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Individual Differences

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2021/22

Module Code:


Module Name:

Individual Differences

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convener

Elisabeth Blagrove & Gemma Gray

Module Teachers


Module Aims

The module extends the work begun in PS111 and satisfies the requirements for the British Psychological Society’s Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR). It aims to give students an insight into the ways in which theory and research on intelligence and personality have developed, sometimes in competition and sometimes in cooperation. In the pursuit of this primary goal students will be introduced to: theories, research and practice in intelligence and personality in psychology; methods of assessing individual differences in intelligence and personality; and broader societal issues relating to individual differences in personality and intelligence.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the basic units of personality as set out in biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, humanistic-existential-interpersonal, and social-constructionist theoretical frameworks

  • Understand key theories of intelligence

  • Critically evaluate the main research programmes in each of these areas

  • Have an understanding of the goals of analytical procedures in the field (e.g., multiple regression, factor analysis, & Q-sort procedures)

  • Understand parallels in the development of research and theory into individual differences in personality and intelligence

  • Articulate and comment upon the nature of the main controversies in each of these areas of research

  • Be familiar with some of the applications of personality and intelligence theories

Assessed by:

Essay in Action Assignment & exam

Module Work Load

Module Length

12 Weeks


Weeks 1-10: Two hour lectures per week, one seminar per fortnight


one seminar per fortnight


Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory

Module Assessment

Assessed work:

Essay in Action Assignment





Module Programme

1. Introducing Individual Differences

2. Personality Theories: Trait Theory

3. Personality Theories: Psychodynamic Approach

4. Personality Theories: Learning, Cognitive and Humanist Approaches

5. Personality and Behaviour I

6. Personality and Behaviour II

7. Theories of Intelligence

8. The Measurement of Intelligence

9. The Use of Intelligence Tests

10. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence

Module Reading List

Maltby, J., Day, L. & Macaskill, A (2017) Personality, individual differences and intelligence. (4th edn.) Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education (available as an e-book through the University of Warwick Library).

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2014) Personality and individual differences. (3rd edn.) Oxford: BPS Blackwell.

Further reading:

Cooper, C. (2010) Individual differences. (3rd edn.) London: Hodder Education.

Deary, I.J. (2001) Intelligence: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Funder, D.C. (2019) The personality puzzle. (8th edn.) New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Gardner, H., Kornhaber, M.L., & Wake, W.K. (1996) Intelligence: Multiple perspectives. Toronto: Harcourt Brace Publishers.

Mayer, J.D. (2007) Personality: A systems approach. Boston: Pearson Education.

Pervin, L.A. (2003) The science of personality. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sternberg, R.J., & Ruzgis, P. (eds.) (1994) Personality and intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.