A Little Bit About Me
Class Information
Psy 208 Syllabus
Psy 136 Syllabus
Psy 101 Syllabus
Psy 200 Syllabus
Psy 215 Syllabus
ORI 100 Syllabus
PSY 215 ALP Syllabus
PSY 136 ALP Syllabus
PSY 204 Syllabus

Montgomery Community College - West Campus

PSY 136 Personality Psychology

Accelerated Learning Program

Section UWALP - 3 Credits - Fall 2008

Thursday 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Room 203 

Instructor:                Mr. Francis P. O'Neill M.A.

Office:                        141-A  

Phone:                      610-718-1842

Email:                        foneill@mc3.edu (best method of communication)

Office Hours:           By appointment

Class Room:            West 203

Prerequisite:            None: Recommended English 101 & Psychology 101


A. Required Text:                                       Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustments to the 21st Century 9ed., 2009, Weiten, Lloyd, Dunn & Hammer. Thompson/Wadsworth Publishing

B. Supplementary Reading Material:    Provided by instructor

C. In Class Video:                                       Films and video tapes provided by instructor

D. Movie for Assignment:                         Supplied by student independent from the classroom setting.


A comparison of major approaches to the study of the development and structure of normal personality. Topics include the applications of psychological research to understanding and promoting mental health and human resilience. Consideration is given to the role of healthy personality in managing frustration, conflict, adjusting to predictable and unpredictable life changes, and achieving maximum well-being.


This course is designed to foster knowledge and attitudes which will assist the student in understanding and to know the scholarship developed within the discipline.

Students are Responsible for the Following:

Course Competencies & Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Identify the concepts of personality and self as central to healthy patterns of adjustment.
  1. Identify and analyze past, current and future passages, turning points and stages in the life cycle
  1. Identify and assess different models or conceptions of mental health and adjustment.
  1. Clarify perceptions of self vs. ideal self
  1. Identify behaviors, attitudes and classroom practices that facilitate the mental, emotional, and social well being of classroom students
  1. Identify and assess healthy and unhealthy aspects of  relationships
  1. Explore well being in a variety of chosen adult roles
  1. Examine  the variety of approaches and avenues for personal growth
  1. Examine how attitudes and social awareness impact our patterns of adjustment
  1. Develop complex skills in communicating clearly
  1. Examine coping methods to reduce stress
  1. Develop personal strategies for coping effectively, resolving crises, problem solving, and creative living
  1. Develop a fuller self-understanding, with special attention to the values, attitudes, knowledge, abilities and skills that are needed to be effective in the classroom and life

Participation and Attendance: For the hybrid format that is used in this program, attendance does not just refer to in-class meetings.  On-line attendance is just as, if not more, important than the scheduled weekly meetings.   The definition of an on-line absence will also be discussed.  The policies regarding attendance that are listed below refer to both in-class and on-line attendance.

Regular class attendance is necessary for the Accelerated Learning Program because of the fast pace and interactive nature of the curriculum.  The program relies heavily on classroom discussions and group interaction in order to learn, integrate, and apply the material presented.

It is understood that at times there are unexpected, personal situations that arise that make it difficult or impossible to attend a particular class, therefore, the following policy has been adopted and will be implemented by the instructor for each class:

If one class in a particular course needs to be missed for a legitimate, communicated reason, the instructor is expected to make reasonable accommodations to enable you to turn in the completed assignments and make up what you missed.  It is important that you notify your instructor, in advance if possible, of any unexpected circumstances.  It is your responsibility to find out what you missed from other classmates and /or the instructor. It is the instructor’s discretion as to the affect of absences and late work on the class participation component of the total course grade, even if the work is made up.

A second absence in that course will be either made up or cause for withdrawal from the course at the Instructor's discretion. Two absences of a seven week course constitute nearly 30% of the course, and it may not be possible to accomplish the course objectives under those conditions. The two absences will also affect the class participation component of the total course grade.  The amount of group work in a particular course will also be taken into consideration, as your absence may affect the performance of all students in your group. 

Three absences constitute an automatic  withdrawal from that course.

Excessive lateness/tardiness is to be avoided, but it’s better to be late than absent. If you are late, after roll is taken, you need to see the instructor immediately after class to be counted as being present for class. 3 times late equals one absence.

