PSK 351 theories of personality

Albert Camus img

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

- Albert Camus

PSK 351 Theories of Personality
PSK 351 Kişilik Kuramları

persona (n): 1917, "outward or social personality," a Jungian psychology term, from Latin persona "person" (see person). Used earlier (1909) by Ezra Pound in the sense "literary character representing the voice of the author." Persona grata is Late Latin, literally "an acceptable person," originally applied to diplomatic representatives acceptable to the governments to which they were sent; hence also persona non grata (plural personæ non gratæ).

personality (n): late 14c., "quality or fact of being a person," from Medieval Latin personalitatem (nominative personalitas), from Late Latin personalis (see personal). Sense of "a distinctive character" is first recorded 1795, from French personnalité. Personality is the supreme realization of the innate idiosyncrasy of a living being. It is an act of courage flung in the face of life, the absolute affirmation of all that constitutes the individual, the most successful adaptation to the universal conditions of existence, coupled with the greatest possible freedom of self-determination. [C.G. Jung, "The Development of Personality," 1932] / Meaning "person whose character stands out from that of others" is from 1889. Personality cult is attested from 1956.

The above definitions of persona and personality are taken from the Online Etymology Dictionary ( In many cultures, the translation of personality almost always leads to the very same point: being (and becoming) a person with distinctive characteristics. Despite the similarities of definitions across cultures, there are many views of human personality. Some theories claim that personality is very much related to your past life but some other theories emphasize the role of biological basis and some others take learning and action as the primary sources of personality. In other words, we do know what personality is in dictionaries of different languages but we still do not know what personality really is or is not.

PSK 351 covers a brief history and methodology of the study of personality, then proceeds to a discussion of each of the following major schools of thought within the field of personality theory: psychoanalytic/Freudian, neo-Freudian, biological, humanistic, cognitive, and behavioral. In addition to the classical approach to personality theories, we will find a chance to talk about so-called personality disorders which may be a key to understand different theories of personalities. Therefore, do not be surprised that this course sometimes smells like clinician’s spirit. PSK 351 is definitely a challenging course. It is challenging because it is simply related to you, yourself. Be prepared!

Course Material

Main Textbook:
Schultz, D. P. & Schultz, S. E. (2017). Theories of personality (11th Ed). Boston: Cangage.

Other Books:
1. Ashcraft, D. M. (2015). Personality theories workbook (6th Ed). Boston: Cangage.
2. Jamis, R. (1985/2017). Frida Kahlo: Aşk ve acı. (Çev. H. U. Tanrıöver). İstanbul: Everest.
3. Ali, S. (1940/2009). İçimizdeki şeytan. İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları.
4. Ümit, A. (2007). İnsan ruhunun haritası. İstanbul: Doğan Kitap.
5. Plutarkhos (2015). Theseus - Romulus: Paralel hayatlar. İstanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları.
6. Plutarkhos (2015). İskender - Sezar: Paralel hayatlar. İstanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları.

1. Girl, Interrupted (1999) -
2. Black Swan (2010) -
3. The Wrestler (2008) -
4. Being John Malkovich (1999) -
5. Frida (2002) -
6. Stranger than Fiction (2006) -

Assignments and Evaluation

In-Class Assignments and Homeworks (20%)
Quizzes, homeworks, questionnaires and other small exercises.

Parallel Lives Phase I (10%)
Examine Plutarkos’ works. He managed to compare to individuals with reference to their history, culture, and personality. You are asked to do the same exercise. Choose to individuals (who are not living anymore) and by the help of personality, theories compare their life. In Phase I, you have to submit a minimum of 10 page of comparison. The details of this assignment will be discussed in the class.

Midterm (20%)
Part A (10%): A multiple choice exam in the midterm week.
Part B (10%): An essay exam in the midterm week.

Parallel Lives Phase II (30%)

The final version of your Parallel Lives paper. The details of this assignment will be discussed in the class.

Final Exam (20%)
Part A (10%): A multiple choice exam.
Part B (10%): An essay exam.

Tentative Course Schedule



Reading (Main Text)
Please check out web page for detailed reading list.

Sep. 26

Overview of Personality Theories

Chapter 1

Oct. 03

Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis I

Chapter 2

Oct. 10

Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis II

Chapter 2

Oct. 17

Carl Jung and Analytical Psychology

Chapter 3

Oct. 24

Adler’s Individual Psychology and Horney’s Neurotic Needs

Chapters 4 - 5

Oct. 31

Erik Erikson and Identity Theory

Chapter 6

Nov. 07

Gordon Allport: Motivation and Personality

Chapter 7

Nov. 13 - Nov. 17


Nov. 21

Cattell, Eysenck, and the Dark Triad

Chapter 8

Nov. 28

Humanistic Approach: Maslow and Rogers

Chapters 9 - 10

Dec. 05

George Kelley and Personal Construct Theory

Chapter 11

Dec. 12

B. F. Skinner and Reinforcement Theory

Chapter 12

Dec. 19

Albert Bandura and Social Learning Theory

Chapter 13

Dec. 26

The Limited-Domain Approach

and Final Words

Chapters 14 - 15