Psychology 3280A : Personality

John Barresi
Department of Psychology
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Office: LSC 2540
Telephone: 494-2443
Email: jbarresi@dal.ca
Time: MWF 10:30-11:30
Room: LSC 4263
Web-site for course: http://jbarresi.psychology.dal.ca

Course Outline (Fall  2005) 
Psychology 3280A: Personality

Instructor: John Barresi
LSB: 2540; Office Hours: Wed. 2:35 - 4:30
E-mail: jbarresi@dal.ca  
Website: http://jbarresi.psychology.dal.ca
Teaching Assistant: Darren McKee                                                                                 LSB:  5234  Office Hours:  Mon 11:30-12:30 or by appointment                                      E-mail: Darren.McKee@dal.ca

Required Text
Reading Materials for Psychology 3280A: Personality Fall 2004. (Available for purchase from the Instructor/TA/Secretariat at $75.00)


Course Requirements

Best 9 of 12 quizzes, each worth 5 points = 45 points:

There will be no final exam, or other long exams. Instead there will be 12 spot quizzes distributed evenly throughout the course and held at the beginning of classes. They will be based partly on the reading for that class, but also material not yet tested from other recent classes. Students are required to take at least 9 of these quizzes (three out of every four-in-sequence) each of which will be worth 5 points, to make a total of 45 points for exams. Students may take more of the quizzes if they wish, and the best three of four quizzes that belong in each group will count toward their final grade. However, there will be no make-ups for any of the quizzes, so students should insure that they attend the classes necessary to guarantee that they take the required 9 quizzes. The quizzes will typically ask five short answer questions, sometimes with parts; sometimes a single question may be worth several points.

Self-Project = 20 points:

A) Self-Description (10 pts.): Composed of three parts:

1)      "Who am I" - One typewritten page (single space) in which you describe who you are as an individual. Briefly describe what it is that makes you uniquely the person who you are. These can be your personality traits, your motives and ambitions, your social relationships - whatever you feel makes you essentially you.

2)      Important self-defining memories (at least 5 specific memories typed as separate units with appropriate labels, sequentially to each other rather than on separate pages). Self-defining memories are memories of specific events that are important to you, even as you think about them now, because they help you understand who you are as an individual. Examples of self-defining memories might be: peak experience, nadir experience, turning point, earliest memory, important childhood experience, and important adolescent experience.

3)      Write a brief life-story narrative (about 4-5 typewritten pages, single space) which refers to these memories (briefly without repeating them) and their relationship to the story of how you became 'who you are' now, but which also provides other information that contributes to the story of your self-development. (Due, Monday, October 3rd)

B) Self-Journal and Self-Analysis (10 pts.): Use a journal format to provide a continuing critical interpretation or analysis of self based on your self-description, course material, and further self-reflection. The purpose of the journal is to encourage you to reflect on how course material helps you gain further understanding of your self. Beginning on the week of October 3rd, you should write in your journal at least once a week, with a dated entry. The purpose of the journal is to reflect further on who you are and also to develop a theoretical analysis of self. Beginning with your self-description treated as original data, you should develop a theoretical understanding of yourself in light of the material presented in readings and in class discussions as well as through your own further self-reflections. Your entries do not need to be very lengthy - two or three paragraphs are fine, longer if you wish. Although you may be tempted to make the journal a kind of diary of your current activities, please resist this temptation. The purpose of the journal is to reflect on your self analytically, not descriptively. What you should be doing is thinking about how the theoretical and empirical materials in the course as well as your own further reflections on your self help you gain a deeper understanding of self, beyond your original self-description. So try to stick to the topic. If you wish, you are invited to submit one or two of your initial journal entries to me to get feedback on whether you are on the right track with the general type of entry that you are writing. I recommend that you write your journal on a computer, or, at least, make entries to a computer on a regular basis (and make a backup disk or printed copy). A typewritten version of the Journal is due on Wed., November 30th.

A further note: In this task, both in the self-description and self-analysis, it is up to you to decide how personal you want to be about your self. Each of us has certain 'secret' memories or experiences that we do not wish to share with others, especially with strangers. If there are such experiences which you do not wish to share do not include them in your self-description or self-analysis. In any event, this self-project will be read only by the instructor and returned to you at the end of the course.

