a

Jack Bauer, PhD
Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH 45469
(937) 229-2617

 

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PSY 361: Personality

Fall 2016
Section 1: TTh 11:00- 12:15, SJ 013
Section 2: TTh 12:30 - 1:45, SJ 013
Office Hours: T 2:00 - 3:00 and by appointment
T.A.: Colin Shanahan, office hours by appointment

Required Texts
Course Objectives
Grading & Requirements
Other Course Policies
Schedule

Required Text
McAdams, D. P. (2009). The Person: An Introduction to the Science of Personality Psychology, 5th Edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Course Objectives
This course surveys the field of personality psychology and has four main aims:
(1) to cultivate your ability to think more comprehensively, insightfully, and systematically about the person as a whole
(2) to cultivate skills in interpreting scientific research on personality that appears in both academic and mass media,
(3) to sharpen your skills at identifying a main idea, conducting research, and communicating your ideas and findings clearly, and
(4) to prepare you for future studies and work in psychology.

Personality psychology is the study of the person. This typically involves the study of how personality characteristics relate to each other, how they develop, what causes them, what they cause, and how they combine dynamically to create what we call a person. We will start and end the course with the question, “What is a person?” In between we will explore many ways that psychological science addresses that question. It’s one thing to observe the person from the outside, and another to get an understanding of how that individual perceives his or her own life—i.e., the person’s self-identity. Personality psychology aims to do both, because both objective and subjective factors influence the persons we become. When studying personality in this class, we view the individual person not as a static individual entity in merely the present moment. Instead, we view the person from the perspective of a lifelong process of development that is embedded in interactive contexts of families, friends, communities, and cultures (with their political, religious, educational, commercial, artistic, and other institutions)—all of which evolves dynamically over the course of history. All this is part of the study of personality, and all of it makes us who we are, whether we think about it or not. It’s my aim for this course to make us more aware of how these kinds of life forces operate and how to study these forces scientifically, ultimately toward a greater understanding of ourselves and others.

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Course Grading & Requirements
(Scale: 93+% = A; 90-92% = A-; 87-89% = B+; etc.)

If you do NOT present at the Social Sciences Symposium:
Exams 1
100 pts.
Exams 2
100 pts.
Survey Project
100 pts.
Research Review Paper
100 pts.
Final Essay
100 pts.
Total
500 pts.


EXAMS
Two exams will cover the content of the class lectures and text. You are expected to attend class, take notes, and read the text as the course progresses. The exams will require you to integrate information, not just memorize it. Please know that the topics in the text and in class will not necessarily overlap, and you are responsible for knowing both. The final exam is not cumulative. If you miss an exam, you must have a legitimate reason (by university standards) for taking a make-up exam in order to earn points for that exam. In such a case you must make every attempt to notify me in advance. Exams are worth 100 points each.

READING
Personality psychology is a broad field. Many of the topics in the text will not be covered in class, and many of the topics in class will not be covered in the reading. Where topics do overlap, I often present a different perspective than that in the book. In other words, I don’t teach from the text. This will give you a broader set of perspectives on the very broad field of personality psychology. For tests, you will be responsible for text material that we don’t cover in class. Furthermore, you’re responsible for keeping up with the reading listed in the course schedule. I won’t be reminding you each class what to read.

 

SURVEY PROJECT
This project gives you experience in conducting a personality research survey from start to finish—or close to it, anyway. The project starts in class, when we discuss the measures to be used in the study, how to form a hypothesis, and how to administer the survey. The project as a whole is worth 100 points.

Part 1 - Hypothesis Formation
After looking over the survey, you are to formulate a hypothesis of your own for the study. Be sure to follow the guidelines covered in class for writing the hypothesis. You are to turn in the hypothesis on the date specified on the course schedule. This part of the project is worth 5 points.

Your hypothesis will involve a prediction of how you expect two variables, which represent two personality characteristics in this study, to correlate. An overview of the variables in this study appears in the notes from class. The links below to the actual survey items will give you a sense of how the personality characteristics are measured:
• View the survey to see the questionnaire items. Do not print or circulate in any way, except as instructed by me
• View survey scoring key to see which items measure which personality characteristics

The articles below provide a conceptual background on the measures in our survey:
Ten Item Personality Inventory (Big Five traits),
Achievement Goals (4 types),
Growth Motivation (2 types),
Satisfaction with Life Scale,
Psychological Well Being
(6 types),
Harmonious v. Obsessive Passion
(2 types),
Identity Exploration (Identity Status Inventory - information orientation is the only type we're measuring).