Official Withdraw from Class:

1.    Students can withdraw from class up to one week after mid-semester with a formal withdraw application. Grade will then be a “W”. Last date to withdraw without a signature from the instructor October 23th, 2008.

2.    After this time a withdraw with a “W” is at the discretion of the instructor. The instructor must sign off for a class withdraw at this point. Last date to withdraw with a signature from the instructor  October 23rd, 2008 (Last class day).

3.    Failure to attend class may lead to a grade of an “F”, it will not constitute an automatic withdraw from class.



Grading will be as follows:

A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D and F. The GPA equivalencies can be found on the Academic Affairs web page. www.mc3.edu/policy/aa/3.6.htm grades will be calculated as follows: A = 93-100, A- = 90-92, B+ = 87-89, B = 83-86, B- = 80-82, C+ = 77-79, C = 70-76, D = 60-69, F = 59 below.

Grades will be based on the final grade breakdown. There will NOT BE A CLASS CURVE. This means that everyone can get an "A".

No “I" (incomplete) grades will be submitted for this course, unless a death in the family occurs or another serious situation develops. An “I” grade is at the sole discretion of the instructor. It is paramount that all test and assignments be completed before the course ending date. No exceptions unless there is a medical emergency!

Exams: There will be 3 major exams and one final. Each exam will consist of multiple choice & true false questions with the possibility of extra credit questions added at the end of the test. If a student misses an exam the possibility of a make-up is strictly on the basis of a medical or other serious reason at the discretion of the instructor. You must be present for each exam on the date of the exam. A make up test can not be taken after a week from the original testing date, if at all. You must be present for the final or you must take it early if you can’t be present NO EXCEPTIONS!


  1. 3 exams worth 100 points each (extra credit poss.)             300+pts
  2. Class Participation & Attendance                                              50 pts
  3. Quizzes 5 (lowest one dropped)                                                100pts
  4. Postings on Blackboard                                                              50 pts
  5. Relationship Paper                                                                        80 pts
  6. Relationship Presentation                                                           20pts
  7. Movie Assignment                                                                         100 pts
  8. Final Exam                                                                                       100 pts

All points will be added up and divided by 8

Class Participation & Attendance:

You will get points throughout the semester for several reasons:

bullet Questions relevant to class discussions
bullet 50 points - Posts on Blackboard
bullet 12.5 points - Coming to class on time
bullet 12.5 points - Handing in papers on time and being ready to present on your scheduled day
bullet These points will be summed up in two categories and are approximate. Totals above are maximums for area breakdown.

Quizzes (4 x 25 points each, five given one dropped)

As part of a hybrid class five quizzes will be given after each class session (lowest one of five will be a drop), they will be on line in Blackboard (or they can be taken in class in the last hour if need be). They will be based on material presented in class and on material in the readings.  Each quiz will be given at the end of every class- except for the weeks of your midterm and final exam.


Grades will be based on the final grade breakdown. There will NOT BE A CURVE. This means that everyone has the possibility of getting an "A".

It is paramount that all test and assignments be completed before the course ending date. No exceptions unless there is a medical emergency!

Other Information

Reading: It is VERY important that you complete the reading for each day on the course schedule BEFORE you come to class that day. The most important goal for the class is for you to have fun while learning about psychology. But to do this, you’ll have to stay on top of the reading (and there’s a lot). Take note that class lectures will not reiterate the text book, but will be used to enhance the selections read. Participation points will rely on this reading to some extent!!

Student Conduct:

1.    Academic integrity is expected. Cheating in any form is unacceptable, and will be dealt with per college policy. Which could include but, is not limited to, expulsion from class with a failing grade (F) and possible dismissal from the college? There will be no individual or group warnings.

2.    Plagiarism (taking false claim for work that you did not generate) of any type is unacceptable and will be dealt with per college policy. Which could include but, is not limited to, expulsion from class with a failing grade (F) and possible dismissal from the college? There will be no individual or group warnings.

3.    The unauthorized or inappropriate use of College computers or the vandalism, theft, or tampering of data files or equipment constitutes academic misconduct.  Plagiarism or violation of proprietary agreements with the programs and data of other users will be treated as acts of academic dishonesty. All information can be found at: http://www.mc3.edu/policy/aa/ethics.htm

4.    Classroom behaviors that are encouraged: Asking questions, answering instructor’s questions, discussion of topics between students before the entire class, and the participation in structured learning activities.