Personography = 35 points:

A ten-page typewritten personography of any person in the public domain - living or dead - will be due on Monday, December 5th.  A personography is a psychological analysis of a person, which provides a theoretical account of the development of the individual's self or of particularly important events or transformations in the individual's life history. It is not a biography. The instructor must approve all individuals selected as subjects for personographies.  An initial list of source materials that might be used for your personography must be handed in by October 31st. The text of the personography must be no longer than ten double spaced pages (12pt.), but you may add material in footnotes and in appendices, and you should also include a title page and a biographical chronology before the text. Additions can include multimedia items, pictures, tapes, quotes from works of the person you write about, or quotes about that person. While the paper will be graded primarily on the ten-page text, additional materials that integrate well with the text will be considered of value to the total project. Footnotes (or endnotes), in particular, that are used to support statements in the text by providing detailed references or quotations, will be considered of special value. This paper will not be returned to you at the end of term. Instead, papers from previous years will be made available to look at as models for the preparation of your own personography (however, for obvious reasons, you will not be allowed to look at previous papers on the same individual that you intend to write about).

Final Grade: Numerical grades will be converted to letter grades using the psychology (not university) grading system, e.g., < 50 F; 50-54, D; 55-59 C-; 60-64 C; 65-69 C+; 70-74 B-; 75-79 B; 80-84 B+; 85-89 A-; 90-94 A; 95 or greater required for A+.

Reading Materials for Psychology 3280A : Personality (Fall 2005)

These materials have been prepared for the exclusive use of students in Psychology
3280A (Fall 2005), Dalhousie University. They have been copied under license from
CANCOPY. Release or further copying of this material is strictly prohibited.


Reading List

Week 1 (September 12-16): Person & Personology – Overview

1.       Barresi, J. (1999) On becoming a person. Philosophical Psychology, 12, 79-98.

2.       McAdams, D. (1995) What do we know when we know a person? Journal of Personality, 63, 365-395.

3.       Barresi, J. & Juckes T. (1997) Personology and the narrative interpretation of lives. Journal of Personality, 65, 693-719.

Week 2 (September 19-23): Methodological Papers

4.       Runyan, W. (1988) Progress in psychobiography. Journal of Personality, 56, 295-326.

5.       ______ (1983) Idiographic goals and the study of lives. Journal of Personality, 51, 413-437.

6.       ______ (1981) Why did van Gogh cut off his ear? The problem of alternative explanations is psychobiography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 1070-1077.

Week 3 (September 26-30): Dissociation Approaches

7.       James, W. (1892) Stream of Consciousness, Chapter XI, pp.151-154; The Self, Chapter XII, pp. 176-181; 195-216. In Psychology. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

8.        ________ (1902) Varieties of Religious Experience, pp. 12-13; 28-29; 133-134; 143-146; 178-197. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

9.       Barresi, J. (1994) Morton Prince and B.C.A.: A historical footnote on the confrontation between Dissociation theory and Freudian psychology in a case of multiple personality. In Psychological Concepts and Dissociative Disorders, Klein, R. & Doane, B. (Eds.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 91-114; 127-129.

Weeks 4 - 6 (Oct 10 University closed: October 3-19): Psychoanalytic Approaches

Week 4 (October 3-7)

10.   Breuer, J. and Freud, S. (1893/1957) On the psychical mechanism of hysterical phenomena: preliminary communication. In Studies on Hysteria. New York: Basic Books, pp. 3-17.

11.   Freud, S. The aetiology of hysteria. (1896/1989), In The Freud Reader, Gay, P. (Ed.), New York: W.W.Norton Co., pp. 96-111.

12.   No reading; Guest Lecture by Marc Zahradnik.

Week 5 (October 12–14)

13.   Freud, S. Letters to Fleiss, and the "Irma Dream". In The Freud Reader, Gay, P. (Ed.), New York: W.W.Norton Co., pp. 111-116; The Interpretation of Dreams, New York: Basic Books, pp. 106-121.

14.   Wolpe, J. and Rachman, S. (1960) Psychoanalytic “Evidence”: A critique based on Freud’s case of Little Hans. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 131, 135-148.

Week 6a (Mon., October 17 - Wed., October 19)

15.   Freud, S. (1909/1989) Leonardo and a memory of his childhood In The Freud Reader, Gay, P. (Ed.), New York: W.W.Norton Co., pp. 443-71.

