Required text:

1) Winter, D.G. (1996). Personality: Analysis and Interpretation of Lives. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Note: this wonderful book is out of print, but many used copies and also a nicely-bound photocopied version of this book are available at Michigan Book & Supply, Michigan Union Bookstore, and Ulrich's. Price: $50 (used book); $50 (photocopy)
2) A reader (a collection of 5 psychological empirical papers) will be available electronically (only) through the library reserve services. To access these articles go to:
Note: Several copies of the textbook will be available on reserve at the undergraduate library.



Three equally-weighted one-hour exams will be given. Each exam will cover lectures AND readings (textbook and article assignments) for the period prior to the exam. Format for the exams will be a combination of short-answer and multiple-choice questions. The exams will be given during class time and are scheduled for:


October 3, Thursday


November 7, Thursday


December 10, Tuesday (FINAL EXAM)


VERY IMPORTANT: It is not possible to devise make-up exams that are comparable to the actual exams and that will test you fairly if you miss an exam, so be aware that make-up exams will not be given in this class (except in documented cases of severe illness). Therefore, if you foresee a conflict with any of the exam dates, DO NOT ENROLL IN THIS CLASS!!

Other requirements:

In addition to the three exams, three writing assignments will be given. These assignments, which will involve applying what you have learned in class to a real case of personality assessment/description (assignments will be given in section or class and will always be due one week after they are assigned). Furthermore, each week, you will be expected to attend your corresponding discussion session and participate in it actively (see your section syllabus for info about requirements such as weekly submission of questions/comments based on the material, quizzes, presentations, etc.). Finally, if you want to boost your grade, you will have the option of writing a short extra-credit paper (max. 10 pages; 8% weight). The topic of the paper needs to be pre-approved by the GSI and has to be on some hot current issue related to personality that you find interesting (e.g., to what extent are school-shootings rooted in environmental causes like media exposure versus the perpetrator's own personality? Is the multiple-personality disorder for real? What is emotional intelligence? etc.). Extra-credit papers are due on December 3 (non-negotiable date).



Final grades are determined by adding the total points obtained on the three exams (which will weight a total of 60% of the final course grade), the three assignments (total weight of 25%), and your performance in sections (weight of 15%). The course will NOT be graded on a curve so your grade is not based on competition with other students in class. Note that with this system, collaboration for learning is encouraged (e.g., study in groups, share your ideas, notes, and knowledge with peers, etc.)

Final grades will roughly correspond to this scheme:

98-100 A+

87-89 B+

77-79 C+

67-69 D+

92-97 A

82-86 B

72-76 C

62-66 D

90-91 A-

80-81 B-

70-71 C-

60-61 D-

0-59 F

To calculate your final grade, first use the following formula to arrive at your final point percentage:

.20 * point percentage exam 1 + .20 * point percentage exam 2 + .20 * point percentage exam 3 + .083 * point percentage assignment 1 + .083 * point percentage assignment 2 + .083 * point percentage assignment 3 + .15 * point percentage for section performance (quizzes, attendance, etc.)

Then look up the grade corresponding to your total point percentage in the table above.


A final note:

Course work is often so overwhelming (right?) and even good students can feel in over their heads at times. If at any time during these next 15 weeks you feel like you are getting behind, are hopelessly confused or even just a little muddled, I encourage you to talk about it with the GSIs or myself (during office hours or social coffee-hour).