Part 2 - Gathering Data
You are get at least three people to take this survey, one of whom may be yourself. This part of the project is worth 10 points.

I will send you an email with a link to the survey, which is posted on SurveyMonkey. After finding two students who commit to taking the survey, send each of them an email (individually, not in a group email) with the link to the survey. Be sure to tell them that, if they must stop in the middle of the survey and return to it later, then they must access the survey from the original link that you sent them to pick up where they left off. Otherwise they will have to start over.

Important rule of research ethics: You are not to let anyone know whom you have recruited to participate in this study. Letting someone else know who is in the study is a serious breach of confidentiality, which is among the highest concerns in research ethics.

Part 3 - Data Analysis & Writing
All data will be aggregated into a single file. In class we will examine the findings from the data. You will receive a copy of the findings. The next step is to analyze the correlations and organize the main idea(s) of your paper. If you have any questions about the findings (e.g., how to interpret the correlations), ask in class (someone probably has a similar question), after class, or in an email to the T.A. or me. You are then to write your research report (see details below). This part of the project is worth 85 points.

How to write the report: You are to follow APA format for the structure of the paper. The paper should have four sections: Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. You are responsible for knowing how to write these sections. The best way to do this is to read below and to look up research articles on your own—e.g., the ones you can download above—to get a sense for what kinds of information go in what section. You do not need to cite outside references other than the articles for the measures about which you're writing (see downloadable articles above) and the textbook for any other information about your measures. You may rely on the course textbook for any background information, provided that you cite it. Your job for this paper is to create a coherent main idea, form a hypothesis that involves two or more predictions, demonstrate how you measured it, report the statistical findings, and then provide an integrated discussion of why the findings turned out as they did. To see what Method, Results, and Discussion sections look like, take a look at the articles linked above.
Here's how to format the section headings

The Introduction should clearly and concisely state your main idea (i.e., the hypothesis) for the paper. The Introduction should state the hypothesis as well as a brief rationale for it, just like you did for Part 1 of this project. However, for Part 1 your hypothesis consisted of a single prediction between two variables. For the paper, your hypothesis should include two or more predictions. You may use exactly the same prediction that you used in Part I, but here you add another prediction (perhaps even using one of the same variables but in relation to another variable). Or you may create two entirely new predictions. Your hypothesis is to incorporate both predictions. In other words, don't make two predictions that are unrelated. Instead make two predictions that have some thread running through them. Your hypothesis is that thread. An excellent paper will address an overarching main idea that runs through the two predictions, and the entire paper revolves around that idea and predictions. Remember: Your job is to provide a coherent paper that is anchored by the ideas in your introduction (see "Notes on organization and coherence" below). Otherwise, the paper will come across as sounding like two papers just thrown together.

The Method section should have the following subsections (labeled with headings in your paper as such; see research articles below): Participants, Procedure, and Measures. The Participants subsection should describe how many participants were in the study as well as descriptive statistics on what percentage was male or female, what percentage was in each year of college, and what percentage of participants was in each of the different categories of ethnicity. (If your hypothesis happens to involve a demographic variable of another sort, you should also include the frequencies of that variable.) The Procedure subsection should describe how the data were collected. The Measures subsection should describe the survey’s questionnaires that were used to test your hypothesis. Again, aside from the demographic information just mentioned, you should only describe the measures that are used to test your hypothesis. To describe a measure, give the name of the measure, how many questions (called "items") are on in it, what scale is used to rate each item (e.g., 1 to 7 or 1 to 5), and a brief description of the personality characteristic that is being assessed by the measure. You do not need to report things like internal validity. You can download the questionnaire (see below) to review the items if you like. Be sure to cite the measures in APA style (see examples of citations and references below in the instructions for the References section).

