– The paper needs to be typed, double-spaced using 12 font in appropriate APA format.The paper should at least six (6) pages in length, not including the cover page, abstract, or reference page.
For this project you will write a psychobiography of your own life.Based on the theories covered in the course and from additional reading material, you will focus on the influences that have shaped your personality.For example, you can use any combination of the following perspectives: trait, psychodynamic, psychosocial, biological, humanistic, cognitive, behavioral and social/cultural.This is NOT an autobiography (life story of events), but a psychobiography (analysis of your unique personality through the use of psychological theories and research).Having said that, you will be using autobiographical information, but your goal is to explain your personality by analyzing key events in your life based on personality perspectives.As an alternative to focusing on different perspectives, you may choose to write your psychobiography from one perspective (e.g. Psychoanalytic), chronologically (e.g. Erikson’s developmental stages) or thematically (e.g. focus on one facet of your life, a mysterious question is analyzed).
- Piece together a number of autobiographical accounts of your life or if you choose one key facet, gather as much information on it.You may want to ask your parents or older siblings to make suggestions.
- Interpret your autobiographical data in light of preferred theories (or theory) of personality.
- Extract information that is pertinent to your theoretical viewpoint (e.g., do not attempt a Psychoanalytic interpretation in absence of data concerning your early life experiences; trait interpretations should utilize information which may be illustrative of the Big Five traits)
- You may want to look at reoccurring events (or situations) in your life
- You may want to look at significant life events (remember unique events are ones that most likely influence your personality)
Organization of your paper:
Your Psychobiography should include the following:
- Title Page: include your title, name, course, and date
- Abstract: a brief paragraph summarizing your paper
- Introduce the importance of studying your key life events
- Theoretical perspective.Include information concerning the theory (or theories) to be used in your Psychobiography.
- References (minimum of 4)
- The textbook can be used as one source
- You will 3 additional sources: they can be websites (as academic as possible) or peer-reviewed journal articles
- Interpret your life (or key life events) chronologically through the lens of your theoretical perspective.
- Demonstrate how your behavior throughout your life so far can be explained theoretically.Reference theoretical underpinnings of major life events and everyday activities.
- Tie up loose ends
- Reflect upon assignment (i.e., what did you learn about yourself)
Errors in writing psychobiographies:
- Critical-period Fallacy: overemphasis of one “critical period” such as the first year of life or the “Oedipal period” while neglecting later influences.
- Eventism: Explaining life trends in terms of one or two key or “traumatic” events.
- Neglect of Social, Cultural and Historical Factors: Not taking the social, cultural and historical context into account.
- Originology: Tracing everything to its origins in childhood.It is not altogether certain that personality is indeed consistent throughout life.
- Overpathologizing: Don’t reduce a life to a particular psychiatric syndrome or tendency.Evaluate in terms of weaknesses and strengths.
- Reductionism: Not a search for a single cause of personality