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Introduction to Individual Differences


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Michael Mallaghan
  • Assessment: a one-hour written examination (70%) and in-class test (30%)

Module description

This module aims to:

  • introduce two key areas of study within individual differences - personality and abnormal psychology - highlighting the main methods and debates in each
  • encourage you to explore each from a number of perspectives
  • encourage you to consider the impact of culture on research and practice in these areas
  • support development of skills in writing academic essays in psychology.

Indicative module content

  • Theories of personality
  • Personality disorder (narcissism)
  • Models of psychopathology, and issues in the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology (including that of culture)
  • Anxiety, depression and addiction
  • Cultural perspective on individual differences
  • Positive psychology

Learning objectives

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • briefly summarise a range of perspectives on personality, indicating understanding of how these are similar and how they differ
  • outline the key debates relating to models of psychopathology, and the main issues relating to diagnosis and treatment
  • explain the potential impact of cultural issues on the study of individual differences, and what cultural psychology might contribute to our understanding of individual differences
  • outline how positive psychology might contribute to our understanding of mental health and well-being.