PSYC07020 2020 Personality and Individual Differences

General Details

Full Title
Personality and Individual Differences
Transcript Title
Personality and Individual Dif
N/A %
Subject Area
PSYC - Psychology Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2020 - Full Academic Year 2020-21
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Anna Fewer-Hamilton
Programme Membership
SG_HENGL_H08 202000 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Major: English and Psychology

This module introduces the main psychological theories about personality, addressing human motivation, disposition, aptitude, self concept, behaviour and social interaction. The methodologies employed by psychologists to research, develop, and apply these approaches to understanding individual difference will also be considered.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe and analyse a variety of approaches to understanding personality.


Make comparisons between personality theories.


Examine the concept of intelligence.


Understand and evaluate the development of a personality theory from the perspective of the theorist who conceived it.


Discuss the application of theories of personality and individual differences to applied settings.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The module will be delivered through lectures and tutorials. Methods may include, but are not limited to, group activities, discussion, directed reading, in class/video demonstration. Opportunity for formative feedback will be incorporated into tutorials. A designated virtual learning environment (Moodle) will be created for this module.

Module Assessment Strategies

Assessment will involve ongoing continuous assessment in the form of a group research based project and an individual assignment.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment will require completion of course work as appropriate and will be discussed at Examination Board meetings in line with IT Sligo policy.

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to Personality.

  • The study of individual differences and associated processes. Historical aspects. Methodologies in individual difference research. Personality testing. Critical evaluation.

Personality Theories.

  • Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality structure and development. From psychoanalysis to psychodynamic models. Psychodynamic personality assessment.
  • Trait and biological approaches. The study of human attributes based on genetic and other biological explanations. Twin studies. Trait theories eg the Big Five Model, Eyesenck’s Biological Trait Theory.
  • Phenomenological approaches. Existentialism and phenomenology. Theories of self. Potential for growth and change. Theorists eg Carl Rogers, Maslow. Behavioural approaches. Classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning and behaviour change. Theorists eg BF Skinner, Bandura.
  • Cognitive approaches. Rethinking conditioning. Cognitive, affective and situational factors. Self efficacy and control. Theorists eg Rotter, Bandura and Mischel.

Theories of Intelligence.

  • What is intelligence? Evolutionary factors, ecological theory, social theory, biology, inheritance, Factor theories, Thurstone, Cattell, Hierarchical approach, Gardner, multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence.

The Relevance of Theories of Personality and Individual Difference

  • Evaluation. Examination of the cultural relevance of these theories. Practical applications today in occupational and educational contexts.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Continuous Assessment Assessment 60 % End of Semester 3,5
2 Project Project Project 40 % OnGoing 1,2,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2013-10-09 Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence Pearson Education Limited
ISBN 0273751166 ISBN-13 9780273751168

The third edition of the market-leading Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence continues to offer an involving and comprehensive introduction to this captivating field. The new edition of this popular text guides you through the subject from the foundations to more advanced material, constantly building on previously acquired knowledge to help you achieve a critical understanding of the major theories, methods, findings and debates.

Recommended Reading
2008-01-22 Beneath the Mask: An Introduction to Theories of Personality Wiley
ISBN 0471724122 ISBN-13 9780471724124

Beneath the Mask presents classical theories of human nature while emphasizing the theorist's progression of ideas. The eighth edition continues to discuss the ideas of personality theorists developmentally. This account of personality theory incorporates the personal origins of ideas to highlight the links between the psychology of each theorist and that theorist's own psychology of persons. It also explores how the personal histories, conflicts, and intentions of the theorist entered that thinker's portrait of people.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Jensen, M. (2015) Personality Traits, Learning and Academic Achievements, Journal of Education and Learning, 4 (4)

Kardum, I. & Hudek-Knezevic, J. (2012) Relationships between Five-Factor Personality Traits and Specific Health-Related Personality Dimensions, International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology Vol 12, No 3.

Sackett, P. & Walmsley P. (2014) Which Personality Attributes Are Most Important in the Workplace? Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol 9, Issue 5, pp. 538 – 551.

URL Resources Personality and Individual Differences, the Official Journal of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID)- Open access articles The Psychological Society of Ireland