5.    Classroom behaviors that are discouraged: Two way conversation between students during lectures or class discussions and leaving the classroom before the instructor dismisses the class.

6.    Respect for all the class is paramount. Anything less is unacceptable.

7.    The unauthorized or inappropriate use of College computers or the vandalism, theft, or tampering of data files or equipment constitutes academic misconduct.  Plagiarism or violation of proprietary agreements with the programs and data of other users will be treated as acts of academic dishonesty.

Class Cancellation Policy:

If there is inclement weather please check the college web site and/or call the campus at 610-718-1800 and listen to the message. Also the school codes are 395 for day and 2395 for the evening division. Also please refer to the campus calendar for days off and breaks in the class schedule.

Important Dates for Papers, Tests and Days Off:

Psychology 136 Personality Theories - ALP

Class Schedule* – Fall 2008 –

9/6       Introduction, Review Syllabus etc. & Chapter 1

9/6       Chapter 2 Theories of Personality & The Prison Experiment

9/11    Chapter 3 Stress and its Effects

9/11    Chapter 4 Coping Processes

9/18    Exam #1 Chapters 1-4 & The Prison Experiment

9/18    Chapter 5 The Self

9/18    Chapter 6 Social Cognition and Social Influence

9/25    Chapter 7 Interpersonal Communication

10/2    Exam #2 Chapters 5-7

10/2    Chapter 8 Friendship and Love

10/2    Chapter 9 Marriage and Intimate Relationships

10/9    Chapter 10 Gender and Behavior

10/9    Movie Paper Due!

10/9    Chapter 15 Psychological Disorders

10/16  Exam #3 Chapters 8, 9, & 10

10/16  Chapter 15 Psychological Disorders

10/16  Chapter 16 Psychotherapy

10/23  Presentations & Paper Due

10/23  Final Chapters 15 & 16 Room 203 5pm – 6:15

10/23  Last class – Last day to withdraw with a signature

Due to the nature of the hybrid format much instruction will be on-line

* All dates are tentative and subject to minor changes

The instructor reserves the right to make any content or rescheduling revisions as deemed appropriate or necessary.  

Students with Disabilities Policy:

Students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations in this course. Contact the director of services for students with disabilities in the counseling center, College Hall, at 215-642-6575/6577 for more information. At West Campus, contact the director of student affairs, 610-718-1839.

MCCC web site information http://www.mc3.edu/sa/stdisab/stdisab.htm


Student veterans may be eligible for benefits and services related to military service.  At Central Campus, contact the Military and Veterans Affairs Advisor in College Hall 122 or at 215-641-6581 to learn about education benefits and healthcare entitlements.  At the West Campus, contact Michael Ondo in South Hall 151 or at 610-718-1857 for the veteran’s resources.    http://www.mc3.edu/sa/vet/vet.htm

Online Help:

You can access the text books information, this syllabus and the class schedule through BlackBoard: www.mc3.edu All grades and info pertaining to the course will be posted on Blackboard. Slides used in class are also posted in the documents sections. 

The use of BlackBoard will be a major part of the class. Announcements to the class will be posted weekly, the forums will count towards participation and your grades will be available after posting 24/7.

The text Books web site is: http://psychology.wadsworth.com/weiten_lloyd8e/  

Communication Requirements Every ALP student must have access to the Internet and e-mail that can send and receive attachments. Students are required to use their college e-mail address. One or more valid e-mail addresses must be on record with the Program Administrator and with your Instructors. It is the student's responsibility to regularly check e-mail and web content for the course.  This should be done daily as the course requires.  Changes of address should also be communicated to the Program Administrator.


Statement of Civility

In order to create a harmonious working and learning environment, the College embraces a philosophy that all members of the College community – administration, faculty, students, support staff, and visitors – exhibit mutual respect for one another in speech, written expression, and body language.  To achieve this goal, the individual is encouraged to take charge of his or her manners and decorum and have empathy for others’ differences.

All members of the College community

bullet should have the freedom to express views without fear of being ridiculed, threatened, or punished;
bullet should listen to and address each other respectfully in a face-to-face, written, or electronic environment;
bullet should not engage in any behavior that generates a hostile environment;
bullet should show respect for College facilities and equipment.

Assignment Submission Guide Lines:

All papers assignments must be uploaded to BB typed with a cover page!

