Instructions for Personality Project

Psychology 438 - Fall 2012

Stage 1: Application of Personality Concepts to Self-Description

(due Tuesday, September 18th)

This paper will contain three sections.

You will label the first section "My Original Personality Description." For this section, simply type up, word-for-word, the personality description you had written during the first week of class.

Next, you will demonstrate your understanding of personality definitions and concepts from the readings and class discussion. In the second section of this paper you will define each of the following kinds of personality traits, cite an example of each trait from your self-description, and explain why your example represents the kind of trait you have just defined:

  1. social impression
  2. behavioral trait
  3. cognitive trait
  4. emotional/motivational trait

If you do not have an example of a particular kind of trait to cite from your description, you should think up an example of that kind of trait that fits you well. Mention that you did not think of this trait in your description.

After defining and citing examples of the different types of traits, in the third section of your paper you will rewrite your original self-description according to the following criteria:

  1. Organize the rewrite around phenotypic and genotypic aspects of personality (see outline below).
  2. Within your description of phenotypic aspects, clearly point out which aspects are social impressions and which are behavioral traits. Within your description of genotypic aspects, clearly point out which aspects are cognitive, and which are emotional/motivational traits.
  3. You must include all four kinds of traits listed above. If you did not include a particular kind of trait in your original description you must think of an example to include in this revision.
  4. Indicate how the traits at each level are explained by the traits at the next level. That is, indicate how the impressions you make on other people are explained by your behavioral traits, and how your behavioral traits are explained by your cognitive and emotional traits.
  5. As you write this revision, you may incorporate any aspect of your personality that did not occur to you when you wrote your original description but that you now think is important to include.

Required Style for Stage 1 Writing

This paper should be word-processed in 12 pt. font. Microsoft Word is the word-processor I use, so if you also use MS Word you can save the file in standard .doc format. MS Word is usually able to read other formats such as WordPerfect, but if you are using a word processor other than MS Word and want to make sure your file is readable, you should save it in Rich Text Format (.rtf). See your own word processor's instructions for saving in .rtf. Please use 12 pt. font for everything except possibly headings! Smaller fonts strain my eyes and larger fonts waste space. The paper can be single- or double-spaced. Organizing the paper by sections and labeling the sections are extremely important, because a well-organized paper demonstrates clearly that you have addressed all aspects of the assignment. You should provide for each section a heading (either centered or at the left margin) that stands out by using underlining, boldface font, or a larger font (look at the headings of the document you are now reading).

You should subdivide your paper into three main sections: My Original Personality Description, Definitions and Examples, and Revised Personality Description. The headings for the three main sections should be centered. Section 1 contains as many paragraphs as you had written in your original description. Section 2 should contain four short paragraphs, each of which is labeled with a heading at the left margin indicating which kind of trait is being defined and illustrated in the paragraph. Section 3 should begin with an introductory paragraph contrasting, in general terms, the phenotypic and genotypic aspects of personality and how these aspects are related. The remainder of Section 3 should contain two major subsections, labeled (with headings at the left margin) Phenotypic Traits and Genotypic Traits. The Phenotypic subsection should be subdivided further into a section on social impressions and a section on behavioral traits (each headed by the appropriate label). The Genotypic subsection should be subdivided further into sections on cognitive and emotional/motivational traits, appropriately labeled. Each section on a kind of trait (social, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional/motivational) can be as short as a single paragraph if the trait category is represented by only one trait, but may be longer if your descriptions and explanations are more elaborate. Don't forget to describe how one level of traits helps explain the level above it.

An outline for your Stage 1 paper would look like this:

I. My Original Personality Description

II. Definitions and examples of different types of traits from original personality self-description
    A. Definition of social impressions and one example of a social impression from my own personality
    B. Definition of behavioral traits and one example of a behavioral trait from my own personality
    C. Definition of cognitive traits and one example of a cognitive trait from my own personality
    D. Definition of emotional/motivational traits and one example of an emotional/motivational trait from my own personality
III. Revision of my personality description
    A. Phenotypic traits
        1. Social impressions - the impressions I make on other people
        2. Behavioral traits - consistencies in my behavior that lead to consistent social impressions
    B. Genotypic traits
        1. Cognitive traits - consistent patterns in my thinking that help explain my behavioral traits
        2. Emotional/motivational traits - consistent feelings, desires, and motives that help explain my behavioral traits

Section 1 will be as long as the original description you had written. Section 2 should be one to two pages in length. Section 3 should be at least three pages in length. There is no maximum length for Section 3, but it should present only information solicited by these instructions and not go off on irrelevant tangents.

Submission Procedure

After logging in to ANGEL at https://angel.psu.edu/ , submit your Stage 1 paper using the ANGEL drop-box procedure:

1. Select the "Lessons" tab.

2. Select the icon or name of the drop box labeled Drop Box for First Set of Written Assignments.

3. Click the "Browse" button next to the "File to Upload" field, then locate the file on your local drive.

4. When the file is found, double-click the file name, or single-click the file name, then click the "Open" button in the dialogue box.

5. Type a descriptive name for the file in the "Title" field ("Personality Project Stage 1" would be a good choice).

6. Select the file type from the pull-down list.

7. Click the "OK" button.

Feedback will be given that the file has been successfully submitted. Click the "OK" button. Once returned to the drop box upload screen, you should select the link for the submitted file to make certain that it is viewable or accessible for downloading.