PSYC 356 (Introduction to Personality Theories and Issues) is a three-credit, senior level psychology course that examines several theories of personality, including the key theorists and concepts associated with each theory, along with the strengths and limitations of each theory. PSYC 356 has no prerequisites, however, PSYC 289 (Psychology as a Natural Science) and PSYC 290 (General Psychology) are strongly recommended. There is also a challenge for credit option if students are interested.
Introduction to Personality Theories and Issues consists of six units, five quizzes worth a total of twenty-five percent, three essays worth twelve percent, thirteen percent, and fifteen percent respectively, and a final examination weighing thirty-five percent. The six units within this course cover a variety of psychodynamic theories, humanistic and existential theories, dispositional theories, biological and evolutionary theories, and learning-cognitive theories from a variety of well-known theorists, such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, B.F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers. To receive credit for PSYC 356, students must complete all the quizzes and assignments, receive a grade of at least a “D” or fifty percent on the final examination, and receive a composite grade of at least fifty percent.
I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts double major in Psychology and Sociology program at Athabasca University. I enrolled at AU in November of 2016 and I am about halfway done. For work, I am the Vice President Finance and Administration for Athabasca University’s Students’ Union and I hold a spot on each of AUSU’s three committees, chairing two of them.
I am currently taking PSYC 356, as it is a degree requirement of mine and it is also a requirement for AU’s Master of Counselling Psychology program admission requirements, which I plan to apply to once I am finished my degree. So far, I am finding PSYC 356 to be a very interesting course, though there is a lot of content to remember. Enrollment into this course includes a physical textbook and a DVD of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The five quizzes within this course are five percent each and include twenty multiple-choice questions worth one point each and four short-answer questions worth five points each. There is no time limits on any of the quizzes and students are welcome to refer to the course materials to answer any of the questions. Each quiz covers a different section of the textbook.
The three essay assignments for this course fit together and build on one another. The first essay requires students to explore a specific personality theory applied to a superhero character. A list of possible superheroes is provided to students and all come from the Avengers DVD that comes with the course. The first essay must be between 750-1250 words in length and weighs twelve percent of your final course grade. The second essay explores a different personality theory applied to the same superhero character. This essay must be between 750 and 1250 words in length as well, and is worth thirteen percent of your final grade. The third essay provides discussion and concluding remarks, must be 400-750 words in length, and is worth fifteen percent of your final grade. Be sure to choose your superhero wisely as you will be analyzing the superhero that you chose throughout all three of your essays. Make sure you also manage your time so that you can receive feedback from one essay before starting on the next one. It is advised that you discuss your choice of superhero and specific personality theory with your tutor before you write your essay, as your tutor can recommend sources for your research.
The final examination for PSYC 356 is a three-hour, closed book, invigilated online exam that covers the entire course. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that their invigilation centre is approved by Athabasca University and that it can accommodate online exams. The format of the exam consists of a multiple-choice component (fifty marks) and a written component (fifty marks). The written component includes both short-answer and short-essay questions, requiring students to define and/or explain the significance of terms, concepts, key theories, and theorists in sufficient detail. The exam questions are based on the learning outcomes, and key terms and concepts. In preparation for the final exam, students are advised to do a thorough review of the course content, including the textbook, learning outcomes, and study guides. In preparation for the exam, I recommend reviewing the key terms and concepts at the end of each textbook chapter, since they review the main points of the chapter.
There is a decent amount of writing within this course. Students could benefit from taking ENGL 255 (Introductory Composition) first as that course focuses on essay writing at the university level and it will give you a good idea of what quality of writing is expected. Also, I personally agree with PSYC 289 and PSYC 290 being strongly recommended, as those two courses provided a really good introduction to a lot of the theories and theorists mentioned in this course. I think I would have been really overwhelmed if I did not take those two courses first. If anything, I think PSYC 289 and PSYC 290 should be required in order to enrol into this course.
Whether PSYC 356 is a degree requirement of yours or the topics mentioned above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting content surrounding the topic of personality theories and issues.