Personality and Individual Differences

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
13 May 2019


Requisites for this module
PS111 and PS114 and PS115



Key module for

BA 63C2 Psychological Studies,
BA C801 Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA C802 Psychology,
BA C807 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BA C810 Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C800 Psychology,
BSC C803 Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C811 Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C812 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C806 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C808 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience,
BSC C809 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Placement Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C814 Psychology with Economics,
BSC C815 Psychology with Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C816 Psychology with Economics (Including Placement Year)

Module description

The module is intended to provide a parsimonious account of theories and approaches to personality and individual differences. A number of areas of Psychology will be covered including cognitive, trait theories and biological. It will also cover influential topics in individual differences that are contemporary and exciting. This module will give students a theoretical and research-based knowledge of the sources of individual differences in behaviour.

Module aims

This module aims to:

1. Investigate theories of personality, i.e. to what extent do differences in temperament influence people's behaviour.

2. Investigate theories of intelligence, i.e. how and why people differ in their problem solving and inference skills.

3. Explore further contemporary debates and applications in individual differences, i.e. how do individual differences explain a wealth of human behaviours, feelings and thinking.

Module learning outcomes

To pass this module, students must be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate methodology, research, and theoretical approaches in personality, intelligence and individual differences.

2. Critically evaluate a range of theories and methods used in personality, intelligence and individual differences.

3. Understand how research in this topic area informs debates about real-world issues.

Module information

Compulsory for:
Year 2 BA Psychology, Year 2 BSc Psychology

Learning and teaching methods

The module programme consists of an introduction session, 13 one-hour lectures and a timed coursework assessment task. There will also be a two hour revision lecture during week 30. Full details are given in the module programme.


  • Maltby, John; Day, Liz; Macaskill, Ann. (2017) Personality, individual differences and intelligence, Harlow: Pearson.
  • Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., David T. Lykken, Matthew McGue, Nancy L. Segal, Auke Tellegen. (1978) 'Sources of Human Psychological Differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart', in Sources of Human Psychological Differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. vol. 250 (4978) , pp.223-228

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework MCQ Test 100%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
25% 75%


Coursework Exam
25% 75%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tracy Robinson, Dr Alasdair Clarke



External examiner

Dr Thomas Hunt
University of Derby
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Available via Moodle
Of 21 hours, 19 (90.5%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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