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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Individual Differences
Module Code PY300
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: James Brunton
Semester 2: James Brunton
Autumn: James Brunton
Module TeacherNo Teacher Assigned
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite PSY1, PY100
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This advanced level module focuses on the scientific method of studying personality, intelligence and individual differences. In this module, students become familiar with the theories associated with these complex concepts, the issues and debates in these areas as well as the methodology for observing, describing, and predicting behaviour; the psychometric model of individual differences. Students study the psychometric model in terms of its assumption that four aspects of individual difference will determine a person's behaviour in a particular situation: their personality and ability traits and to a lesser extent their mood and motivational states.

Learning Outcomes

1. Evaluate the importance of factor analysis to the psychometric model of individual differences
2. Assess the relationship between personality traits and the biology of the nervous system and the brain in disputing the objections levelled against trait theory
3. Critique the psychometric theories of intelligence and ability and the hypotheses that intelligence may be linked to the biology of the central nervous system and is influenced by genetic factors
4. Explain how mood/motivational states and situational factors influence the behavioural manifestation of personality and intelligence
5. Evaluate the usefulness of valid and reliable personality and intelligence tests in applied psychology
6. Under supervision: plan; execute; and report the results of an online study, which has received ethical approval, of either personality or intelligence.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial20Online distance learning tutorials
Online activity60Student-Tutor and Student-Student interaction through online discussion forums and other media
Independent Study295Using self-directed learning resources, textbooks and other resources
Total Workload: 375

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

- Introduction to Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence

- Methodology: The Psychometric

- Intelligence: Traditional Models

- Intelligence: Cognition – Biological, Genetic and Evolutionary Influences

- Methodology: Assessing Individual Differences

- Intelligence Broader Concepts

- Intelligence: Issues in Intelligence Theory

- Intelligence in the real world

- Methodology: How to Write a Research Report

- Personality: Freudian and neo-Freudian perspectives

- Personality: Learning Theory Perspective

- Personality: Trait Perspective

- Personality: Resilience

- Methodology: Factor Analysis

- The Biological Basis of Personality

- Personality: Humanism, Phenomenology and Cognitive Perspectives

- Personality: More ideas and Debates

- Personality in the Real World

- Mood and Motivation

- Review

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Oral ExaminationThis assessment has two parts: 1) Professional report on psychometric testing (75%) and 2) Interactive oral assessment on an aspect of the report (25%).20%n/a
ProjectAssessments 2 & 3 are interrelated, combining to provide students with an opportunity to explore the theoretical and conceptual basis of psychometric testing, while also gaining first-hand experience of conducting a research project and reporting the results. Under the guidance of their tutor, students will be required to conduct a research study using online resources including Qualtrics and SPSS. Assessment 3 is worth 35% and assignment 4 is worth 35%.70%n/a
Reflective journalThe final assessment is a reflection based on work completed in A2 and A310%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Maltby, J., Day, L., & Macaskill, A.: 2017, Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence, 4th Ed, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow,
  • Cooper, C.: 2015, Individual Differences, 3rd Ed, Routledge, New York,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BAPYBA in Humanities (Psychology Major)
PYDIPDiploma in Humanities (Psychology Major)
SMPPYSingle Module Programme Psychology

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