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"Degrees & Programs"


Personality Theories




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Course level: Graduate

This course enables students to differentiate among the primary theoretical approaches to the study of personality, including psychodynamic, affective, cognitive-behavioral, and systems theories. Students examine the underlying assumptions inherent in various personality models and learn how the tenets of these models are investigated through empirical research.


What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Define personality as it relates to the field of psychology.
  • Explain how personality theories are developed and modified through ongoing research.
  • Explain the process of critically evaluating research studies on personality.

Week 2

  • Describe Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality and its major concepts.
  • Evaluate current research studies that address psychoanalytic concepts.
  • Evaluate the influence of Freud’s theories on contemporary personality theory.

Week 3

  • Evaluate humanistic theories of personality.
  • Explain how researchers have investigated humanistic concepts.
  • Differentiate self-esteem, self-concept, and self-actualization.

Week 4

  • Describe behavioral and cognitive theories of personality.
  • Explain social cognitive learning theories of personality.
  • Evaluate contemporary research studies that address the application of behavioral and cognitive learning principles.

Week 5

  • Describe trait theories of personality.
  • Analyze the five-factor model.
  • Analyze the effect of biology on personality.
  • Evaluate the influence of biological theories on contemporary personality research.

Week 6

  • Apply personality theories to social and occupational roles.
  • Explain how biological, social, and cultural experiences interact to shape individual personality development.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of personality theories from a social and multicultural perspective.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

Transfer Credits

Credit Transfer

Credit Transfer

Need to transfer credits to another college or university?

Before you enroll in a course, check with your school of choice to make sure they will accept our transfer credits and to understand any requirements or limitations. Then you can complete your course, and request your official transcript be sent to your school. That’s it!

How to request your transcripts