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Class Preparation for PSY 396

Syllabus -- [PDF Download]

September 2 -- [LINK]
This link takes you to a site that is based on the notion that we make judgments about peoples' personalities based on very little data; in this case, their thumbnail photo, age, and username. To "play" and see how accurate you are in making such judgments about real people who have submitted a photo, created a username, and answered personality questions, click on the "Mini Mind-Reading" link on the top of the page (on your right-hand side). Feel free to use the site in other ways, and be prepared to share your experiences in class.

September 4 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
The first link is to an article providing a global summary as to trait perspectives. Because we will be examining the Big 5 and Eysenck as separate topics, just read the opening section, then skip down to the list of traits in the table at the bottom. Simply look over that table to get a sense for some of the specific traits personality psychologists have studied most. The second link is to a page on Gordon Allport's trait theory. Note that, in the first article, Gordon Allport is credited with being a pioneer in the trait perspective.

September 9 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
Link 1 provides some interesting examples of how something as simple as our speech may reveal personality. Link 2 provides somewhat dense coverage of the topic we will be covering in class. Because it is dense, the only portion assigned is from p. 2 to the middle of p. 5, on the advantages and disadvantages of self-report assessments of personality. If you miss class, or want a source for reviewing the important points, the remainder of the article will be valuable to you. Also, the table at the end of the article may be useful.

September 16 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
Link 1 provides a nice overview of what is meant by "personality tests." For Link 2, you can skip the first (cover) page to this brief report that covers the aspects of psychological tests that are used to evaluate those tests.

September 23 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]       [LINK 3]
Link 1 provides a nice overview of the "Big 5" personality dimensions, whereas Links 2 and 3 are to actual measures of these Big 5 personality clusters. Each test will tell you where you fall in each cluster compared to others who have taken the test. Jot down the percentile score for each of the clusters for both tests and bring those notes to class.

September 25 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
For Link 1, a review article, read pages 466-468. Then, as you read the magazine article at Link 2, consider how personality differences related to age and generation could be studied to tease out how personality changes over the life span and across generations within a specific culture.

September 30 -- [LINK]
This article presents a good overview on the assumptions psychologists make regarding the nature of self-concept. You can skip the section labeled "history."

October 7 -- [LINK]
This may be the most challenging reading of the semester. Don't let that discourage you; try your best to understand the material as you read the first half of this article (up to the point where there are three asterisks centered on the page).

October 19 -- [LINK]
Go to page 28 in this chapter, start with the section labeled "Gene/Environment Interactions," and read up to the section labeled "Skip's Regret" on p. 34. Then go to page 42 and start with the section labeled "Family Studies." End at the heading "Linkage Analysis" on p. 45.

October 14 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
The first link is to an article about temperment theories of personality; primarily that of Hans Eysenck. As such, only read the first half of the article (the material on Eysenck's ideas). The second link is to a brief overview article on the biological perspectives on personality presented by Eysenck and Gray. Because you've already read about Eysenck, skip down to the portion starting with "Gray's BAS/BIS Theory."

October 23 -- [LINK]
This article reviews George Kelly's theory of personality, which has a heavy cognitive slant. You can skip the little section labeled "Biography" and read up to the major section labeled "Psychopathology and Therapy."

October 28 -- [LINK]
This link is to an article from a professional journal, but the article provides a nice summary overview of the results of research on the relationships between personality traits and physical health problems. Start with the "Personality and Health" section on p. 64 and read up to the section labeled "Socioeconomic Status" on p. 66. What conclusions and summaries do you draw from the article?

October 30 -- [LINK]
This link takes you to a research article published in an academic journal, so it can be challenging.   Still, it's relatively short and the topic is interesting.   What do you think?

November 4 -- [LINK]
This link is to a summary discussion of an interesting study examining the extent to which males and females differ in personality traits (facets of the Big 5) across cultures.   What do you think?

November 6 -- [LINK]       [LINK 2]
The first link is to an article on the theory of human motives by historic psychologist Henry Murray, whereas the second link is to an article on the three primary motives David McClelland theorized. As you read about these, consider how the relative strength of each motive may explain personality differences between individuals.

November 13 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
There is quite a bit in these two readings. Link 1 is about Freud's theory, whereas Link 2 is about Jung's. For each, you can skip the sections labeled "Biography" if you choose, as well as the sections labeled "Therapy" in the article on Freud and "Assessment" in the article on Jung.

November 18 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
The first link is to an article on Adler; read up to the section labeled "Diagnosis" and you can skip the section labeled "Biography." The second link is to an article on Erikson. It is lengthy, but all of it applies to this course except the section labeled "Biography."

November 20 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
The first link is to an article on Horney, and you can skip the section labeled "Biography." The second link is to an article on Fromm. You can skip the section labeled "Biography" and then read up to the section labeled "Evil."

November 25 -- [LINK]
Although somewhat lengthy, this article provides a fairly comprehensive overview of attachment theory, research, and application to adult romantic relationships. Good stuff.

December 2 -- [LINK 1]       [LINK 2]
The first link is to an article on Maslow's theories, whereas the second link is to an article on Carl Rogers's theories. For each, you can skip the section labeled "Biography," and for the Rogers article, the last section labeled "Therapy."

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