Developmental and applied psychology programs provide coursework in personality development. They also contain courses in research, cognitive and emotional development, creativity development and psychopathology, to name a few areas. Whereas undergraduate programs provide a broad background in psychology, as well as preparing individuals for graduate work, graduate programs are usually more professionally oriented and contain a research or clinical component. Students can expect to study:
- Theories of developmental psychology
- Introductions to personality
- Influences on personality development
- Social development
- The acquisition of behaviors, beliefs and attitudes
- The psychology of attachments, aggression and altruism
List of Common Courses
Basic Developmental Psychology Course
An introductory course in developmental psychology is typically taken in the early stages of a bachelor's degree program in psychology. It provides students with an overview of the various stages of human development, ranging from infancy through adulthood. Topics include factors that can influence personality development, such as family, culture and environment.
Introduction to Personality Course
This introductory course is usually included in an undergraduate psychology degree program. Instruction focuses on major theories in personality development. Lectures also compare typical personalities with those that exhibit neurotic characteristics, such as anxiety, depression and obsessive worry.
Child Development Course
Human development courses are included in bachelor's and master's degree programs. They focus on the development of a child's personality as he or she progresses from infancy through early and later childhood. Topics include temperament, capacity to learn, family bonding, language and peer group relationships. Coursework usually includes a research component based on experimentation and observation.
Adolescent Psychology Course
In this course, students take a detailed look at the continued development of personality in adolescents. Topics include peer relationships, gender identity, management of depression and aggression, puberty and transition into early adulthood. This course is often included in master's degree programs in psychology, but it can also be found in some bachelor's-level programs.
Advanced Personality Course
An advanced course in personality development examines the relationship between personality and socialization in both early and later stages of life. It is usually offered in master's or doctoral degree programs. A research component is often required, though instruction is also given through special topics seminars that address both modern and traditional personality theory models.