially projective personality testing?
  • Murray stated: "There is no personality characteristic that is not possessed and manifested at least occasionally, to a slight extent, by everyone". Do you agree? Can you come up with exceptions? (If you need help, think of the saintliest person you know and the cruelest person you know and then answer the question.) If you agree, what does this imply about the differences between people, particularly those considered "abnormal" and those considered "normal"? Are the differences quantitative or qualitative?
  • Does our culture promote a categorical ("yes/no") way of thinking about psychological problems? Does our current cultural understanding of psychological problems suggests a qualitative or quantitative difference between “abnormal” and “normal” individuals? Specific sources of information might include: advertising (for prescription medications to treat anxiety, depression, etc.), experts in the media discussing psychological problems, DSM-IV, and common language used when discussing psychological problems (e.g., “Do I have depression?” “Does my child have ADHD?”). Discuss whether this is the most valid way to think about psychological problems, and what advantages a dimensional model may hold. Why has our society adopted the view that abnormal and normal are qualitatively different? In other words, what function does our current conceptualization serve? What would be implied if our society shifted toward a more quantitative understanding of the difference between normal and abnormal?
  • Generate a list of ways in which a person's body type might change drastically enough to merit a re-categorization among the endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph categories. Such examples could be bodybuilding, excessive aerobic exercise, excessive inactivity, illness, or surgery. To what extent do you feel individuals personality changes would correlate with such physical changes? Would the changes be consistent with Sheldon's predictions? What role do social factors such as stereotypes and self-fulfilling prophecies play?
Discussion 11

One key offshoot of personality theory is personality assessment. How do we apply individual theories in a practical sense and assess individual people? There are significant differences of opinion in the field of psychology on how to achieve this goal. Depending on one’s theory, different clinical methods are utilized-interview, standardized tests, projective tests etc.
Murray’s Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a good example of a projective test in which the individual is asked to tell stories from imagination in response to looking at ambiguous pictures of people. The theory behind projective testing is that the person being evaluated “projects” aspects of their personality in terms of the themes and story content used.

There are many other projective techniques including the Rorschach and various figure drawing techniques. A method typically used with children is drawing. Often children can better express their concerns through drawings than they can in verbal discussion. This week’s discussion assignment is to analyze a drawing (in the content area) that I obtained from an 8-year-old boy referred for failing performance in school. He lives in a single-family home with two younger preschool children. He visits his father on the weekend. The father is suspected to have a substance abuse problem and other issues. I would like you to try to analyze the drawing and surmise how this child may feel about his life and world. I do not expect you to be an expert, but give it your best try. The child's spontaneous verbalizations to the drawing are as follows: "He's dead, he's a skeleton. He can't talk ‘cause his mouth is sewed up. He's never going to be alive again.” (The lines coming out of the body are arms. After drawing the lower part of the body, he tried to unsuccessfully erase it).

Quiz 4
The Quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings and is located in the D2L Quizzes area.
Ch. 13 - 14
Discussion 12

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

According to Rogers, the necessary and sufficient conditions for positive change in therapy are all attitudes of the therapist: empathy, acceptance, and genuineness. How comfortable would you feel about seeing a therapist for a personal problem if you could be assured that the therapist was empathic, accepting, and genuine, but had no training or education and no license as a mental health professional? How comfortable would you feel about seeing a therapist for a personal problem if you could be assured that the therapist had graduated from an appropriate training program, was licensed as a mental health professional, but may not be empathic, accepting, or genuine? Explain what role Rogers' three essential attitudes and formal education and licensing requirements should play in therapist qualifications, and how these qualifications might be monitored?

Rollo May writes that in order for us to appreciate our lives and to live every moment to the fullest, we need to confront our nonbeing. Once we face our future, and admit to ourselves that we will soon cease to exist, then life becomes dearer to us, and we act accordingly. Do you agree with May that confronting death has a positive effect on life? How have events such as September 11th informed your opinions regarding this question? Provide a scholarly web link to support your argument.

In A Cry for Myth, Rollo May says that we need to have heroes rather than celebrities. Do you think that we have any heroes in our society? Or do you agree with May that we only have celebrities? Do you know the difference between the two? Can you come up with some apt examples? Who were your heroes when you were a young child? Do you have different heroes today? How have your ideas about heroism changed? How has society's attitude toward celebrity changed in recent years? Provide a scholarly web link to support your argument.

As explained in the textbook, Victor Frankl offered a personality theory and an approach to psychotherapy (logotherapy) that emphasized the search for meaning. Frankl was a survivor of a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. To what degree do you think there is a connection between Frankl’s emphasis on the search for meaning and the time he spent in the concentration camp surrounded by suffering and death? Reflect on the times in your own life when you found yourself most desperately searching for meaning. Were they times of suffering or death, as Frankl’s were? To what extent do you think that the personal histories of theorists influence the theories they create?

Discussion 13

Humanistic psychology is considered the “Third Force,” in psychology and largely represents a move away from psychoanalysis and behaviorism. No one represents this philosophy more than Carl Rogers. In Rogers’ early professional life, he was extremely frustrated with the results from standard psychoanalytic treatment with his clients. As a result, he went on to develop a more person-centered therapy that has had a huge impact in personality theory and especially psychotherapy.

