Personality Psychology: What Makes Us Who We Are?

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

This course will introduce students to what psychologists mean when they use the term personality. Does money make people happy? Why do some people prefer to study in a noisy coffee shop while other people prefer a quiet library? How is personality related to health outcomes such as heart disease? What motivates people? Are men from Mars and women from Venus? What does it mean for a person to have a psychological “disorder” of personality?

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the field of personality, including the main theories of personality and the development of personality. Students will be encouraged to engage in critical thinking about how our personalities relate to domains such as emotions and health, as well as socially relevant outcomes such as marital happiness, drug use, and school achievement. This course also introduces students to personality disorders, an area within clinical psychology. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of research and theory. Class format will include lectures, discussions, videos, in-class activities, quizzes, a short written review, and small group presentations.

By the end of the course, students should be able to describe:
• How personality is defined, including various psychological principles and theories of personality.
• The methodologies through which personality is assessed and measured.
• The domains of personality functioning (dis-positional, biological, intra-psychic, cognitive/experiential, social and cultural, and adjustment).
• Contemporary research and issues in personality (gender differences, relationships, and health issues as they relate to personality).

Prerequisites: None

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPY0917
  • Length: 3 weeks

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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