PG Seminar in Personality

Course Summary

This is a core course in the MSc Psychology of Individual Differences

my PID intro

  • Meeting times are shown in the DRPS link
  • Last year's Assessment deadline was 19th Jan (Marks due back 9th Feb)
  • Assignment guide (word)

Structure of the course

Week Task
Week 2 Overview
Week 3 Bring us paper/we give example e.g.
Week 5 Break
Weeks 5-7 Talks
Week 8 Help with grant review/big assessment item
Weeks 9-10 Talks
Week 11 Overview, wrap-up


Three elements contribute to your mark:

  1. In class: 10% for summary + 10% for your talk + 10 % for participation.
  2. Final paper 70% for an essay on a topic that agreed with Alex and I.

Weekly discussion

Each week one or two of you will lead a discussion. You will need to
1. Choose one or more papers to discuss, liaising with the course organizers who will determine whether they are suitable.
2. Write a 1-2 page summary, and, preferably a week before your presentation, share it and the target paper(s) with the class via the google doc.
3. Presentat: You will hand out your summary, walk people through the paper (perhaps with some slides), and lead the discussion that follows.

We will have one to two presentations each week. The discussion of the paper or papers you choose will take approximately one hour.

Below we list several “big topics” and some major papers that have contributed to scientific debate on these topics. You might well pick one of these papers for your topic. Alternatively, you can use these as a guide to find recent papers that address the topic.
An older guide to papers (word) is linked here.

potential new papers 2017

  1. Personality structure
  2. Measurement of personality
  3. Psychopathology
  4. Effortful control
  5. Personality influences on health & well-being
  6. Business(e.g Leadership, Entrepreneurship etc) and Personality
  7. Genetic and familial influences on personality
  8. Personality change and development
  9. Personality in non-human animals
  10. Evolutionary psychology of personality
  11. Personality and culture
  12. The trait-situation debate
  13. Alternatives to traits
  14. Philosophical ideas about identity

Who's assigned to what
When you choose a topic, please edit this google doc.

(2017., and 2016 for you to look at).

Understanding personality

  1. A good check of whether you understand personality, is the ability to predict the behaviors it causes.
    • Try your hand at writing behavior items in this google doc.
    • What behaviours differentiate hi/lo people on N,E,O,A,C? e.g. do hi-C people fold their underwear (and low C not, and other dimensions don't affect this?
    • What would an extrovert/introvert or stable vs unstable or conscientious vs unconscientious person find hard to do/not do?
  2. How are things measured? This page lists several questionnaires we will use in the course. You should log in (use your matriculation ID) and take them. Again: Seeing exactly what is in a questionnaire avoids jingle jangle fallacies and promotes insight.


Personality and Individual Differences, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Personality, Journal of Research in Personality, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Behavior Genetics, European Journal of Personality, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and many more)

Datasets you can use!