In this week’s virtual tour, we have a partial clip of Rogers doing therapy with a client and discussing his theory (the entire video of the counseling session can be found on YouTube for those who are interested.). Although dated, it presents a very good picture of the master at work. After viewing the clip and Rogers theory, share your thoughts on his view of human nature, personality theory and view of counseling. How useful and valid does it seem to you?

Theory Paper
The Theory Paper is due this week. Be sure to defend (i.e., substantiate) any position statements with research-based evidence and well-thought logical arguments. Note that a personal opinion is not considered a logical argument or empirically derived position. Provide a reasoned critique of salient themes and/or positions you have advanced. Note that a scholarly paper incorporates thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Be sure you have used and cited references that meet the standard for scholarship. Proof your paper for spelling, clarity and organization, and check that the paper has been formatted in accordance with APA style (refer to www.apa.org for further assistance). Refer to the Theory Paper rubric to understand the grading criteria. Submit your paper, using the D2L Dropbox area, by Sunday, 11:59 p.m. CT of this week. Use MS Word or rich text format (.rtf) to upload your paper.
Quiz 5
The Quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings and is located in the D2L Quizzes area.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Ch. 15 -16
Discussion 14

Please pick one of the following topics for discussion.

  • Describe how the cognitive models like Beck's model differ from the behavioral model like Skinner's. I'm looking for at least 4 differences for a complete answer. If you list more, great. I'm looking for a global answer here, that is, look at both theories from the macro perspective, not micro, e.g.: Skinner - emotions are not important, Beck - emotions are important. (I've purposefully made this example brief; I'd expect you not to do that in your answer, as I need to know you understand what you've read.)
  • Cognitive therapists such as Ellis and Beck tend to speak rather definitively and objectively about thoughts falling into either the "rational" or "irrational" category. Do you think the categorization of thoughts is indeed so "black and white," or if it may be more subjective at times. How might two individuals (perhaps client and therapist) disagree about the rationality of a particular thought? To what extent might variables such as ethnicity, gender, age, etc. influence one's view about whether a thought is rational or irrational? Provide a scholarly web link or reference to prove your
  • In the textbook, Beck is quoted as follows: "People are missing the boat if they say that because it can be treated by drugs, depression [and other psychological disorders]are primarily biological in nature. . . People who receive psychotherapy learn something; people on drugs don't". To what extent do you agree with Beck's statement? Further, to what extent does society in which you live agrees with Beck's statement. What influences our opinions on this issue? Provide a scholarly web link or reference to prove your argument.
Discussion 15
Cognitive-behavior therapy has revolutionized the field of counseling and psychotherapy. People like Aaron, Beck, Albert Ellis, and Arnold Lazarus have developed techniques and strategies that are problem focused, short term and directly aimed at the person’s presenting complaint. Although each has a slightly different emphasis, their underlying philosophical assumption about personality is that distorted cognition or thinking plays a large role in emotional problems. In this week’s virtual tour, Dr. Judith Beck, daughter or Aaron Beck, gives us some insight into CBT. In your discussions, give your views on this form of therapy and thoughts on the idea that distorted thinking causes many human problems.
Quiz 6
The Quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions covering the week’s assigned readings and is located in the D2L Quizzes area.

Ch. 17-Conclusion

Leal, L. (1990). Concentrative meditation. In V. P. Makovsky, L. G. Whittemore, C. P. Landry & M. L.Skutley (Eds.), Activities handbook for the teaching of psychology (Vol. 3, pp.237-238). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (In the course Content area.)

Discussion 16

Please pick one topic for your discussions this week.

  • Read the Leal article in the Content area of the course. Why should meditation promote feelings of well-being and relaxation? Research indicates that meditation affects our sympathetic nervous system. Specifically, it lowers our arousal levels. The most common physiological effect is a decrease in the body's metabolic rate, reflected by lower oxygen consumption. Another way that meditation reduces stress is simply by taking our attention away from thoughts that might be bothering us. Why is it difficult to keep distracting thoughts from entering consciousness while meditating? Provide at least 1 scholarly reference to defend your argument.
  • The textbook identifies neurobiology and spirituality as the two most significant emerging trends in personality psychology. Why are these particular trends emerging at this particular time in history? Will their influence on the study of personality be brief or enduring? What trends may emerge in the future?
  • Do you feel that psychotherapy is applicable to non-Western cultures? Consider how Eastern psychotherapists might handle the issue of diagnosing psychological problems differently than their Western counterparts. What are the advantages and disadvantages to each approach to diagnosis? Provide at least one scholarly references: one for or one against the application of psychotherapy to diverse clients and defend your argument.
Discussion 17

In the treatment of psychological disorders, the typical Western approach has been to focus on specific forms of therapy, often in combination with medication. In contrast to this, there has been increasing emphasis on Non-Western approaches to human problems including meditation and

In this week’s virtual tour, you will be exposed to the idea of mindful meditation. In your discussions, take a position as to whether this approach and/or other Non-Western approaches might be helpful in alleviating personal problems or assisting in personal growth and development.

Final Exam
The Final Examination consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, covering course material from Chapters 10 through 18. The Final Examination is a proctored exam.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Any assignment other than the paper that is submitted after its due date will earn zero (0) points.  A paper that is submitted late will receive a deduction of five (5) points per day past due.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.