The final exam is required ONLY for those students who have missed more than two class periods. It will comprise nine essay quesions drawn from the following list. Everyone will be expected to answer #1 (methods), and you will be expected to choose four others.

  1. Discuss the methods used by researchers in personality psychology. Be sure to discuss both experimental and correlational methods, including especially factor analysis.

  2. What is a hierarchical model? Give examples of hierarchical models of personality and intelligence, discuss what makes them hierarchical, and give at least one example of a non-hierarchical model.

  3. Do you believe intelligence should be considered a dimension of personality? Why or why not?

  4. Do you believe there is one intelligence or that there are many? How would you support your conclusion?

  5. Does intelligence have a biological basis, or is it based entirely on learning and culture? Support your conclusion.

  6. Discuss the five-factor model. Compare and contrast Costa and McCrae's OCEAN model, Goldberg's Big Five model, and Eysenck's PEN model. What criticisms have been leveled at these models?

  7. What does it mean to claim that five factors of personality are "basic"? Is this claim true? Why or why not?

  8. Do you consider the five-factor model a great idea in personality? Support your conclusion.

  9. Summarize Gray's reformulation of Eysenck's theory, and evaluate the evidence regarding Gray's theory.

  10. Do you believe impulsivity and anxiety are more important dimensions of personality than extraversion and neuroticism? Support your conclusion.

  11. Summarize Eysenck's theory of introversion-extraversion, which ranges from physiological differences to social behavior.

  12. Summarize Eysenck's theory of neuroticism, which ranges from physiological differences to social behavior.

  13. How does Eysenck's theory explain anti-social behavior such as that found in psychopaths?

  14. How does Eysenck's theory relate to the paradoxical effect of amphetamines when used to treat hyperactivity?

  15. Evaluate the stengths and weaknesses of the PEN model, including both descriptive and causal aspects.

  16. Social psychologists sometimes suggest that individual differences are not important. Are they right, or is there some reason to study individual differences?

  17. Suppose a friend asks why you are studying personality. Your friend suggests that most of what psychologists in general and personality researchers in particular say is trivial and obvious. Your friend says that personality theory is merely common sense. How would you answer this person? Do you agree or disagree?

Last modified August 2003
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