The Results section should present only the findings that relate to the predictions you described in the Introduction and that were assessed by measures explained in the Method section. The Results section should have two (or three) subsections, depending on your predictions (we'll cover how that works in class). Subsections should be labeled in your paper as such: either "Descriptive Statistics" and "Correlations" or "Descriptive Statistics" and "t-Tests" (or all three, if your predictions require that you use both correlations and t-tests). In the Descriptive Statistics section, you should report the mean (i.e., the average score), standard deviation (this gives a sense for how much the participants scores were the same as or different from the mean), and the range of scores (i.e., the minimum and maximum scores). In the Correlations and/or t-Test section(s), you should report the correlations for the variables mentioned in your introduction. Refer to the instructions in class on how to read and report statistics.

The Discussion section is where you write about your conclusions from the findings. Here you describe your interpretation of what the findings mean, why you think the findings turned out as they did (with greater elaboration than in the Introduction), and what you think the findings suggest about personality. You might also describe some limitations to this study or cautions on interpreting the results.

The References section should include the three or four articles from which the measures in your paper are taken. References should be in APA style (except that you do not need to include DOI).

Notes on citations and references: Citations appear in the body of the text and should mention only the last name(s) of the author(s) of a particular article. References appear in the References section and involve more information about the article. When should you cite a reference? Whenever you use an idea that is not your own, you should cite the reference of that idea. For this paper, if you are drawing on ideas from class about how personality characteristics work, then simply put a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence, like the one at the end of the sentence you are now reading (class lecture). If you're drawing on ideas from the text, use a citation like the one in this sentence (McAdams, 2009). You MUST at least cite the appropriate articles in the Measures subsection of the Method section. There you need to cite the source of the measure only once. Cite them in parentheses at the end of the sentence in which you are first describing the measure, as shown in this sentence (Smith, 2010). Do not name the article title or the journal title in the text of your paper, as that info is in the references section.
Examples of citations and references in APA style

How I Grade the Paper: The paper grade is based on the paper's logic, coherence, organization, and insight. The grade is not based on whether your hypothesis works out. However, if your hypothesis reveals a lack of understanding of the personality characteristics we covered in class, this will count against your grade. In other words, part of your job is to understand the concepts and measures you're using. Note on organization and coherence: The introduction (and thus the hypothesis) is what drives the entire paper. Everything in the rest of the paper--methods, results, discussion--should deal directly with the main ideas in the introduction. For example, the reader should not read about measures in the Method section that are unrelated to the hypotheses that were stated in the introduction. Similarly, the reader should not read about statistics in the Results section that come from measures that were not explained in the Method section. Finally, the reader should not read in the Discussion section about other correlations from this study. If you want to talk about other findings, weave them into your entire paper, starting with the introduction. The paper should be 3 pages maximum, double-spaced. It is due on the date specified in the schedule below.
• The grading key

 

RESEARCH REVIEW PAPER
The previous paper gave you experience in forming hypotheses, collecting data, interpreting statistics, and communicating your findings. The present paper gives you experience in finding new ideas that are based on past research and experience in communicating ideas that are grounded in established research. Rather than simply speculating on your thoughts about personality, this paper forces you to think critically about your ideas and opinions in terms of scientific research. You'll see that the research articles that you use for this paper will combine all these skills that you are developing in the first two papers of this course: forming a new idea from past research, testing ideas scientifically, and communicating the findings of research in relation to those ideas.

For this paper you are to create and communicate a well-informed, new idea or perspective on a specific aspect of personality. This idea or perspective must be well reasoned and firmly grounded in existing research. We will spend time in class later in the semester talking about how to do this paper (make sure you attend; it's a difficult assignment).

How to choose a topic: You are encouraged to pick a topic of personal interest that relates somehow to personality psychology. You are also encouraged to start by thinking broadly and creatively about your own personal interests—the topic need not be a “textbook” topic—and only then look for some tie to personality. If you want help coming up with a topic that interests you or refining your topic, let me know.

