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Individual Differences

University of Warwick

Department of Psychology 2019/20

Module Code:


Module Name:

Individual Difference

Module Credits (CATS):


Module Convener

Elisabeth Blagrove

Module Teachers

Gemma Gray,

Module Aims

The module examines both the research and theoretical frameworks for understanding personality and intelligence, including the methods used in exploring individual differences. The module extends the work begun in PS111 without repeating it, and satisfies the requirements for the British Psychological Society’s Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR). The aim is to give students insight into the ways in which theory and research on individual difference 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 the psychology of intelligence and personality
  • Methods of assessing individual differences
  • Broader societal and behavioural 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 multiple regression, factor analysis, and 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:

An assignment (33%) and one two-hour unseen examination (67%)

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:





Module Reading List

Maltby, J., Day, L. & Macaskill, A (2013) Personality, individual differences and intelligence. 3rd edn. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education (available as an e-book through the University of Warwick Library).

Chammorro-Premuzic, T. (2011) Personality and individual differences. 2nd edn. Oxford: BPS Blackwell.

Further Suggested Readings

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. (2007) The personality puzzle. 4th 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.

For up-to-date research findings, look at such journals as:


American Psychologist

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Social Psychology Bulletin

Journal of Applied Psychology