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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Seminar in Personality (PSYL11075)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPsychology Other subject areaNone
Course website Please use Learn Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe goal of the course is to immerse the MSc students in the personality literature and, at the same time, introduce them to the methods used in personality research (e.g., twin designs, longitudinal studies, etc). The primary reading for the course would be relevant articles in the area. Students who have no background or a weak background will be able to draw upon an optional textbook.

Each week students will present on and lead a discussion covering either one or two large related articles or several smaller related articles. The tutorials will involve the presenter meeting with one or both of the lectures the week before the give a presentation / lead the discussion. The students will received feedback from both lecturers later in the day on their performance as the discussion group leader.

Topics covered would be:
1) The trait-situation debate
2) Personality structure
3) Genetic and familial influences on personality
4) The evolutionary psychology of personality
5) Personality in non-human animals
6) Personality influences on health, well-being, and psychopathology
7) Personality and culture
8) Personality and ageing

PLEASE NOTE: this course is primarily intended for students on the MSc in Psychology of Individual Differences. Any other students should contact the course organiser for permission to take this course.

Formative feedback available:
- Feedback on leading the course discussion and summaries of papers presented.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  15
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Knowledge of some of the major research that has been conducted in personality.
Knowledge of how one conducts personality research (methodological design issues, etc).
Being able to summarise and present a set of scientific papers.
Leading and participating in small discussion groups.
Drafting the equivalent of an 'introduction' to a dissertation or scientific paper.
Assessment Information
1. A 1-2 page summary of the research papers to be handed out to follow students (10%)

2. Performance when leading discussion group (10%)

3. Participant in discussion groups during the other weeks (10%)

4. Final paper of 2500 words similar to an introduction section in that it summarises a body of literature and highlights what questions still need to be addressed or how to address conflicts within a literature (70%)

Final paper deadline: Thursday 17th April 2014, 12 noon
Word limit: 2500 maximum
Return deadline: Friday 9th May 2014

The other works will be handed in as the course progresses and will differ per student.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The syllabus will be similar to the course description and will also highlight the breakdown of marks in the course. It will also provide a list of papers under each topic that can be read and discussed by the students. This is because, aside from the introductory lecture, there is no week-to-week plan for the course and that the schedule depends entirely on what students will present each week.
Transferable skills Reading and evaluating scientific papers and methods.

Drafting the equivalent of an introduction section for an MSc thesis or large paper.

Leading small group discussions.

Public speaking.
Reading list Classics and recent papers form a range of journals that focus on personality, individual differences, behaviour genetics, and animal behaviour will be used.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Alexander Weiss
Tel: (0131 6)50 3456
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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