PSY 380 Personality Theories

Personality is defined as the characteristic set of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors.[1] While there is no generally agreed upon definition of personality, most theories focus on motivation and psychological interactions with one’s environment.[2] Trait-based personality theories, such as those defined by Raymond Cattell define personality as the traits that predict a person’s behavior. On the other hand, more behaviorally based approaches define personality through learning and habits. Nevertheless, most theories view personality as relatively stable.[1]

The study of the psychology of personality, called personality psychology, attempts to explain the tendencies that underlie differences in behavior. Many approaches have been taken on to study personality, including biological, cognitive, learning and trait based theories, as well as psychodynamic, and humanistic approaches. Personality psychology is divided among the first theorists, with a few influential theories being posited by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Gordon Allport, Hans Eysenck, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers.

Personality can be determined through a variety of tests. Due to the fact that personality is a complex idea, the dimensions of personality and scales of personality tests vary and often are poorly defined. Two main tools to measure personality are objective tests and projective measures. Examples of such tests are the: Big Five Inventory (BFI), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), Rorschach Inkblot test, Neurotic Personality Questionnaire KON-2006,[3] or Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). All of these tests are beneficial because they have both reliability and validity, two factors that make a test accurate. “Each item should be influenced to a degree by the underlying trait construct, giving rise to a pattern of positive intercorrelations so long as all items are oriented (worded) in the same direction.”[4] A recent, but not well-known, measuring tool that psychologists use is the 16 PF. It measures personality based on Cattell’s 16 factor theory of personality. Psychologists also use it as a clinical measuring tool to diagnose psychiatric disorders and help with prognosis and therapy planning.[5] The Big Five Inventory is the most used measuring tool because it has criterion that expands across different factors in personality, allowing psychologists to have the most accurate information they can garner.
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1) Writersandphilosopherstellusabouthumannature.Whydowealsoneed psychology?


B) Psychologyallowsasystematicunderstandingofhumannature. C)Writersandphilosophersignorehumanmotivation.


2) Whichofthefollowingkindsofquestionsarenotaddressedbypersonality theory?

A)questionsaboutpersonalitydynamics B) questionsaboutpersonalitydescriptionC) questionsaboutpersonalitydevelopment D) questionsaboutpersonalitydiffusion

3) Whenweask,“Howdopeopleadjust totheirlifesituations?”and“Howdoes theirthoughtaffectwhattheydo,”weareaskingquestionsaboutthe



B) dynamics



4) Adiagnosis,madebyaclinician,describesapersonusing


B) non-scientificmeasurement. C)atrait.


5) Ahypothesisis

A)aproposaltochangethewaypersonalityisdeveloped,basedontheoretical considerations.

B) astatementsayinghowatheoreticalconstructcanbemeasured. C)apredictionaboutobservationsinresearch.



6) Whichstatementbestdescribestherelationshipbetweentheoryandresearch?

A)Whenresearchhasbecomesophisticated,withgood measuringinstruments, theoryisnolongernecessary.

B) Theoryinfluencesresearchbysuggestingresearchideas,butresearchhasno impactontheory.



7) Aresearcherisinterestedintesting thepropositionthatwatchingalotof televisioncausesincreasedaggressivenessamongchildrenatschool.Thiscan betestedbyconductinganexperimentinwhichtheindependentvariableis

A)watchingalotoftelevision. B) aggressiveness.

C)beinginschool. D)age.

8) A isaconceptualtoolforunderstandingcertainspecifiedphenom- ena.


B) psychologicaltest



9) Tests,suchasinkblottests,whichaskpeopletorespondtoambiguousstimu- li,arecalled

A)self-reportmeasures. B) projectivetests.

C)behavioralmeasures. D)responsemeasures.

10)Materialthatisnotinawarenessataparticulartime,butthatcanreadilybe recalledifwetry,is

A) postconscious. B) preconscious. C) conscious.

D) unconscious.


Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.

LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.