• Class Number 8148
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Boris Bizumic
    • Dr Boris Bizumic
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course presents both an in-depth and broad coverage of personality psychology. The main aims of the course are to critically review and discuss major theoretical and empirical approaches to personality. A specific emphasis will be on the development of scholarly appraisal of significant trends in the field. This course will review the main theoretical approaches to personality: trait approach (why people have traits and whether traits cause behaviour), biological approach (how biological factors shape personality), psychodynamic approach (what dynamic unconscious processes operate within personality), phenomenological approach (how humanistic, existential, and cultural factors influence personality), and social-cognitive approach (how learning, cognitions, and affect shape personality). Students are expected to read and be familiar with the material in the lectures, textbook, labs, and Wattle.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

At the end of this course, the students will be expected to:

  •  Have a broad understanding of major theoretical approaches of personality psychology. (LO1)
  • Have a clear understanding of personality assessment and relevant research methods in personality psychology. (LO2)
  • Successfully and proficiently discuss the main aspects, advantages, and disadvantages of theories within personality psychology. (LO3)
  • Develop the ability to think critically about theoretical and empirical issues within the field of personality psychology. (LO4)
  • Develop effective skills to verbally communicate a critical analysis of a personality topic. (LO5)

Research-Led Teaching

There is a strong emphasis on research-led education in this course and each component of PSYC3026 is research-led. Lectures explicitly discuss research methods and personality assessment in personality psychology. In addition, each theory of personality is discussed in relation to empirical research it has generated. All assessment items have a strong research component, and students are expected to invest a significant amount of time in developing research skills.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

Approved dictionary.

Required Resources

Textbook: Funder, D. C. (2016). The personality puzzle: International student edition (7th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN: 978-0-393-26514-9

The textbook is also available at a lower cost as an e-book:


Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture: Introduction to Personality Psychology (Chapter 1)
2 Lecture: Research Methods (Chapters 2 & 7) Laboratory 1: Introduction to Personality Psychology
3 Lecture: Personality Assessment (Chapters 3 & 5)
4 Lecture: Trait Approach (Chapters 4 & 6) Laboratory 2: Personality Assessment Quiz
5 Lecture: Biological Approach (Chapters 8 & 9)
6 Lecture: Phenomenological Approach (Chapters 12 & 13) Laboratory 3: Personality Mini-Conference Individual Presentations
7 Mid-Semester Exam During the Lecture Mid-Semester Exam
8 Lecture: Psychodynamic Approach (Chapters 10 &11) Laboratory 4: Personality Mini-Conference Individual Presentations
9 Lecture: Social Cognitive Approach 1 (Chapter 14)
10 Lecture: Social Cognitive Approach 2 (Chapters 15 & 16) Laboratory 5: Personality Mini-Conference Individual Presentations
11 Lecture: Personality Disorders (Guest lecture; Chapter 17)
12 Lecture: Review and Summary (Epilogue) Laboratory 6: Review, Feedback, and Exam Preparation

Tutorial Registration

Students must attend six two-hour laboratory classes across the semester. Laboratory enrolment procedures will be provided on Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quiz 5 % 12/08/2019 16/08/2019 1,2,3,4
Individual Presentations 15 % 26/08/2019 25/10/2019 1,2,3,4,5
The Mid-Semester Exam 40 % 20/09/2019 04/10/2019 1,2,3,4
The Final Exam 40 % 31/10/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


The Research School of Psychology considers the laboratory component of all courses to be an integral part of each course – laboratory classes may supplement and consolidate material covered in lectures or they may introduce entirely new material pertinent to the objectives of the course. As such, attendance at laboratory classes is considered to be compulsory. It is therefore the policy of the Research School of Psychology that students will attend all laboratory classes scheduled for any course. Absences must be notified (in advance, if possible) to the tutor, teaching assistant, or course convenor, and accompanied by adequate and appropriate documentation justifying the absence. Only reasons entirely beyond the student’s control and unable to be anticipated and adjusted for at the beginning of the course will be accepted – reasons will be restricted to illness or significant personal crisis, and the accompanying documentation must be a medical certificate or other professional evidence of incapacity to attend. Clashes with other courses or with work commitments will not be accepted as reasons for absence since these can be anticipated and adjusted for at the beginning of the course.


The mid-semester and final exams must be completed in person; there is no take-home exam for this course. Students registered with ANU Access and Inclusion may be provided with specific assistance (to be determined by Access and Inclusion).

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 12/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 16/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4


The Quiz (Lab 2) will be based on the material covered in Lecture 2 (Research Methods) and the associated textbook chapters. Format: Multiple choice and short-answer questions.

