Understanding Yourself
3.4 (13 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,385 students enrolled

Understanding Yourself

Using major theories of personality to create a happy and satisfying life
3.4 (13 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,385 students enrolled
Last updated 1/2013
English [Auto]
Price: $19.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Perspectives on what it takes to live a satisfying, well-balanced, and happy life
  • Key elements of major personality theories that relate to your well-being
  • None

Simply put, your personality is the choices you make. All major theories of personality identify what it takes to make choices that will create a happy and satisfying life, but each does it from a different perspective. These videos have been culled from ones used in a Personality course that I taught for nearly 30 years, and describe those theoretical approaches to understanding the choices you make. Find the one that grabs you, and put it to use improving your life, your work, and your relationships.

For those who'd like to take a more rigorous look at the science of personality, the first few sections of the course explain how research in personality is done and some of the issues that come up when doing that research.

Who this course is for:
  • Those who are looking for ways to create a happier, more satisfying life for themselves
  • Anyone interested in knowing more about what drives human behavior
  • Anyone taking (or preparing to take) courses in Introductory Psychology, Personality, Motivation, and related topics
Course content
Expand all 43 lectures 05:44:40
+ Personality in Perspective -- What it is and How it's Done
9 lectures 01:58:36
What is it that personality psychologists do?  And what makes them think they can do it?!
Preview 05:27
Got a theory?  Want to test it?  Do an experiment.
Preview 12:40
Can't do an experiment?  Do a correlational study.
Correlational Research
Statistical Significance

 What's the best way to characterize "personality"?

Lump Together, Or Tease Apart

 What do the "Big Five" do?

The Big Five (or Whatever)

 Part 1 of a two-part video explaining how a statistical procedure called "factor analysis" can help identify basic traits.

Factor Analysis (part 1)

 The second part of the factor analysis video.

Factor Analysis (part 2)
Factor Analysis Illustrated
+ Got 'Personality'? Not Everybody Thinks So
4 lectures 25:26

 Apparently, not everyone is a big fan of this personality concept.

Walter Mischel Complains

 Measuring behavior a bunch of times is better than measuring it once.


 When being consistent is important to you, you'll be consistent.

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut But, Sometimes, Not So Much

 "What's good for the goose,...."

Back Atcha, Walter
+ So Many Choices -- Internal Psychological Dynamics (part 1)
9 lectures 01:01:47

Dozens (at least!) of Freudian ideas have become part of everyday conversations and our shared understanding of what people are like.

An Overview of Sigmund Freud's "Psychoanalysis"

We want things.

Too bad.

I Got Needs, and I Got Choices

There's so much to be afraid of.  And pardon me for ending a sentence in a preposition.

Fear Is The Big Bugaboo

Resolving conflicts the wrong way, illustrated.

Irrational Behaviors Resolve Conflicts

Hiding from reality can't be good.

Fantasy is Nice (But it Isn't a Cheeseburger)

Unsatisfied needs lead to unsatisfying substitutes. And that leads to habits. Here, in Part 1, oral and anal habits are covered.  Yeah, you read that right.

Habits Fill the Emptiness Inside (part 1)

The second part of the "Habits" video covers genital habits.  Yeah, you read that right, too.

Habits Fill the Emptiness Inside (part 2)


Your Stuff'll Come Up Anyway

Why be thoughtful?  Why be flexible?  And what is "good mental health"?

Sharpsteen's Motto
+ What? More Choices?! -- Internal Psychological Dynamics (part 2)
13 lectures 01:11:48

Carl Jung said that life is "a complex of opposites."  What does that mean, and what would it have to do with your behavior?

Every Good Drama Involves Conflict

Instincts prod you into developing opposing aspects of your...self. And that means you face some choices. How so?

Motives And Instincts (as Jung Sees Them)

Figuring out what to do involves making three separate choices. The choices you make reflect your "psychetype."  So, what's yours?

Making Decisions

The 'psyche' is a busy place. In this video, the four components of your self are introduced, and your collective unconscious is discussed (or is it "our" collective unconscious?).

Character (part 1)

The second part of the "Character" video.  This time, ego, persona, and shadow.

Character (part 2)

What's 'balance', anyway? And what would be so bad about not achieving it? What's so good about having it?

Balance, Grasshopper
Balance is supposed to be a pretty natural thing. So why aren't we all in balance?


Why Is There Imbalance?

Uncomfortable? Get balanced.

Getting Balanced

Putting Carl Rogers' Self Theory into perspective.

Sigmund And The Other Carl

Three options.  So?

Three Selves



A quick look at the general idea behind George Kelly's theory.

An Overview of Kelly's Personal Construct Theory

A concise presentation of Kelly's theory. Any questions?

Personal Construct Theory
+ Recent Big Themes in Personality
8 lectures 01:07:03

It's kind of simple:  Genes don't build traits.

A Trait Is As Good As A Bunion To A Gene

It was a game show in the '50s.

The $64,000 Question

Differences. It's just about differences.  That's not nothing, but it might not be what most people would want it to be.

It Ain't Much. Or is it?
The conceptual basis for evolutionary psychology.


How Evolution Works

Evolutionary didn't happen this morning.

The Contexts Of Mating

Well,...this'll explain a lot.

Short, Long, Man, Woman
Over the past couple of decades, there's been more research on attachment than...anything else in personality psychology.


Attachment Theory
People differ in their attachment-related behaviors.


Attachment Styles