16.   ______ pp. 471-81; Stannard, D. (1980) Shrinking History: On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 11-30. 

Week 6b- 7a (Fri., October 21 - Wed., October 26): Multi-methodological Approaches

17.   Murray, H. (1981) The Case of Murr. In Endeavors in psychology: Selections from the personology of Henry. A. Murray, Shneidman, E. (Ed.). New York: Harper & Row, pp. 52-78.

18.   ________ (1955) American Icarus. In Clinical Studies of Personality, Burton, A., and Harris, R. (Eds.). New York: Harper & Brothers, pp. 615-641; Explorations of Personality (1938), New York: Oxford University Press, pp.38-9.

19.   ________ (1981) Dead to the world: The passions of Herman Melville. In Endeavors in Psychology: Selections from the Personology of Henry. A. Murray, Shneidman, E. (Ed.). New York: Harper & Row, pp. 498-517.

Week 7b-8a: (Fri., October 28 - Wed., Nov 2): Existential and Humanistic Approaches

20.   May, R (1958) Contributions of existential psychotherapy. In Existence: A new dimension in psychiatry and psychology, May, R., Angel, E, and Ellenberger, H. (Eds.). New York: Simon and Schuster, pp. 37-55.

21.   _____________ 55-76.

22.   Binswanger, L (1958) Insanity as life-historical phenomenon and as mental disease: The case of Ilse. In Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology, May, R., Angel, E, and Ellenberger, H. (Eds.). New York: Simon and Schuster, pp.214-236.

Week 8b-9a (Fri., Nov. 2 - Mon., Nov. 7): Life-Cycle Approaches

23.   Erikson, E.  (1968) From Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York: W.W. Norton, Chapter IV: Identity confusion in life history and case history (pp. 142-176).

24.   Goodheart, L. R. (1990) The Odyssey of Malcolm X: An Eriksonian interpretation. The Historian, 532, 47-62. 

Week 9b-10: (Wed Nov. 9; Fri., Nov. 11 Remembrance Day; Mon., Nov. 14- Fri., Nov. 18): Script Theory

25.   Tomkins, S. (1979) Script theory: Differential magnification of affects. In Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 1978: Human emotion, Vol 26., Howe, H. & Dienstbier, R. (Eds.). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 201-236.

26.   Carlson, Rae. (1988) Exemplary lives: The uses of psychobiography for theory development. Journal of Personality, 56, 105-137.

27.   Atwood, G. and Stolorow, R. (1977) The life and work of Wilhelm Reich: A case study of the subjectivity of personality theory. Psychoanalytic Review, 1, 5-19.

28.   Demorest, A. & Siegel, P. (1996) Personal influences on professional work: An empirical case study of B.F. Skinner. Journal of Personality, 64, 243-261.

Weeks 11 -13 (November 21 - December 6): Narrative Approaches

Week 11-12a: (Mon., November 21- Mon., November 28): Life-Story Theory of Identity

29.   McAdams, D. (1990) Unity and purpose in human lives: The emergence of identity as a life story. In: Studying Persons and Lives, Rabin, A., Zucker, R, Emmons, R, & Frank, S. (Eds.) New York: Springer Publishing Company, pp. 148-170.

30.   ____ pp. 171-200.

31.   McAdams, D. (1985) Fantasy and reality in the death of Yukio Mishima. Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, 8, 292-317.

32.   McAdams, D. & Bowman, P.J. (2001) Narrating life’s turning points: Redemption and contamination. In: Turns in the Road: Narrative Studies of Lives in Transition, McAdams, D., Josselson, R., & Lieblich, A. (Eds.) Washington: American Psychological Association, pp. 3-34.

Week 12b-13: (Wed., November 30 - Mon., December 5): Dialogical Self

33.   Hermans, H. (1999) The polyphony of mind: A multi-voiced and dialogical self. In: The Plural Self: Multiplicity in Everyday Life, Rowan, John & Cooper, Mick. (Eds.) London: Sage Publications, pp. 107-131.

34.   Barresi, J. (2002) From "the thought is the thinker" to "the voice is the speaker": William James and the Dialogical Self. Theory & Psychology, 12, 237-250.

35.   Presentation: Barresi, J., Rioux, D., & Hausmanis, L. (2000) Dialogues with the remembered past: Early memories and present concerns (unpublished symposium talks presented at Nijmegen, June 26, 2000).