Skip to main content
Unit of study_

PSYC3015: Personality and Psychological Assessment

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study addresses current issues in personality, psychological testing, intelligence, and individual differences. Students are introduced to different theoretical models used in personality, intelligence, emotional intelligence, and metacognition and expected to critically evaluate these theories based on the supporting research evidence. This unit also presents different psychological testing techniques and methods.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PSYC3015
Academic unit Psychology Academic Operations
Credit points 6
PSYC2012 and (PSYC2014 or PSYC2017)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Nikolaos Tiliopoulos,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam hurdle task Final take home exam
3-hour take-home short release
50% Formal exam period 3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO12 LO13 LO17 LO18
Assignment Systematic review
Written Systematic Review
40% Week 10
Due date: 10 May 2021 at 23:59

Closing date: 07 Jun 2021
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO10 LO13 LO14
Presentation In-class presentation
e-poster presentation during the scheduled tutorials of this week
10% Week 11 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO18 LO17 LO16 LO15 LO13 LO12 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO6 LO4
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • e-Poster: Instead of the students discussing their e-poster with their tutor in-class, they can do so over Zoom (with sharing their computer screen with the tutor).
  • Unproctored take-home assessment via Canvas/Turnitin. Multiple short answer questions

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject as well as a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding to produce original solutions for novel or highly complex problems and/or comprehensive critical discussions of theoretical concepts.


75 - 84

At DI level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a well-developed understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce good solutions for challenging problems and/or a reasonably well-developed critical analysis of theoretical concepts.


65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad general understanding of the unit material and can solve routine problems and/or identify and superficially discuss theoretical concepts.


50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to the course Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6 LO10
Emotional Intelligence I Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO3 LO6 LO10
Week 02 Emotional Intelligence II Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO3 LO6 LO10
Emotional intelligence III Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO8
Assignment preparation workshop Tutorial (2 hr) LO5 LO8 LO10 LO13 LO14 LO16
Week 03 Age-related changes in intelligence Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO8
Metacognition I Lecture (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO8 LO10 LO13
Emotional intelligence Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO8 LO10 LO16
Week 04 Metacognition II Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO8 LO10
Individual Differences in Decision making Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO10 LO17 LO18
Metacognition Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO10 LO11 LO16
Week 05 Gender differences in inteligence Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO10 LO12 LO13
Intelligence and metacognition in education Lecture (1 hr) LO4 LO6 LO8 LO10 LO13 LO17 LO18
Week 06 Giftedness Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8 LO10 LO12
Individual Differences in Imposter Phenomenon Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO12
Gender differences in intelligence Tutorial (2 hr) LO8 LO10 LO12 LO13 LO16 LO17 LO18
Week 07 Psychological testing I: Reliability, validity & test standards Lecture (1 hr) LO6 LO7 LO9 LO11 LO13
Psychological testing II: Purposes and overview Lecture (1 hr) LO6 LO7 LO9 LO11 LO13
Hands-on approach to psychological testing Tutorial (2 hr) LO7 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO13 LO16
Week 08 Psychological testing III: Test use & development techniques Lecture (1 hr) LO6 LO9 LO11 LO13
Psychological testing IV: Response distortion Lecture (1 hr) LO7 LO9 LO11 LO13
Psychological testing in the workplace Tutorial (2 hr) LO4 LO9 LO10 LO11 LO13 LO16 LO18
Week 09 Psychological testing V: Applied issues Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO11 LO17 LO18
Psychobiological theories of personality I Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO8
Week 10 Psychobiological theories of Personality II Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO8
Interpersonal theories of personality Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO10
Personality 1 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6 LO8 LO10 LO13 LO16
Week 11 Evolutionary theories of personality Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO10
Personality and health Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8 LO10
e-posters Tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO12 LO13 LO15 LO16 LO17 LO18
Week 12 Personality disorders I Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO12
Personality disorders II Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO12
Personality 2 Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6 LO10 LO13 LO16
Week 13 Personality disorders III Lecture (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO12
Professional trajectories outside of clinical practice Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO4 LO13 LO17 LO18
Personality and psychopathy Tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO8 LO10 LO12 LO13 LO16

Attendance and class requirements

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance requirements for this unit of study have been amended. Where online tutorials/workshops/virtual laboratories have been scheduled, students should make every effort to attend and participate at the scheduled time. Penalties will not be applied if technical issues, etc. prevent attendance at a specific online class. In that case, students should discuss the problem with the coordinator, and attend another session, if available.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the different major purposes and applications of psychological tests
  • LO2. understand the history and content of the main theoretical approaches to personality, intelligence or/and metacognition (trait theories, psychophysiological theories, interpersonal theories and evolutionary theories)
  • LO3. understand and be able to define and describe key concepts in metacognition. decision making, personality, intelligence, and emotional intelligence
  • LO4. understand the way that personality, intelligence, and metacognition predict valued life consequences such as successful aging, health, educational and workplace success
  • LO5. perform a systematic review, including formulation of a specific research question, creating search criteria of key terms, searching multiple relevant databases (e.g. PSYCInfo, Web of Science, SCOPUS, Medline), integrating the search in ENDNote, summarising findings in a table, and interpreting the meaning of the results
  • LO6. understand how different research designs can be used to answer specific questions (e.g. how to interpret a lagged panel model for determining the direction of causation)
  • LO7. display familiarity with assessment development techniques such as computer adaptive testing (CAT), anchoring vignettes, situational judgment test, the confidence judgment paradigm, and the overclaiming technique
  • LO8. respect and use critical and creative thinking, sceptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to thought and behaviour
  • LO9. evaluate psychological tests using the criteria outlined in the current version of the test standards
  • LO10. form a reasoned argument about current issues in intelligence, personality and metacognitive research
  • LO11. critically evaluate the administration and use of psychological tests, and identify their strengths and weaknesses (e.g. individually administered intelligence tests, emotional intelligence tests)
  • LO12. critically evaluate popular media or internet claims about personality and intelligence (e.g. critically evaluate internet sources that discuss gender differences in intelligence)
  • LO13. understand, follow and be able to evaluate ethical use of psychological tests and testing, research and the research process, and information use
  • LO14. write a systematic review paper in using American Psychological Association (APA) formatting conventions
  • LO15. prepare and present a presentation on current issues
  • LO16. participate in small and large group discussion
  • LO17. demonstrate knowledge of the way psychological tests of personality, intelligence, and other constructs are applied in education
  • LO18. demonstrate knowledge of the way that psychological tests of personality, intelligence, and other constructs are applied in workplace environments.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.