SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3C823145
Module Leader Jacqueline McKechnie
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful Completion of at least one level 2 Psychology module or equivalent.

Summary of Content

The module examines the theoretical background of personality from the major schools of thought. An appraisal of personality assessment techniques is included. The important psychological characteristics and identities that differentiate individuals are discussed and these include gender, intelligence, creativity and psychopathy


An advanced study of personality theories and their underlying assumptions comprises half of this module. Personality, theoretical background to personality studies: status of science; basic assumptions, stated and implicit. General principles of assessment and test construction. Types of reliability and validity. Major theories - Psychodynamic , Neo Freudians - from Jung, Reich, Adler, Horney. Behaviou ral - Pavlov, Skinner, Watson, Bandura, Cognitive - Kelly. Humanistic - Maslow, Rogers . Psychometric - Cattell, Eysenck, Costa & Macrae. The second half of the module addresses individual differences and includes: Gender issues in personality & ability, aggression. I ntelligence -historical background, issues of race and gender, heritability, Flynn effect, learning difficulties, the role of IQ, normalisation, Creativity - focus on music, testing, improving creativity. Personality & crime , personality disorders.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:1.understand the relevance of key historical developments in the psychology of personality and individual differences to topics in contemporary psychology (assessed by examination)2.demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues inherent in personality and intelligence testing (assessed by examination)3.extend their existing knowledge of the psychological theory pertaining to human personality(assessed by examination and essay)4.critically analyse the basic assumptions underlying the various theoretical positions(assessed by examination and essay)5.evaluate competing theories regarding what constitutes the human personality and individual differences (assessed by essay)6.apply a wide variety of published research in the completion of the coursework assignment(assessed by essay)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Regular programme of lectures and seminars. Tutorials consist of group discussion based on independent research/group debate, use of DVD. Additional seminars will provide formative support to aid the preparation of coursework . On line support through GCULearn. All lecture presentations/additional materials posted on GCULearn. Individual meetings with tutors provided on request. Formative assessment will be included in this module.

Indicative Reading

Ryckman, R.M. (2012) Theories of Personality , 10 th Ed.Wadsworth Feist, J & Feist, G (2009) Theories of Personality , 7 th Ed. McGraw Hill Maltby, J, Day, L, Macaskil A. (2013) Personality, Individual Differences & Intelligence , 2 nd Ed PrenticeHall.

Transferrable Skills

1. Critical evaluation of psychological theories and empirical studies 2. The development of evaluative skills with regards to key critical issues in these core areas. 3. An understanding of the key issues in each of these fields and an appreciation for real world application. 4. Responsibility for independent learning with regard to key issues covered during lectures and seminars. 5. Increased competence in t ask, time and information management

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 150.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% 2 hour formal examination
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% Essay - 2500 words