How to find research articles: This paper is to be based on 3 articles that report on empirical research and that appear in academic, peer-reviewed journals (not newspapers, magazines, websites, etc). You may use only academic articles that either (1) present original research or (2) present a statistical meta-analysis of original research from various articles. Thus, you may not use purely theoretical articles, literature-review articles (unless they that present original research or statistical meta-analyses), commentaries, or other essay-type articles, even if they appear in peer-reviewed, academic journals. Use PsycINFO to find peer-reviewed articles. Some tips for using PsycINFO:
• When searching for keywords/topics, select "Abstract" in the drop-down menu. Remember to do this for each search box you use
• Click "Show limit options" and select "Peer Reviewed Journal"
• Selecting "keyword" instead of "thesarus" (up top) may help

How to write the paper: This is not like a book report, where you simply summarize the research articles. You are to form an idea of your own that integrates the three research articles. This idea must be firmly grounded in the research you present. Your article is the piece of writing that links the three articles, so you are to be the one who creates the main idea or thread that ties the articles together.You are required to use a rigid structure to organize your paper. This structure forces you to pour your creativity into the ideas, not the organization of the paper. This structure will help you organize your thoughts in a way that is required for scientific writing—plus it provides a good basic structure for thinking systematically and for writing about fact-based opinions in general. The sections of your paper should be:
Introduction: Briefly state the main point of the paper, and briefly state the ways in which you will go about supporting that point.
Summaries of the three articles: Using one section for each article, provide a summary of (a) the purpose of the article as it relates to your paper, (b) the research methods that relate to your paper, (c) the results that relate to your paper (no need to report statistics; just describe the relevant findings), and (d) the conclusions that relate to your paper. You will not have enough space in the paper to summarize every purpose of any one article (and not every measure or result or conclusion). Thus you are to summarize only the purposes, methods, results, and conclusions that are relevant to supporting the idea that you are presenting in your paper (as well as any such information that provides evidence against your idea). As for citations, you need to cite the relevant article only once for each summary section (see Citations, below).
Integration: Here you compare and contrast the articles in a way that leads to your conclusion(s) of the three articles. Here you'll need to cite all three articles at least once each. Your conclusion(s) should elaborate on and provide support for the main point of your paper. This section should also provide questions for future research. What makes this section difficult to write is that you must present the past research responsibly and fairly while simultaneously in a way that supports your interesting main idea. This is what makes the paper not a book report and not an opinion piece but rather about a "well-informed, new idea."
References: List the references in APA style at the end of the paper.

Citations: Only use the last name(s) of the author and publication year. Sentences that don't use the author name(s) as part of the sentence are cited in parentheses, as shown in this sentence that you're now reading (Smith, 2010). If the author name is part of the sentence, then do this: Smith (2010) found that... Include a page number only for quotes (Smith, 2010, p. 395). Don't write out the article title or the journal title in the text of your paper; that info is in the references section.
Examples of citations and references in APA style

Be sure to include a copy of the first page of each article with your paper! The page should show the article's abstract.

Other important considerations: The grading key gives more detail (download it!). The paper should be 4-5 pages, double-spaced. Remember to give yourself enough time for this project: You will need to have a very well-organized paper in order to cover the necessary ground in such a short paper without sacrificing substance. I strongly recommend having your topic and articles chosen well before it is due. The paper is due on the date specified in the schedule below. This paper is worth 100 points. Be sure to download the Grading Key.

 

FINAL ESSAY
As a kind of cumulative final exam, you are to write an essay of 2-3 pages (maximum; double-spaced) that addresses the question: What is a person? In other words, you are to present your understanding of personhood—personality, self-identity, individuality, etc. In still other words, you are to describe your understanding of what we studied all semester. This is no small task, and you have a limited amount of space to convey it all. The introduction of the paper must convey a clear point that serves as the central idea or concept that integrates your views of personhood, as informed by the material we covered in class. The body of the paper should systematically expand upon that idea.

Your job is to show me that you grasped key ideas and theories of this course and that you can integrate them into a conceptual model of what personhood is. You are to put forth a model of personhood that is your own but that is supported and shaped by concepts from the course. Naturally it is impossible to write about everything that we covered in this course. That means you'll have to select theories and research to support your model of what a person is. There is no set number of theories that you must address; quality matters more than quantity. You do not need to cite sources in APA format, although a good paper will name the specific theories, theorists, or bodies of research that we covered in class and in the readings.

Part of the purpose of this essay is for you to step back from the course material, rather than to approach it in the detail-oriented way of studying for a test. Like the other papers, you are to present your own ideas but only after grounding them in research. Unlike the other papers, this paper involves a higher level of analysis, because you're covering more ground. Here you're addressing the grand question of "What is a person?" instead of a specific question about some aspect of personality. The final essay is due by email on your exam day (see schedule below).

