Module Catalogue 2014/15

PSY1008 : Personality and Abnormal Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2014/15
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Val Tuck
  • Owning School: Psychology
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To introduce students to personality and abnormal psychology. To provide an understanding of the different levels at which personality can be measured and how extremes of behaviour are measured in a clinical context. To inform students about some of the most influential personality theories, and to give insight into how these can be applied to the description, aetiology and treatment of psychological disorders. To provide a foundation for module PSY3024.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to personality, what it is and how we measure it.
Introduction to abnormal psychology what it is and how we classify it
An introduction to the classic personality theories e.g. the behavioural trait approach, Eysenck’s physiological theory of personality, the behavioural genetic theory, the Psychodynamic approach and the Humanistic personality theory.

How the situation may affect our personality e.g. theories of Mishel and Bandura
How interactions between nature and nurture influence our personality and how, according to the diathesis-stress model, this can lead to psychological disorders.
Types of psychological disorder, e.g. anxiety, personality disorders, depression, psychosis.
Links between normal and abnormal behaviour.
Animal observation study.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the module the students will be able to:

- explain what personality is and how it is measured
- explain the concept of abnormal behaviour and how such behaviour is classified in a clinical context
- discuss how abnormal behaviour may develop and how this may be accounted for by the classic
personality theories
- demonstrate insight into the issues in personality research and the implications surrounding the
diagnosis of psychological disorders
- appreciate the interaction between genetic, physiological and environmental influences on human
- discuss how personality research can inform treatment of disorders
- identify critical issues in personality and abnormal psychology
- gather appropriate information from a variety of sources

Intended Skill Outcomes

After completing the module, students will be able to:

- formulate and discuss, orally and in writing, their independent views on animal personality research
- evaluate the classic personality theories
- interpret simple data plots
- work as part of a small group

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Present
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Assessed
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Leadership : Present
      • Negotiation : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:0012 lectures are interactive. The animal observation takes each student 10 minutes.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading210:0020:00Journal articles
Guided Independent StudyProject work11:001:00Observation study
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity15:005:00Associated with the assignment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used as the main way to impart basic knowledge and to stimulate interest in the topics. The interactive sessions will allow further discussion of concepts taught in lectures and give the opportunity for students to take part in small scale psychological experiments that illustrate the taught material, The observation study will allow students to gain practical experience of personality research. This will help them to appreciate the difficulties surrounding personality research thereby assisting them in developing their skills of interpretation and evaluation. In addition, the discussion and feedback sessions for the observation study will provide students with the opportunity to carry out group work and to gain both formative and summative feedback on a written report. The private study time will allow students to carry out in depth review of the information imparted through lectures, to consolidate their learning and to generate their own views, views that can be shared with others in the interactive sessions and followed up by independent reading.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination602A80Unseen, multiple choice
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M20Group report written during interactive session, approximately one side of A4 paper, hand written
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will assess material from all parts of the syllabus, ensuring that students have a good overall knowledge of the topics. The report will assess the students' ability to work effectively in small groups and will test their skills of written communication and their higher level evaluation skills.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 14/15. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.