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Introduction to Personality

Course Code: PSYC 3331
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Psychology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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, defence mechanisms, 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 of Personality Tests
  5. The Reliability of Personality Tests
  6. Theories of Personality
  7. The Heritability of Personality
  8. The Interaction Between Personality and the Environment
  9. Physiological Correlates of Personality Traits
  10. Psychological Correlates of Personality Traits
  11. Personality Disorders
  12. 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%

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 the major theoretical perspectives of personality (ie: dispositional, biological, psychodynamic, phenomenological, learning, and cognitive).
  10. Describe research conducted to test the major theories of personality.
  11. Evaluate the major theories of personality.
  12. Identify and describe the five major personality traits.
  13. Explain how the heritability of personality is assessed.
  14. Identify the role of biological processes in personality development and change.
  15. Identify the role of environmental process in personality development and change.
  16. Identify and describe the major mechanisms of defence.
  17. Evaluate the adaptive value of defence mechanisms.
  18. Describe research on the relationship between personality and physical health.
  19. Describe research on the relationship between personality and mental disorders.
  20. Identify and describe the various personality disorders.
  21. Describe methods of shaping personality.
  22. Describe therapeutic techniques used to treat people with personality disorders.


course prerequisites

PSYC 1100 AND PSYC 1200

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.

noticecurriculum notice

There is an upcoming curriculum change scheduled for .
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