The Psychology of Individual Differences: Personality and Intelligence
Full course description
This course will provide you with knowledge of the most important scientific theories and empirical findings on personality and intelligence. You will learn why and when a person behaves differently than someone else and how personality impacts what will happen to us in our life. We will also discuss practical applications of theory and research findings and learn to apply measurement techniques for assessing individual differences.
You will learn about different theoretical conceptualizations and measurement approaches to personality and intelligence. Based on the purpose of the assessment, different methods may prove more or less valuable. You will also discover different explanations for why people differ in their personalities and their levels of intelligence. We will look at physiological, evolutionary-genetic as well as contextual explanations. Further, you will look closely at the relationship between personality, intelligence, and meaningful life events. What personality traits are essential for marital satisfaction and what characteristics make us become a criminal? But also – how does becoming a parent or getting a new job change our personality? Lastly, you will be introduced to real-life applications of knowledge on personality and intelligence. Specifically, we will discuss how this knowledge is used in clinical settings (e.g., when having patients with personality disorders) and in organizational settings (e.g., for personnel selection purposes).
Please be aware that this course needs a time investment from your side. You will need to find literature individually and actively construct knowledge. Just summarizing articles and learning those summaries by heart will not help you during this course. You need to be prepared to invest your time in finding articles, understanding them, and applying the understanding you gain to real-life scenarios. There will be no clear this-is-correct-and-this-is-wrong-approach in this course, as you will need to argue for your positions based on academic sources. If you are looking for a course that provides you with the readings and then everyone just reads out loud the same studydrive summaries during tutorials, then this course is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are eager to invest your time in your intellectual growth and are prepared to experience some moments of uncertainty to finally get a better understanding of the psychology behind individual differences, then this course is for you.
- Gain insight into the two key subdivisions in the study of human individual differences: personality and intelligence.
SSC1005 Introduction to Psychology.
- Larsen, R. J., Buss, D. M., Wismeijer, A., & Song, J. (2017). Personality Psychology: Domains of knowledge about human nature. Berkshire, UK: McGraw Hill Higher Education.