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  • Personality
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  • oss01521
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    Education Standards

    Personality - Course Map and Recommended Resources


    How to Use this Guide

    This guide provides information and resources on introducing the topic of Theories of Personality. All resources are Open Access and can be downloaded or added to a Course Management System (LMS) via the hyperlinks


    Theories of Personality can be one of the more interesting sections covered in the Introduction to Psychology Class. Besides being one of the other Ohio TAG course, Personality falls within Pillar 4: Social and Personality, which also includes Social, Emotion, Multicultural, Gender, and Motivation.  Social and Personality are both required topics under the Ohio TAG, so instructors should plan to cover this along with social psychology, and other topics if time permits. There are several areas that can be covered in this section so faculty will have to be selective in how are what they cover in the Intro course.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Define personality
    2. Discuss psychodynamic perspective
      1. Identify and describe Freud’s 3 structures of personality
      2. Understand defense mechanisms
      3. Describe the psychosexual stages of personality development
    3. Discuss the humanistic perspective
      1. Discuss self-actualization
      2. Understand unconditional positive regard
    4. Discuss trait perspectives
      1. Identify the five-factors of personality
    5. Discuss the social cognitive perspective
      1. Explain self-efficacy
    6. Understand personality assessment
      1. MMPI
      2. Rorschach

    Cross Cutting Themes


    1. The personality profiles that result from testing may differ for the same individual based on language they used to take the test. What are the implications of this finding?

    2. Describe some of the gender differences with each of the different perspectives

    3. Describe some of the cultural differences with each of the different perspectives


    1. Discuss the ethical considerations of using personality tests for hiring purposes

    2. Examine some of the ethical implications of labeling someone as one type of personality

    ​​​​​​​Variations in Human Functioning

    1. Discuss the Big Five personality Traits

    2. Discuss the benefits of having a background on your own personality.  Have students take a personality test, and then discuss how the results can benefit their life


    1. Discuss how some matchmaking agencies use personality tests to make their matches. Do you think their approach is justified by the research? Are there some risks?

    2. Have students discuss if there are some types of personality traits that are ideal for certain occupations (Teacher, Police, Airline pilot, Doctor, etc)

    Recommended Resources

    Personality – OpenStax

    This is best of the psychology OER’s out there on the subject of Personality.  This is the Chapter 11 of OpenStax.

    Personality – University of Minnesota

    This is Chapter 11 of the Psychology OER by the University of Minnesota Library Publishing.  It is similar to the OpenStax.

    Personality Topics – NOBA

    This is the entire list of topics covered in the NOBA project on the area of personality (including the two previous chapters).  Faculty may wish to supplement some of this information with the OpenStax chapter. 

    Personality Traits – NOBA

    This is the chapter from the NOBA project written by Edward Diener and Richard E. Lucas on the trait perspective.  It provides much more information than the OpenStax chapter above.

    The Psychodynamic Perspective

    This is the chapter from the NOBA project written by Robert Bornstein on the psychodynamic perspective.  It provides much more information than the OpenStax chapter above.


    This is the chapter from the NOBA project written by James E Maddux and Evan Kleiman on self-efficacy. It provides much more information than the OpenStax chapter above.

    Supplemental Resources

    Rorschach & Freudians (Video)

    This is a Crash Course Psychology video on “Rorschach and Freudians” #21.

    5 Factors of Personality (OCEAN Song) (Video)

    YouTube video on the big 5 song.   

    Personality Inventories (Video)

    A video on how psychologist use personality inventories in practice.

    The Big 5 Personality Traits (Video)

    Discovery News video that talk about the big 5 personality variables.

    The Power of Introverts - Susan Cain (Video)

    This is a Ted-Ed video on how introverts and extroverts differ. It is a good illustration on how introverts function in society when extroversion is favored. There are discussion and assessment questions included with the video. 

    Personality Pedagogy

    This resource is a webpage that contains links to articles, activities, and multimedia related to personality. Instructors should think about the goals of the class when choosing to use some of these resources, so use with caution and discretion when selecting these resources.

    Measuring Personality (Video)

    This is a Crash Course video on Measuring Personality #22.   

    Class Activities

    Short Personality Test

    This is an easy way to have students measure themselves on the big 5 personality factors.  It is by Cambridge University. Faculty should include some guidance on interpretation for the students.  Let students know that sometimes the way the questions are asked may not reflect the actual personality of the students.  Students could be instructed on how to use critical thinking to assess the usefulness of these inventories.

    Who is the Real Freud?

    This interactive game asks questions of three seminal psychologists regarding different aspects of personality theory. Students then guess who the theorists are.

    Psychology of Words: Projective Tests and Language

    This is an online activity that students can take to illustrate projective tests. It is a version of the Thematic Apperception Test.