The Quiz will be given in the tutorials of week 4.The due date indicates the start of week 4, the return date indicates the end of the week 4. It is expected that the results will be returned by the end of week 6.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 26/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Individual Presentations

Students will present on different dates which will be discussed in class. Presentations will commence in Week 6. The due date indicates the approximate date the first presentations are due, the return date indicates the end of the teaching period.

The individual presentations will be structured on the basis of presentations at academic conferences. A group of five students will be given 50 minutes for five individual presentations. Each student is expected to present for eight minutes and will be given two minutes for answering any questions from the class and the tutor. The class is expected to listen carefully and ask questions. Each group should select a presentation chair. A student who acts as a chair is expected to: 1) introduce both the session and each of the presenters, 2) manage the presenters' time during the session, and 3) manage the question and answer part(s) of the session. The group can decide whether the question and answer part would follow each presentation or whether it will be at the end of all presentations.

The presentations are expected to be critical discussions of a topic in personality psychology. Each student in the lab is expected to present an analysis of a unique topic. You can use your textbook as a starter reference, but to be able to successfully evaluate the material – you need to go beyond the textbook. Note that you can briefly describe your topic (in a minute or two), but that the main aspect of the presentation is a critical analysis of the topic.


The usefulness of S (self-report) data (Chapter 2)

The usefulness of B (behavioural) data (Chapter 2)

Projective tests (Chapter 3)

Objective tests (Chapter 3)

The power of the situation (Chapter 4)

Personality and life (Chapter 4)

The accuracy of personality judgement (Chapter 5)

The single-trait approach (Chapter 6)

The Big Five personality traits (Chapter 6)

Personality stability (Chapter 7)

Personality development (Chapter 7)

The role of hormones in personality (Chapter 8)

The role of genes in personality (Chapter 9)

Evolution and personality (Chapter 9)

Freud's stages of psychosexual development (Chapter 10)

Defence mechanisms (Chapter 10)

Attachment theory (Chapter 11)

Object relations theory (Chapter 11)

Maslow's personality theory (Chapter 12)

Self-determination theory (Chapter 12)

Collectivism and individualism (Chapter 13)

Cultural assessment and personality assessment (Chapter 13)

Behaviourism and personality psychology (Chapter 14)

Rotter's social learning theory (Chapter 14)

Bandura's social learning theory (Chapter 14)

Personality processes related to motivation (Chapter 15)

Happiness and personality (Chapter 15)

The declarative self (Chapter 16)

The procedural self (Chapter 16)

Narcissistic personality disorder (Chapter 17)

Borderline personality disorder (Chapter 17)

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (Chapter 17)

Personality and physical health (Chapter 17)

The following questions may help you approach your topic.

What do you think of the topic in general? Do the approaches, theories, arguments, methodologies, or studies make sense? What are their problems? Are there any logical problems with the topic? If you are focusing on theoretical issues, state if these are logically constructed theories. Do they have empirical support? Is the empirical support weak or strong? Are they original and creative approaches? Do they have very limited value? Have the theories or areas of research generated a lot of research? Did they have a strong or limited impact? Is there a definitive conceptual framework? Are the concepts clear and straightforward? Or are they vague and unclear? Do you think that more conceptual analysis needs to be done in the area? Why?

You may also want to carefully evaluate research and its methods. For example, if most work in the area is correlational, state if and why this is problematic. If most work is experimental – again, discuss the main problems. Are the major methodological approaches faulty or insufficient in a certain way? What are the main implications of the area? Theoretical? Empirical? Practical? What are the main limitations of the area? Conceptual? Theoretical? Methodological? What should future studies do? Is there a scope for future research at all? Or would scientists waste their time doing studies in the area? How would you construct studies to investigate the phenomenon? Can you propose a specific kind of design? If yes, briefly describe a potential study.

Note that these are only some possible questions that you may want to answer in your presentation. You are free to ask many other questions and to focus on many other issues as well. Some of these questions are more relevant to certain topics, whereas other topics may require a different approach. Nevertheless, what you need to demonstrate in your presentation is a critical, rather than descriptive, approach to your topic.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 20/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

The Mid-Semester Exam

The exam will assess your knowledge of the material we cover in lectures (weeks 1-5) and the associated textbook chapters. Format: Essay and multiple choice questions.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

The Final Exam

The exam will assess your knowledge of the material we cover in lectures (weeks 6-12) and the associated textbook chapters. Format: To be discussed in lectures.

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment (i.e., your individual presentation). Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

Hand written quizzes will be will be submitted in hard copy to your tutor.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

The students will receive the marks and the feedback on their quiz and presentations in laboratories.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Boris Bizumic

Research Interests

Personality, Social Psychology, Ethnocentrism, Narcissism, Prejudice, Authoritarianism, Cross-Cultural Research, Machiavellianism, Dark Personalities, Political Psychology

Dr Boris Bizumic

Dr Boris Bizumic

Research Interests

Dr Boris Bizumic

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions