Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 400818-M-6
ReMA-IDA: Theoretical Models of Ind.Diff
Course info
Course module400818-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences; TSB: Developmental Psychology; Development Psychology;
Is part of
M Individual Differences and Assessment (research)
prof. dr. Y. Brehmer
Other course modules lecturer
R.G. Olaru
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. J.M. Wicherts
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksCaution: this information is subject to change
Registration openfrom 17/08/2020 up to and including 20/08/2021

At the end of this course, students will know ...

  • 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.) of individual differences.
  • theories that are relevant for understanding theories about individual differences: learning theory, social cognitive theory, network theory, evolutionary theory.
  • the most important economic, health-related, and social (relationship) consequences of intelligence, motivation, and personality.
At the end of the coruse, student will be able to ...
  • Use theoretical frameworks (see above) to generate explanations regarding the structure, processes, and consequences of individual differences.

At the end of the course, student will be able to ...

  • 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.    


The examination consists of two equally weighted parts: 

  1. Written exam about personality, motivation and intelligence theory. The exam is a mix of factual knowledge about theories, understanding of theories, and application of theoretical principles to selected articles.
  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.

The new academic year will be kept the same as before the Corona crisis. In addition, measures to limit fraud may be implemented. When these measures to limit fraud are decided by the MT, students will be notified via CANVAS. If possible online proctoring during exams will be preferred.


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. Concepts and theories of personality research
  4. Classic theories of personality research
  5. Modern theories of personality
  6. Concepts and theories of intelligence research
  7. Classic theories of intelligence
  8. Modern theories of intelligence
  9. Concepts and theories of motivation research
  10. Classic theories of motivation
  11. Modern theories of motivation
  12. Theories integrating personality, intelligence, and motivation
  13. The future of research in personality, motivation, and intelligence
  14. Remaining questions and topics for discussion

Type of instructions

Lectures, working groups

Type of exams

Open-ended exam (50%) plus written essay (50%)
Course available for exchange students
Research Master level, conditions apply
Contact person
prof. dr. Y. Brehmer
Timetable information
ReMA-IDA: Theoretical Models of Ind.Diff
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk / WrittenEXAM_01BLOK 1120-10-2020
Required materials
Recommended materials


Kies de Nederlandse taal