The Applied Personality Project requires you to critically analyze personality information found in the popular media in relation to empirical research, personality theory, and your own life. You will demonstrate that you are an intelligent consumer of personality research and can think critically about personality theory, assessment, and research in relation to your daily life.
The Applied Personality Project consists of four components:
Component 1: Summary and Analysis of Popular Media Article or Current Event
You will start by locating a popular media article, video or current event that is relevant to personality psychology. Relevant topics may include personality theory, assessment, use of assessment results, personality disorders, or personality research. Your article or current event must have been published (or occurred) within the last six months. For this component of the assignment, you will use information found in the popular media. This includes articles or events distributed via social media, blogs, videos (e.g., Ted Talks), television shows, newspaper reports, magazines, and similar sources.
For example, the LA Times published a report of identical triplets separated at birth in a secret psychology study to understand the relative influence of nature and nurture in personality development (“The surreal, sad story behind the acclaimed new documentary, ‘Three Identical Strangers’”: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-three-identical-strangers-documentary-20180702-story.html). An article such as this would be appropriate for your target article/event.
Provide a two-page summary and analysis of the article/event that addresses the following questions:
- What is the focus of the article/event?
- Why is this article/event relevant now?
- What is the relationship between this article/event and personality psychology?
- What are the key conclusions, questions, or issues relevant to this article/event?
- What questions remain unanswered in relationship to this article/event?
Your summary and analysis should be written as a coherent essay (do not format as a list of answers to these questions). You may include additional insights in your analysis, but you must address these key issues. In addition, you must provide a hyperlink to the article/event that you are focusing on; if the article/event is not online, you must provide a complete citation so that the instructor can view your article/event.
Component 2: Research Article Application
The next step is to find an empirical, primary-source journal article that is directly relevant to your article/event. Empirical, primary-source articles are original reports of research published in scholarly journals (such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). You will use the UMGC library database to find primary-source, empirical research. To find a relevant article, you will use personality terms, ideas or theories discussed in your article/event as key words in your library database search. It is your responsibility to make sure that the journal article you select is appropriate. If you are unsure about the relevance of your article, contact your instructor for approval. Articles must meet the following criteria:
- Primary research – Articles should report the results of an original research study (no meta-analyses, summaries, editorials or theoretical articles).
- Refereed – Articles must come from peer-reviewed journals found in the UMGC library.
- Personality focus – Articles must be relevant to personality psychology.
- Recent – Articles must have been published within the last 10 years.
For example, the following would be a relevant primary-source, empirical journal article for investigating Five-Factor Model traits as predictors of stress experience.
Zacher, H., & Rudolph, C. W. (2021). Big Five traits as predictors of perceived stressfulness of the COVID-19 pandemic. Personality and Individual Differences, 175, Article e110694. https://doi-org.ezproxy.umgc.edu/10.1016/j.paid.2021.110694
Write a three-page summary, analysis, and application of the journal article that addresses the following questions:
- What is the purpose of this research?
- How did the researchers investigate their research question?
- Are the conclusions of the study appropriate? Has the author overemphasized or under-emphasized any findings?
- What are the key strengths and weaknesses of this study?
- How does this research add to our understanding of personality or personality theory?
- How does this study inform your popular article/event?
- Do the conclusions of this research align with the message of your article/event?
Your summary, analysis, and application should be written as a coherent essay (do not format as a list of answers to these questions). You may include additional insights in your analysis, but you must address these key issues.
Component 3: Connection to Personality Theory
The third step is to analyze your popular article/event in relation to three different theories that we explored throughout the course. For each theory, you will want to explore the relevance (or lack thereof) for understanding your article/event.
Write a one- to two-page analysis for each of your three theories that includes the following information:
- Brief overview of theory (up to two paragraphs with appropriate citations)
- Discussion of how the theory either supports and explains your article/event OR how the theory offers an alternate understanding of your article/event
- Analysis of the value of the theory for understanding personality in the context of your article/event
Component 4: Personal Relevance
The last step is to reflect upon the popular article/event, research, and personality theory in relation to your own life.
Write a three-page reflection and analysis that addresses the following questions:
- How is the material in this article/event relevant to your life?
- What can you learn from the personality theories or research relevant to this article/event?
- Does the article/event or research challenge any of your old opinions? Or does it challenge you to form any new opinions?
- How can you apply what you have learned about personality research or theory to better understand your life? What is the practical value to understanding personality research or theory?
- What concerns do you have about the article/event, personality research, or personality theory?