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Introduction to Psychology: The Psychology of Personality

Monash University via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


Learn about about the complexities of personality, and what makes us - us

What makes us what we are? A key question within psychology and the subject of endless hours of research and theory within the field. On this course, you’ll examine the factors that influence personality and build your understanding of psychological theories.

You’ll cover Freud’s pioneering work on the psychodynamic perspective of personality, before considering theories of humanism, behaviourism, and personality-traits, as well as examining how the culture of a society affects individual personality.

Explore the theories of personality psychology

You’ll study the approaches, models and theories of the groundbreaking figures who contributed to the field, before looking into the efficacy of personality-tests in helping us to further our understanding of the human decision-making process.

As you build your understanding of different personality traits and the tools that psychologists use to identify them, you’ll learn how to explain psychometric properties of personality tests and explore how different personality theories apply to a case study.

Understand defence mechanisms and how they apply to everyday situations

Every personality type has a set of defence mechanisms that have been developed through childhood experiences and as a result of other personality traits. You’ll discover how to identify at least five of these mechanisms and provide examples of how they work.

Develop your knowledge of self-efficacy and how it can benefit you

Self-efficacy – your belief in your own ability to succeed – is a key factor in resilience, but it can’t be changed without effort. You’ll develop your understanding of the factors that underlie and define self-efficacy, and find out how it can ultimately be changed.

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.


  • The concept of personality
    • Getting started
    • The elements of personality, Freud and the psychodynamic perspective
    • Learning approaches
    • End of week review, and preview
  • Models, theories and approaches
    • Welcome to the week
    • Humanistic approaches
    • Trait theories and culture
    • The science of measuring personality
    • End of course

Taught by

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy


4.3 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 235 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Psychology: The Psychology of Personality

  • Profile image for Luis Ribeiro
    Luis Ribeiro
    As with other Introduction to Psychology courses offered by Monash, Introduction to Psychology: The Psychology of Personality is well put together and has plenty of objective, albeit limited, information on the topic. Its main weakness is having no video lessons; it has only one/two videos at the beginning and end of the MOOC, which means that there are tons of reading activities. Fine by me, but it gets boring after some time. There are many quizzes, which contribute to student learning, and links to journal articles. Overall, it's a good MOOC if you like its reading-based format.
  • Anonymous
    I am engaged into a course of psychanalise in Brazil. Since then I am searching courses, articles, books about psychology. In Future Learn I find out the Monash courses. I studied some online courses of Monash for free and in this specific course enjoying a lot across personalities tests. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    A course that I was not expecting that I will have the chance. Yet psychology now looks more simpler than I used to think about it. I am now more in to it and I hope i shall study more and more.

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