Personality and Social Psychology: Who Do You Think You Are?

Winter 2024
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 19
8 12 Credits per quarter
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At adulthood, a human has already spent decades defining and developing attributes, beliefs and preferences of the individual they call “ME”. Where do I get the ideas I have about “who I am”? Am I more nature or nurture? Is the self malleable or fixed? How are “the self” and ”identity” different? “Self” can be beneficial as an ally, or a confounding negative force—but how can we know which it is to be?

In this program, we will examine contemporary psychological research over the last 60 years that helps describe, explain, predict and modify aspects of the self, as well as the developing “story” we create. We will examine topics such as theory of mind, self-concept, self-esteem, self-awareness, self-efficacy, identity, social comparison and impression management, self-deception, self-serving biases, escaping the self, self-control, and the contemporary dilemma of “self as a value base”. We will also discover implications for essential functions of the self in the domains of work, love, play, and service to others, as well as cross cultural perspectives of the self. Finally, we will Zoom with the great personality theorist and researcher Dan P. McAdams, Ph.D. (Northwestern University) who has examined “self and story” or “narrative identity” over the last 35 years, as well as social psychologist Elliot Aronson, Ph.D. (emeritus professor at the University of California - Santa Cruz), the most decorated American psychologist in its history. You will be reading a book by each of them.

This program is relevant for careers in psychology, sociology, education, public administration, media/journalism, law, medicine, computer science, etc. Credits will be awarded in sub-disciplines of psychology (such as personality theory, and social and developmental psychology).

Students in the 12 credit option will work with faculty to define a particular topic of personal interest within the personality and/or social psychological science, to focus on and produce documentation of learning.



Introduction to Psychology

Winter 2024 Registration

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

Psychology, sociology, education, public administration, media/journalism, law, medicine, computer science

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule