Universität Bielefeld

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Psychology of Personality and Individual Differences

The psychology of personality and individual differences is a subdomain of psychology. It investigates relatively stable and non-pathological human individualities. It asks how individual differences among humans in feeling, thinking, behaving, and experiencing can be described and explained. Normally it uses methodology of empirical sciences. For the description and explanation of individual differences, it developed a set of diverse constructs incl. morphological (height, weight, etc.), physiological (pulse, metabolism, etc.), needs, motives, interests, attitudes, capacities (e.g., intelligence, creativity, etc.), and temperament traits (e.g., emotionality and activity).

The term personality has been used ambiguously in the literature. On the one hand, psychology of personality describes and explains individual differences in typical psychological attributes (e.g., extraversion vs. introversion). On the other hand, it encompasses theories of individual differences in physiological traits (e.g., attractiveness) and performance-related traits (e.g., intelligence) as well as processes that explain individual differences in behavior and experiences. Those theories include psychodynamic theories (e.g., Freud, Adler, and Jung), motivational and humanistic approaches (e.g., Murray, Maslow, and Rogers), social-cognitive models (e.g., Rotter, Bandura, and Mischel), and trait-approaches (e.g., Eysenck, Cattell, and McCrae).

Detailed information on lectures is given at the electronic course catalogue (ekVV2):

Psychological Assessment

Psychological assessment is a methodological subject for applied psychology. Its main issue is the measurement of inter- and intra-individual differences in psychological attributes, behavior and experiences. This includes the diagnostics of continuity and change as well as the surrounding context and situational factors. Its goal is the precise predict ion of future behavior. Detailed information on lectures is given at the electronic course catalogue (ekVV2):