Spelling, grammar and sentence structure must be correct.

Page layout should be 12 pitch font, Times New Roman or Arial, double spaced with a one inch margin on the top and bottom and on the sides. The assignment must be a digital copy of the assignment by uploaded to Blackboard on the due date or the day you present (depending on the assignment).

Format: Information on the cover page should include your name, The assignment (“movie assignment” etc.), date the paper is handed in, class (Psy 136 Spring 2006), instructor’s name (Frank O’Neill), movie chosen (or other needed info). Centered under this should be a title of the assignment ex. Unfaithful - Wife exhibits classic signs of guilt but… or The Shining – Here’s Johnny! Have fun with this assignment!

All footnotes are to be APA style please remember to cite all referenced material!

Missed Deadlines:
Any material turned in late will subject to a reduction in points. 5 point reduction for every class late. Items not turned in by the last date due will be counted as a zero.

Relationship Assignment & Presentation

1. As part of the hybrid/online portion of the class: Read the slide show notes on Chapter 9 Marriage and Intimate Relationships. I will not be going over this section in class, instead this assignment will be a supplement to the classroom experience. I will still go over partner violence in class.

2. From the readings formulate questions relating to the chapter for two groups of people

a.   A “happily” married couple. This couple can be a heterosexual or homosexual couple. They must be married for at least 5 years. It can not be yourself or your spouse or your parents.

b.   Single person previously married i.e. divorced or presently separated person or persons. It can not be you, your spouse or your parents.

c.  You can not use the same people for a and b.

3.        Write a paper utilizing chapter information and theory’s of why couples stay together and why they break up. Topics that could be used as possible information to include in the paper. Social pressure, drinking, drifted apart, infidelity, personal understanding of each other, money, communication, children or death in the family to name only a few items that can be used to construct your paper.

4.        How did they select there mate? Was social in group part of selection? Social economics a basis for the connection? Draw conclusions from your interview and did these things relate to the continuing of the relationship or breakup. Use chapter 9 as a guide.

5.        Do you think the following value sets are at work in the people you interviewed and why: Murstein’s Stimulus-Value-Role, McGoldrick’s family life cycle, etc. Use chapter 9 as guide.

Write a paper that is 3 to 8 pages in length. Use the guidelines set above. As stated you can not interview yourself, your spouse or your parents. The idea is to gain new fresh information that pertains to the chapter. The paper is to be in normal paragraph form not bullets. Using quotes from the people is acceptable. Give a little background on the person and how you know them.

The presentation of the material to the class: You can use Powerpoint if appropriate, but an informal classroom conversation on the topic may be the best method of sharing the information gained from this assignment if we have a small group. Each person is to give a short 10 to 15 minute talk about what they found important in the relationships that worked and what didn’t work. Do not read your paper from start to finish to the class. Know your points thoroughly before presenting.

Movie Assignment

Film Review

I would like you to review a film of your choosing from the list provided which relates to the subject matter of the course in some way. There are lots of great films about differing personalities (or you could use any film as long as it relates to the course content and is approved by me). You can view the film with other members of the class, however you each must write your own unique assignment. Please do discuss the assignment with your peers (i.e. have fun with this assignment!). Check with me if you are not sure whether the film you want to use will fit with the course.

An important part of this assignment is a discourse in the discussion boards about your movies! I want you to have fun doing this assignment! Talk about it, write about in to each other in blackboard, what you write will be a part of your grade.

Your written paper review should contain, at a minimum, the following information:

Shorter Parts of the assignment:

bullet The title & year of the movie you are reviewing (short)
bullet A basic plot summary of the movie. You must write this yourself. Copying information from the back of the box or from movie review websites is plagiarism and will be treated as such. (short)

Longer parts of the assignment:

o        Explain in depth the relationship of the movie to the course content.

o        Identify the themes/ideas from the film that relate to the course.

o        Evaluate these themes. Were these aspects of personality portrayed accurately? Why or why not? (you should use evidence from your text or lecture to support your statements)

o        Give in depth analysis of a major character in the film as he/she relates to the course. Use chapters 2 & 5 to help guide you in this.

o        Give in depth analysis of a major relationship in the film as they relates to the course. Use chapters 6, 7, 8 and/or 9 to help guide you in this.

o        Personal evaluation of the film - would you recommend it to others, why or why not?