102167: Making Sense of People

Decoding the Mysteries of Personality

About the Course:

In Making Sense of People, leading neuroscientist and psychiatrist Samuel Barondes, M.D. provides a scientific framework and specific tools to understand and assess personality characteristics such as extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. This course explores the psychological research and neuroscience of personality; how genetics and environment affect personality; how to assess both problematic and positive personality traits in others; and how much of a child’s personality predicts future adult personality.


Pearson Education: FT Press

Publication Date:

July 2011/First Edition


Samuel Barondes, M.D.

About the Author:

Samuel Barondes, M.D. is a leading psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has published over 200 original research articles and several books. He is the Jeanne and Sanford Robertson Professor and Director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals; especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about personality psychology and the neuroscience of personality. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe basic personality characteristics and differences, including all aspects of the identified “Big Five” personality traits.

  2. Recognize and describe the potentially troublesome “Top Ten” personality characteristics and explain how these relate to the “Big Five” personality categories.

  3. Discuss the roles of genetics and environment in personality development.

  4. Describe the process of personality development, including neurological factors, and discuss the relationship between childhood behaviors and adult personality.

  5. Discuss the personality traits related to moral development and character strength.

  6. Describe the process and importance of creating a personal story of identity and how to use personal stories to better understand self and others.

Exam Questions

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