Psychology of Personality PSY 240 all sections

Shippensburg University

Course Director: Toru Sato

Course description: This course introduces students to the basic concepts and theories in the area of Personality Psychology. It is designed to encourage students to develop their own understanding of human nature by considering a wide range of perspectives used to understand human functioning. The perspectives range from psychodynamic, humanistic, behavioral, cognitive, trait, biological, to evolutionary approaches to personality.

Textbook: Selected chapters from Personality Theories, an online E-textbook written by Dr. George Boeree (, and various other readings will be assigned as reading for the course.  Please find detailed information in the "Course elements" - "content" area on D2L.  D2L can be accessed at using your e-mail ID and password. 

Evaluation: You will have three non-cumulative exams and one cumulative final exam throughout the semester. Each exam will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions covering all readings and material discussed in class. All four exams will each be worth 28% of your final mark. Your lowest exam score will not count toward your final grade. For the first three exams, a study guide with a list of important concepts and theories will be available on D2L. Since the study guide for the cumulative final exam would consist of all of the material on the study guides for the first three exams, there will be no study guide made specifically for the cumulative final exam.  You must bring a valid Shippensburg University photo ID to take the exams.  You will also have two writing assignments each worth 8% of your final mark. 

Missing exams & Tardiness for exams: Since your lowest exam grade will not count toward your final grade, you may miss one exam without penalty. Therefore, if you miss one of the first three exams, you will need to take the cumulative final exam to avoid any penalty. If you miss two of the first three exams, the two exams will be replaced with your cumulative final exam score minus 10%. If you miss all of the first three exams, the three exams will be replaced with your cumulative final exam score minus 20%. Regardless of reasons, exams cannot be made up. There will also be an additional 10% deduction from your exam grade for arriving late for any exam.

Class etiquette: Each time you appear to be using electronic devices (e.g., tablets, phones, headphones, laptops, etc.) in class, you will receive a 10% deduction from your next exam grade. Each time you arrive late or leave in the middle of class, you will receive a 4% deduction from your next exam grade.

Extra Credit: You will have numerous opportunities to earn extra credit throughout the semester.


All writing assignments and due dates will be announced/explained in class at appropriate times during the course. E-mailed papers are not accepted.

APA Format Link: Purdue University

Order of Topics and Exams:

Topic 1
Introduction and Orientation
Topic 2
Psychodynamic Perspectives (Sigmund & Anna Freud)
Topic 3
Other Psychodynamic Perspectives
Exam 1
28% of final mark
Topic 4
Humanistic Perspectives
Topic 5
Behavioral Perspectives
Topic 6
Cognitive Perspectives

Exam 2

28% of final mark

Topic 7

Trait Perspectives

Topic 8

Biological Perspectives

Topic 9

Evolutionary Perspectives

Topic 10


Exam 3

28% of final mark

Final Exam
28% of final mark - Cumulative Exam

Important Links

Extra Credit & other Psychology Related Events

Participate in Research for Extra Credit

Toru Sato's Homepage

Psychology Department Homepage