Introduction to Personality

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
PSYC 3331
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to theory and research in personality. Students will examine such topics as the assessment of personality, personality development, biological processes and personality, health and personality, personality disorders, and treatments aimed at modifying personality.
Course Content


  1. The History of Personality Assessment
  2. Contemporary Methods of Assessing Personality
  3. Personality Traits
  4. The Validity and Reliability of Personality Inventories and Tests
  5. Theories of Personality
  6. The Heritability of Personality
  7. The Interaction Among Personality, Genes, and the Environment
  8. Physiological Correlates of Personality Traits
  9. Psychological Correlates of Personality Traits
  10. Personality Disorders
  11. Modifying Personality Through Treatment


Methods Of Instruction

The course will involve a number of instructional methods such as the following:


  • lectures
  • audio visual materials
  • group discussions
  • computer simulated exercises
  • classroom demonstrations


Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department Policy. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

2 Mid Term Exams (worth 20% each) - 40%

Literature review paper - 20%

Oral presentation of paper highlights - 10%

Final Exam - 30%

Total - 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Describe the history of personality assessment.
  2. Describe how personality inventories are constructed and used.
  3. Describe how projective tests of personality are constructed and used.
  4. Distinguish between different types of validity.
  5. Distinguish between different types of reliability.
  6. Evaluate the validity and reliability of contemporary personality inventories.
  7. Evaluate the validity and reliability of contemporary projective tests of personality.
  8. Explain the interaction between personality and situational factors.
  9. Describe and evaluate the major theoretical perspectives of personality (ie: dispositional, biological, psychodynamic, psychiatric, trait, existential, phenomenological, learning, and cognitive).
  10. Describe research conducted to test the major theories of personality.
  11. Explain how the heritability of personality is assessed.
  12. Identify the role of biological and environmental processes in personality development and change.
  13. Describe research on the relationship between personality and physical health.
  14. Describe research on the relationship between personality and mental disorders.
  15. Identify and describe the various personality disorders.
  16. Describe therapeutic techniques used to treat people with personality disorders.


Textbook Materials

Textbook(s) such as the following, the list will be updated periodically:

  • Olson, M. H. & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2011). An Introduction to Theories of Personality (8th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publishing.
  • Crowne, D.P. Personality theory (current ed.). Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.





  • PSYC 2301 or alternative research methods course (with instructor approval)


No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for PSYC 3331
Coquitlam College (COQU) COQU PSYC 201 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU PSYC 2370 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG PSYC 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU PSYC 370 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU PSYC 3XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU PSYC 301 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO PSYO 241 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV PSYC 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC PSYC 306 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV PSYC 370 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC PSYC 2XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Fall 2022