Weekly Paper Assignment Guidelines
PY 550 will expose you to a variety of ideas and models that have been proposed to explain the
human personality. There are three basic approaches typically utilized in the study of
The first, eclecticism, involves examination of many theories with little emphasis on the
advantages/disadvantages of one theory over another. Most contemporary textbooks follow this
The second approach is one in which a particular theory is championed over the others. This
partisan approach typically involves the author attempting to persuade the reader that the
viewpoint expressed by the author is best.
The third approach, comparative analysis, will be utilized in this course.
The goal of comparative analysis is to identify the similarities and differences among several
competing theories of personality. This type of approach requires a framework or model to serve
as a basis of comparison.
Each week you will analyze the assigned theory using the following analytical framework:
1. What is the basic purpose/goal of life?
2. What are the basic parts/elements of the personality that carry out the goal?
3. What happens when these basic elements encounter the demands of others
4. Finally, how does the theory account for individual differences in personality?
For purposes of comparison, please use these 4 questions as section headings for the weekly
papers. Your ability to analyze the theories should improve over the course of the semester as
you become more comfortable with the model. It is hoped that through this process of
systematic analysis of the theories that you will gain a deeper understanding of the existing
positions on the development of personality.
Compose the paper in Microsoft Word, using double-space, one-inch margins, Times
New Roman, and 12-point font.
The paper should be 2 to 4 pages in length (not including the cover page and References