Psychology (PSYC) 356

Introduction to Personality Theories and Issues (Revision 6)

PSYC 356

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

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 examines a number of theories of personality, including the key theorists and concepts associated with each theory, along with the strengths and limitations of each theory.


  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Psychodynamic Theories
    • Freud, Adler, Jung, Klein, Horney, Erikson, Fromm
  • Unit 3: Humanistic/Existential Theories
    • Maslow, Rogers, May
  • Unit 4: Dispositional Theories
    • Allport, McCrae and Costa
  • Unit 5: Biological/Evolutionary Theories
    • Eysenck, Buss
  • Unit 6: Learning-Cognitive Theories
    • Skinner, Bandura, Rotter and Mischel, Kelly


To receive credit for the course, you must complete all quizzes and 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:

Assessment Activity Weighting
5 Quizzes 5 x 5% = 25%
Essay 1 12%
Essay 2 13%
Essay 3 15%
Final Exam 35% of final grade
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Feist, J., Feist, G. J., & Roberts, T.-A. (2018). Theories of personality (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.


Whedon, J. (Director). (2015). The Avengers: Age of Ultron [Motion picture]. United States: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures.

Other Materials

All other course materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about 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 50 percent on the exam and obtain a composite mark of at least D (50 percent) to pass.

Activity Weighting
Research Paper 50%
Exam 50%
Total 100%

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 6, Sept 26, 2018.

View previous syllabus