Spring 2009

Psychobiography: The Study of Lives

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-38


Amy P. Demorest (Section 01)


Psychobiography aims to apply psychological theory to understand the lives of significant figures. We begin this course with a consideration of what constitutes good and bad psychobiography. We then examine psychological theories that can be fruitfully applied to the study of individual lives, from traditional psychodynamic theories of the whole person (e.g., those of Freud, Adler, Horney) to models focusing on important organizing variables (e.g., motives, interpersonal styles). Next, we evaluate existing psychobiographies of important figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Emily Dickinson, and Woodrow Wilson. Finally, each student prepares a psychobiographical term paper on a figure of his or her choice. Requisite: Psychology 11. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Demorest.