Theories of Personality

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSY 206

       Course Name: Theories of Personality

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PSY 101

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys originators and major theories of personality development. Content includes psychoanalytic and neopsychoanalytic, social-biological, behavioral/social learning, humanistic-existential, cognitive, and trait approaches; research methodology and overview of personality/environment interactions.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To expose students to a comprehensive view of existing theories of personality: psychoanalytic and neo-psychoanalytic, social-biological, behavioral/social learning, humanistic-existential, cognitive and trait.
  2. To have students understand the interplay between personality, behavior, and adjustment.
  3. To familiarize the students with the methods of assessment of personality and the possible interventions to aid in the development of an adjusted personality and the acquisition of adaptive behavior patterns.
  4. To facilitate the students' ability to internalize a personal working definition of personality.
  5. To review research methodology.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Research Methodology
  2. Freud: Classical Psychoanalysis
  3. Jung: Analytical Psychology
  4. Adler: Individual Psychology
  5. Erikson: Psychosocial Development
  6. Horney: Interpersonal Psychoanalysis
  7. Allport: Personological Trait Theory
  8. Cattell: Factor Analytic Trait Theory
  9. Skinner: Radical Behaviorism
  10. Dollard and Miller: Psychoanalytic Learning Theory
  11. Mischel and Bandura: Cognitive Social Learning Theory
  12. Kelly: The Psychology of Personal Constructs
  13. Rogers: Person-Centered Theory
  14. Maslow: Humanistic Psychology and the Hierarchy of Needs

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, collaborative assignments, and case studies that foster critical thinking about the subject.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material. Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative texts include:

Cloninger, Susan C. (2008).  Theories of Personality: Understanding Persons. (5th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Quizzes, midterm and final exams, possibly a research paper or in-class presentation.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance
  2. Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.
  3. Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.