Psychology (PSYC) 356Back to courses | Print page

Introduction to Personality Theories and Issues (Revision 5)

PSYC 356

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 289 and PSYC 290 are strongly recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PSYC 356 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course surveys the field of personality from a scientific perspective. The key theorists and concepts associated with each perspective are highlighted, along with the strengths and limitations of that approach.


Unit 1: Introduction to Personality Theory

Unit 2: Freud: Psychoanalysis

Unit 3: Adler: Individual Psychology

Unit 4: Jung: Analytical Psychology

Unit 5: Klein: Object Relations Theory

Unit 6: Horney: Psychoanalytic Social Theory

Unit 7: Fromm: Humanistic Psychoanalysis

Unit 8: Sullivan: Interpersonal Theory

Unit 9: Erikson: Post-Freudian Theory

Unit 10: Maslow: Holistic-Dynamic Theory

Unit 11: Rogers: Person-Centered Theory

Unit 12: May: Existential Psychology

Unit 13: Allport: Psychology of the Individual

Unit 14: Eysenck, McCrae, and Costa's Factor and Trait Theories

Unit 15: Skinner: Behavioral Analysis

Unit 16: Bandura: Social Cognitive Theory

Unit 17: Rotter and Mischel: Cognitive Social Learning Theory

Unit 18: Kelly: Psychology of Personal Constructs


To receive credit for the course, you must complete all assignments, receive a grade of 50 percent or better on the final exam and a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

5 Quizzes
(5% each)
Term Paper Final Exam Total
25% 35% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of personality (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Other Materials

Other course materials include a student manual and workbook available online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 356 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, November 28, 2008.

View previous syllabus

Updated September 09 2013