Develop a taxonomy of your subject.

Throughout the semester you will be forming a personality study on one person that will serve as a case study throughout the semester. By the end of the semester you should have a final paper that is a completion of analysis of your subject’s personality that is based on the theoretical perspectives you will study throughout the course. You may choose a contemporary figure, historical figure in which there is context for you to derive your analysis. This means there must be published material about your subject.

Given the focus of the course on “normal” personality structure and development, the ideal subject would not necessarily be someone whose outstanding characteristic is some form of psychological disorder; on the other hand, several of the theories we will look at in this course do focus largely on the nature and origins of anxiety and maladjustment. The most fundamental criteria as you choose a subject would be that (a) the person should be of genuine interest to you, (b) there should be a good, book-length biography or autobiography available to serve as your primary source, and (c) your subject should be a complex person psychologically—i.e., someone about whom there are interesting questions to be addressed. The list of possible subjects (e.g., people in politics, the arts, entertainment, business, science, etc.) is practically endless—but do keep in mind the importance of starting with a book that does an effective job of revealing your subject’s complexities. note the role of this assignment in the overall structure of the course. Make sure that you have your subject’s story in mind prior to encountering many of the theoretical perspectives we will study in class, which will allow you to reflect on the connections as you encounter ideas from the various theories. You will be expected to use at least three biographical sources (which may be include articles and books) in your final paper. It is wise to choose a book as one of your sources as there is more complete detail about a given biographical subject in a book. This means that the process of selecting a subject is an important one and should be started immediately. Note also that you may need to purchase the biographical book—both because you don’t want to limit yourself to what’s available in the library, and because you’ll want to have the book in hand throughout the semester. Online booksellers are a great place to search and buy biographical books. It might also be helpful to browse at local bookstores.


To help you form your biographical study project, you need to complete a preliminary prospectus. This prospectus will be a part of your final grade for the project and should be completed by September 17, 2022. This prospectus should be at least two pages long. Summarize key characteristics of your subject’s personality and pose questions that you will be attempting to address in your theoretical analysis over the course of the semester. As you work through each theory, explore how you can apply this to your subject. Set up your theory intentions and for your prospectus, explore at least one theory. You can provide more detail on this first theory as you work through your paper, but having at least two theories should be helpful in planning your study project. That doesn't mean you need to have all of the details about the theories right now, just some basics so you have a good idea about the direction you taking based on the type of theories chosen. The textbook has theorists and their theories of personality for you to explore what the theories are.

Your final paper, due November 19, 2022, will be at least 10 pages in length (not including your title page or reference page), and will use multiple theoretical perspectives from this course to analyze your subject’s personality.



Develop a taxonomy of your subject. Since you cannot directly observe your subject, you will have to use inductive and deductive reasoning, verification of traits and behaviors through readings, and analysis through inventories and scales (though technically, you are being hypothetical taking the scale on their behalf). Make sure you explain their actions, personality and behaviors through the lens of the theories you have learned in class.

A good way to approach this would be to divide your paper into subheadings by theory as you relate the theory to your subject. A good rule would be to focus on five or six theories to complete your paper.

Paper should be in APA format, double spaced, font of 10 point or 12 point, (at least) ten pages, have a title page and reference page (not included in your page count total). You do not need an abstract but you do need a title page.