400818 :ReMa-IDA: Theoretical Models of Individual Differences


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: Lectures, group discussions (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: Multiple choice plus essay (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


prof. dr. J.J.A. Denissen (Coordinator; teacher)

prof. dr. J.M. Wicherts (Teacher)

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

The course has the following objectives, which are divided into multiple types.

Knowledge transfer

  • Able to reproduce the most important elements of theories about structure (Five Factor Theory of personality; Holland structural models; Cattell-Horn-Carroll model of intelligence, g theory of intelligence) and process (formal models of personality functioning and motivation; Heckhausen theory of achievement motivation; Expectancy x Value Theory of motivation; mutualism model of intelligence by van der Maas et al.).
  • Able to reproduce theories that are relevant for understanding theories about individual differences: learning theory, social cognitive theory, network theory, evolutionary theory.
  • Able to reproduce the most important economic, health-related, and social (relationship) consequences of intelligence, motivation, and personality.

 Application of knowledge 

  • Use theoretical frameworks (see above) to generate explanations regarding the structure, processes, and consequences of individual differences.

 Evaluation of knowledge

  • Compare theoretical frameworks (see above) in terms of the consistency and logic of their arguments, and their ability to explain the structure, processes, and consequences of individual differences.    

Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

The course starts with a general discussion of the individual difference perspective, and the properties of good scientific theories. Following this, theories from the area of personality, intelligence, and motivation are reviewed. Finally, integrative theories are presented, and novel developments are discussed. This content matter is covered in 14 sessions:

  1. Course outline, history of differential perspective
  2. Properties of good theories; universal theories
  3. History and classic theories of personality research
  4. Modern theories of personality
  5. Evaluating theories of personality research
  6. History and classic theories of intelligence research
  7. Modern theories of intelligence
  8. Evaluating theories of intelligence research
  9. History and classic theories of motivation research
  10. Modern theories of motivation
  11. Evaluating theories of motivation research
  12. Theories integrating personality, intelligence, and motivation
  13. The future of research in personality, motivation, and intelligence
  14. Remaining questions and topics for discussion

Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

The examination consists of two equally weighted parts: 

  1. Multiple choice test about personality, motivation and intelligence theory. Focus is on factual knowledge, understanding, and application of theoretical principles.
  2. Essay of 10 pages (double spaced, excl. title page, incl. references) focusing on a selected theory. The essay needs to highlight historical precursors, internal consistency, predictions, and link with other theories. In addition, the essay should highlight ways in which the theory can be modified or expanded to better match future challenges of individual differences research.

The course does not follow a single textbook. Rather, each session will discuss a number of papers and/or book chapters, which are listed in the course syllabus that will be distributed by the teachers.

Verplicht voor

  • Research Master in Individual Difference and Assessment ( 2016, 2017 )