Fall 2024

Personality Psychology

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-221


Amy P. Demorest (Section 01)


This course examines how psychologists understand the patterns of experiencing and behaving that constitute an individual’s personality. Personality psychologists are concerned with the ways in which a person is like all other people in these patterns (common psychological processes), like some others (individual differences), and like no one else (uniqueness). In examining these questions, we study the “grand theories” of Freud, Skinner, and Rogers, as well as the contemporary models of traits and scripts. We explore what professional observations led to the major theoretical ideas in personality psychology, and we critically examine how these ideas have been tested in empirical research. Furthermore, we study the lives of the theorists to examine how their professional ideas were informed by their personal lives. Students will also take personality assessment devices throughout the semester as a way to better understand the models, and perhaps themselves as well.

Requisite: PSYC 100 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 40 students. Fall semester. Professor Demorest.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference to those who preregistered, then to majors in psychology, then potential majors, then senior non-majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Attention to Research.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024