The purpose of this assignment is to give you experience in applying the theories you are learning about to a real personality. You will begin by choosing an interesting person to study and analyze (be sure to choose someone you truly find interesting, since this person will be your focus throughout the course). You may choose any public person you like (a politician, celebrity, musician, author, etc.), living or dead. The only requirement is that there must be sufficient information available about this person’s life for you to adequately complete the assignment. Below is a short list of some interesting people whom you might want to consider; the instructor’s approval of your chosen famous personality is necessary.
Find a good biography or autobiography of this person and read it. (If you can’t find a book-length biography, choose someone else.) Supplement your reading with newspaper or magazine articles and interviews. Your goal is to get to know this person well, giving you plenty of information upon which to base your analyses of his or her personality.
You will analyze this person from each of the eight major perspectives addressed in your textbook (in Chapters 3 through 10). One week after each perspective is covered in class, a two-page analysis will be due; these will be graded and returned to you. For example, you will first analyze this person from Freudian perspective: What do you know about his or her childhood that would be of interest to a psychoanalyst? Does this person seem to be fixated at any stage? What are his or her personal relationships like? What conclusions can you draw? You do not have to believe every part of your analysis, but it must reflect the facts of the individual’s life and the theory you are using.
After all eight perspectives have been read, discussed, and written about, you will combine your short papers into a final 5-10 page paper. This paper will be an integration of everything you have already written, incorporating the feedback you have received. A thorough and well-written analysis is expected. Papers should conform to APA style, including citation of all sources used (biographical and personality theory).