Department:          Psychology

Subject Area and Course Number:  Psychology 130

Course Title:  Personality Dynamics and Effective Behavior

Discipline:  Psychology

Units:  3

Repeatability:  None

Catalog Course Description:  Personality theory, assessment and development, interpersonal communication, abnormal behavior, mental hygiene, and psychotherapy.  Study of psychological systems.  Intended for either psychology majors or as a useful elective for vocations dealing with people.  Also, mental health principles for personal growth.

Description for Schedule of Classes:  Personality theory, assessment and development, interpersonal communication, abnormal behavior, mental hygiene, and psychotherapy.  Study of psychological systems.  Mental health principles for personal growth.

Lecture House per Week:  3.3

Laboratory Hours per Week:  None

Plus Hours:             None

Prerequisites:   None

Co-requisites:  None

Skills Advisories:   English 110 or English 110H or English 110GB

Course Advisories:        Psych 100 or Psych 100HR

Limitation on Enrollment:    None

Course Objectives:  At the end of the course, students will be able to:

1.               Demonstrate understanding of the human situation in the context of basic psychological nature of being human, how we develop, and our growth toward maturity.

2.               Identify and assess the major contemporary theories of personality.

3.               Apply personality theories to real-life situations.

4.               Apply mental health principles for personal effective living.

5.               Describe, analyze, compare and contrast modern approaches to counseling and psychotherapy.


Course Content and Scope:

I.               Introduction to the Human Situation

A.             The problem of ManŐs nature

B.             Determinants of human development (review of fundamental principles)

C.             Growth toward maturity

II.             Personality Theory

A.             Representative theories of personality

B.             Assessment of personality

C.             Effective use of personality

III.           The Dynamics of Individual and Group Behavior

A.             Human motivation (review of fundamental principles)

B.             Stress management and problems of adjustment

1.              principles of healthy adjustment

(a)           stress management techniques

(b)           effective interpersonal communication

(c)           cognitive-behavioral factors

(1)           destructive thought patterns

(2)           health thought patterns

(3)           behavioral factors

2.              abnormal adjustment:  DSM III-R

C.             Group Dynamics

IV.          Counseling and Psychotherapy

A.             Medical models

B.             Process Models


Methods of Instruction:  Lecture/discussion and frequent small group discussions


Required Assignments:

1.               Assigned chapters in the basic text

2.               Term paper on approved topic (minimum 8 pages typewritten)

3.               Oral class committee presentation


Methods of Evaluation:

1.               Quizzes (concept/vocabulary)                                           25% of grade

2.               Two midterms (objective)                                                    25% of grade

3.               Term paper and oral presentation                                   25% of grade

4.               Comprehensive take-home essay final                        25% of grade

              (with life-application exercises)


Appropriate Texts and Supplies:

Examples of Textbooks Include:

Feist, J. F. & Feist, G. J. (2002). Theories of personality (5th ed.).  Boston: McGraw Hill

Frager, R. & Fadiman, J. (2005).  Personality and personal growth. (6th ed.).  NY: Prentice Hall






Revised April 2006

Update texts May 2008

FRC (6/3/08 gb)