Also, be sure to NAME YOUR FILE as YOUR LAST NAME ONLY (plus extension), for example: Smith.doc. The paper is worth 100 points.

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Other Course Policies

Cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of dishonesty. Plagiarism is grounds for getting 0 points (not just an F) on any assignment. See UD’s policy on plagiarism and its penalties in the Student Handbook. If you have any questions, ask. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty that I take very seriously.

UD's Honor Pledge (which you have taken). Plagiarism is just one issue dealing with academic ethics. See the honor code in the student handbook that you as a UD student have taken. The honor code appears below.
I understand that as a student of the University of Dayton, I am a member of our academic and social community. I recognize the importance of my education and the value of experiencing life in such an integrated community. I believe that the value of my education and degree is critically dependent upon the academic integrity of the university community, and so in order to maintain our academic integrity, I pledge to:
• Complete all assignments and examinations by the guidelines given to me by my instructors
• Avoid plagiarism and any other form of misrepresenting someone else's work as my own
• Adhere to the Standards of Conduct as outlined in the Academic Honor Code.
In doing this, I hold myself and my community to a higher standard of excellence, and set an example for my peers to follow.

Assistance. Please let me know if you would like any form of assistance or accommodations in this class. Feel free to call or email me for an individual appointment, or stop by during my office hours. UD asks that we state the following. To request reasonable accommodations due to disability, please contact the Learning Teaching Center (LTC). If you have a form indicating that you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please present it to me so that we may discuss your needs.

Attendance. Although you will not be graded for attendance, students find it very difficult to do well on my exams if they miss classes, since my exams are based not on the memorization of facts but on the ability to integrate information—a skill we develop in class.

Questions. If you have a question, please ask. I am happy to address questions in class, in my office, or by email about how to do an assignment, study for a test, etc. However, if the question deals with material explained in this syllabus, read about it first. Also, do not email me to calculate your course grade. It is your responsibility to keep track of this. The grade is a matter of points. If you want to know what grade is possible for you, just do the math.

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Course Schedule (tentative)

Date
Topic
Reading
Aug.
25 Welcome. What is a person?
 
     
  30 Intro to Personality Psychology
Ch. 1
Sep.
1 How Personality Research is Done  
 
 
Sep.
6 Personality Traits
Ch. 5
8 Academic v. Pop-Psychology Measures
Ch. 4
     
Sep.
13 How to do the research project
 Read
15 Analyze Personalities: 56 Up
Ch. 6
     
Sep.
20 Jung & MBTI
Take MBTI
22

Evolution of Individuality

Ch. 2
     
Sep.
27 Due: Hypothesis
Culture and Personality
 
29 Gender and Personality
Ch. 3.2*
     
Oct.
4 Exam 1  
6 No Classes: Mid-Term Break  
     
Oct.
11 Millennials: Generation Me v. We?
13 Freud's Theory of Personality
Due: Data
Ch. 7.1
     
Oct.
18 Ego Defenses in Everyday Life
 
20 How to analyze data & write the paper
 Read
     
Oct.
25 Personality Disorders
27 Self-Evaluation
Ch. 8
     
Nov.
1 Needs, Motives, Goals
Ch. 7.2, 7.3
3

Religion, Politics, & Personality
Due: Survey Project Paper

 
     
Nov.
8 How to do the review paper

Read

10 Self-Identity and the Life Story
Ch. 10
   
 
Nov.
15 Analyze Narratives
17

Loevinger: Ego Development

Ch. 9.3
     
Nov.
22

Maslow: Self-Actualizing

24 No Classes: Thanksgiving  
     
  29 Well-Being: What is a good life?
Dec.
1 Exam 2  
 
     
Dec.
6

Due: Research Review Paper
Class topic: What is a person?

 
  8 No Classes: Christmas on Campus  
     
Dec.
12 TTh 12:30 class: Final Essay due by email at 3p.m.
Dec.
14 TTh 11:00 class: Final Essay due by email at 3p.m.

*"3.2" means that you are only required to read the second major section within Chapter 3. The same logic applies to similarly noted readings

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