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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

(developmental statements)?

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

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