Personality Psychology 1.



Type of instruction

lecture + practical



Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 4, 5

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

The general aim of this two-semester course (Personality I. and II.) is to introduce students to the different approaches, perspectives or strategies of the study of personality. The Personality psychology I. course is organized around the dispositional and cognitive perspectives, i.e. the biological, social-learning and cognitive approaches to individual differences and personality

Learning outcome, competences

  •  the most important terms and theories about the trait and motivational based dispositions, their biological and social-learning and cognitive explanations
  •  the criticism of the trait concept by the theoretical and empirical questioning of the behavior consistency, and the solution of the problem by the cognitive-interactionist approach
  •  the assessment of the individual differences, as well as being trained on the most important measurement instruments that are part of the psychological assistant practice
  •  the interpretation of the literature on personality psychology


  •  interest and receptivity to personality psychological phenomena
  •  acknowledgment and acceptance of individual differences
  •  empathy, tolerance, resiliency and creativity as general attitude in the practice
  •  readiness and ability to cooperation and team work


  •  recognition and interpretation of the individual differences in terms of trait, motive concepts in interactional, social-learning and cognitive framework
  •  recognizing casual relationships, logical thinking, summarizing and analyzing observed facts in the frameworks of the different perspectives on personality
  •  administering and interpreting some basic tests of personality

Content of the course
Topics of the course

  •  The concept of personality. Implicit and explicit theories of personality
  •  Nomothetic and idiographic approaches to personality
  •  The antecedents and history of the dispositional approach
  •  Lexical trait taxonomies
  •  Questionnaire based and alternative trait taxonomies
  •  Motivational explanations of the individual differences
  •  The biological interpretations of the individual differences based on the central and the

autonomous brain system

  •  The classical trait theories and their criticism
  •  The interactionist viewpoint in personality psychology
  •  The reinterpretation of individual differences in terms of the social-cognitive learning theory
  •  Cognitive approach to personality structure
  • Assessment of individual differences in personality (e.g. EPQ, NEO-PI-R, BFI, ZKPQ, FFPI, HEXACO, TCI, TAT, CAT)

Learning activities, learning methods
Frontal lecture, reading seminars, individual and group trainings and works

Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:


  •  active participation in the classes
  •  acquiring and knowing the theoretical literature treated in classes
  •  the fulfilment of the practical tasks, presentations and homeworks

mode of evaluation
Both a written exam from the theoretical part of the course (lecture and the obligatory readings), and the fulfilment of the practical tasks, presentations and homework are graded on five-pint scales
The final grade is based on the weighted average of the marks of the written exam (60%) and the practical part (40%). All the graded parts should be Pass.

criteria of evaluation:

  •  the quantity and quality of the knowledge of the theoretical material
  •  the quality of the fulfilment of the practical tasks, presentations and homework

Reading list
Compulsory reading list

  •  Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F. (the latest available edition): Perspectives on personality. Pearson, Allyn and Bacon, Boston. (Chapters: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10)
  •  Matthews, G., Deary, I. J., Whiteman, M. (the latest available edition). Personality traits.

            Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.