Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  • Explain the main features of some of the major perspectives on the psychology of personality (e.g. psychoanalytic/neoanalytic; trait, motive, learning and social-cognitive approaches, and the narrative approach);
  • Describe basic elements of historically important theories within each perspective;
  • Discuss some major elements of contemporary theories within each perspective;
  • Critically evaluate how various approaches to personality explain specific issues such as the unconscious, the self, personality change, the effect of early childhood experiences, the effect of motivation on personality;
  • Explain how an integration of many of these theories leads to a better understanding of human personality.
    • Major theories of personality
    • Assessment of personality
    • Application of personality theory
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Chat Rooms
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Print materials

      • Welcome letter
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials

Equivalent subjects

You cannot enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SWI-PSS310B

You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:

SWI-PSY10003-Psychology 100 , or SWI-PSS110
SWI-PSY10004-Psychology 101 , or SWI-PSS120
SWI-PSY20007-Developmental Psychology , or SWI-PSS250
SWI-PSY20006-Cognition and Human Performance , or SWI-PSS240
SWI-STA10003-Foundations of Statistics , or SWI-STA102


You must also complete two (2) Level 2 subjects in Psychology before starting this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject explores key themes in the development of personality theory. The psychodynamic, psychosocial, biological, trait, humanistic, and social cognitive approaches to understanding personality are compared and critically evaluated according to the available evidence. Assessment of individuals according to each theory is also critically evaluated. Applications of the personality theories to real-world problems are emphasised in the subject so that students begin to appreciate the importance of understanding differences between people and how these differences drive behaviour.

Please note: assessment values are indicative only, details will be advised at the start of the subject.

  • Assignment — Written Assignment (40%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Mid-study period test — Online (20%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate SWI-BBP-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Psychological Sciences

  • Major in Psychology
  • Co-Major in Sociology