Personality traits and cognitive abilities are among the most central predictors of reveant life outcomes, such as health, longevity, life satisfaction, educational and work motivation and success. However, these pychological constructs constantly change with age and so does their relationship with relevant outcomes. Developmental pschologists try to understand why and how these constructs and relationsships change across life.
In this course, students will acquire in-depth knowledge on how and why personality traits and cognitive abilities change across life and how they interact with each other at different stages in life. The students will learn different concepts of change and stability, and how to apply adequate assessment procedures and modeling procedures to study these developmental proceses. In addition, students will learn about the relevance of personality traits and cogntivie abilities for various relevant outcomes at different stages in life (e.g., health, job success) and how interventions can improve these outcomes by targeting the psychological constructrs. Finally, students will learn about the relevance of (changing) personality traits and cognitive abilities for work outcomes.
At the end of the course, students will know....
- central theories of development (e.g., Baltes' SOC model, neo-socioanalytic theory)
- developmental trajectories (and interactions) of personality traits and cognitive abilities across life
- different types of stability and change (e.g., normative, structural, differential)
- antecedents, correlates and consequences of personality and cognitive abilities at different life stages
- age- appropriate interventions for personality and cognitive abilities and their validity
Application of knowledge
At the end of the course, students will be able to ...
- explain developmental trajectories of personality and cognitive abilities based on theories of development
- interpret various metrics of change and stability in developmental studies
- generate hypotheses and operationalization for the study of individual dynamics
Ate the end of the course, students will be able to ...
- critically evaluate theoretical arguments in studies of stability and change of individual differences
- critically evaluate the quality and results of studies on stability and change of individual differences
- critically evaluate the validity of different research designs for studying stability and change of individual differences
- relfect on social and ethical responsibilites associated with research on individual differences
In this course, students will learn how to ...
- prsent their course work in an understandable way
- describe and present findings from the literature in an understandable way
- provide constructive and reasonable feedback to the presentations of their peers
- present, discuss and write in academic English
In this course, students will obtain relevant skills and knowledge that is needed ....
- to pursue a PhD in lifespan development
- for a successful academic career
Type of instructions
13 lectures (28 hours in total), including group discussions. More information regarding the scheduling of lectures, topics, and duration of lectures will be provided on CANVAS.
Specifics and examination
- Two written assignments, accounting for 40% and 50% of the grade, respectively and a presentation accounting for 10% of the final grade
- To pass the course, the individual grades for the assignments and the presentation need to be 5.5 or higher
- Course participation is mandatory
Throughout the course several book chapters and articles will be discussed (see anouncements on CANVAS).