PSYC2062 Personality and Individual Differences

Bachelor Course Unit 


One trimester


2nd year elective

Credit points:

6 (out of 144)




This unit is a second year psychology elective. This unit examines a series of theorists who were instrumental in the development of a range of psychological models of human nature. In particular, the unit will examine psychoanalytic, behavioural, social learning, cognitive, existential, humanistic, and biological approaches to personality. 

Learning and Teaching Process

This unit comprises ten (10) weekly 2.5 hour lectures and nine (9) weekly 1 hour tutorials.  Lectures commence in Week 1 of the trimester and will be captured electronically at the time of delivery and will automatically be made available online within the following 24 hours. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory; students should attend, from Week 2, the tutorial class into which they are enrolled.

All students are provided with secure online access to comprehensive unit learning resources via the Student Portal. Unit Coordinators, Lecturers, and Student Support staff are available to students (in all modes of delivery) at designated times via email and telephone contact throughout the duration of the unit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

a) explain how key aspects of personality and individual differences contribute to understanding human behaviour

b) discuss aspects of consciousness as they relate to evidence-based psychology

c) describe findings and theories from the psychoanalytic, behaviourist, cognitive,  existential, humanistic, motivational and emotional realms that explain human behaviour

d) understand the processes involved in conducting and applying research

e) use written communication appropriate to context and purpose to communicate understanding of concepts

Unit content

Week Lecture Topic Tutorial Topic

Introduction to personality and individual differences; Freud’s psychoanalytic approach

No tutorial Wk 1
2 Behaviourist, social learning, and cognitive approaches (Skinner; Bandura, Kelly) Course Introduction; Approaches to the study of personality and individual differences
3 Existential and humanistic approaches (May, Maslow, Rogers) Personality assessment: Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Biological approaches (Eysenck, McCrae and Costa)

Personality assessment: Personal Constructs

Individual differences in curiosity, sensation seeking and creativity 

Personality assessment: “The Big Five”
6 Individual differences in motivation Essay writing workshop (assessment 2)
7 Individual differences in cognition

Personality assessment: Curiosity and sensation seeking

8 Individual differences in emotion

Personality assessment and applications: Values in Action (VIA) Inventory

9 Individual differences in behaviour (1) Personality applications: Mindfulness listening

Individual differences in behaviour (2); Unit Review 

Personality applications: Mindfulness photography; Unit Review

Assessment Summary

Type Weighting Length
Assessment 1: Online Quiz 20% 20 Multiple Choice Questions; 25 minute time limit
Assessment 2: Essay 30% 2000 words
Assessment 3: Final Exam 50% 2 hour time limit


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time.