University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Major Paradigms in Psychology: Introduction, the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic Paradigms, and Systemic Thinking

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit is the first part of a series of two study-units which intends to introduce the students to basic concepts in psychology and major schools of Psychology. This study-unit is intended to provide a foundation of psychological knowledge needed for other courses in psychology. It is also meant as an introduction to some of the major theorists and theories underlying different schools of thought in psychology. An important objective is that students are exposed to the underlying values and attitudes that are typically associated with them.

Tentative Study-unit Outline:

Part 1: Introduction and Systemic Thinking

Introductory Concepts:
- Theoretical and Applied Psychology;
- Research in Psychology and the scientific method;
- Major psychological traditions;
This part of the study-unit also aims at introducing students to systems thinking and how this is applied in a therapeutic and\or a consultative context.
- The early school: Structural and strategic approaches
- The constructionist approach; Milan and post Milan family therapy
- A post modern approach; feminist and narrative approach

Part 2: The Humanistic Paradigm

This part of the study-unit is concerned with the basic tenets of the Humanistic School. Major humanistic theorists and basic related concepts will be explored. Humanistic philosophy will underlie the teaching of this part of the study-unit:
- Humanistism: Its purposes, values and attitudes;
- Maslow: Holistic approach, Motivation, Hierarchy of needs, B- and D- states, Qualities of self-actualisation;
- Existential Psychology: Freedom, Being-in-the-world, anxiety and guilt, and so forth;
- The role and utility of Humanism and Existentialism today.

Part 3: The Psychodynamic Paradigm

This part of the study-unit covers the study of personality from a classical psychoanalytic perspective. It pays particular attention to the notions of Interstructure, Dynamics and Development of personality. Topics covered:
- Introduction, what is personality? What is a theory?
- The main domains of personality: physical, cognitive, affective, spiritual, and the relationship between them;
- Id, ego and superego;
- The unconscious and its manifestations;
- Defence mechanisms;
- Dreams, sleep, fantasy and personality;
- Freud and Ericson: Developmental factors in personality;
- Jung: Collective unconscious, persona, shadow and other archetypes, etc;
- Adler: Feeling of inferiority, compensation, family constellation, etc;
- Psychoanalysis after Freud, Jung and Adler.

Required Text/s:

Part 1: Systemic
- Dallos, R & Draper, R (2001). Introduction to family therapy. UK Open University Press.

Part 2: Humanism and Part 3: Psychoanalysis - Text
- Hall, C. S. & Lindzey, G. (1985 ). Introduction to theories of Personality.

Reading List:

- Brenner, C. (1974). An elementary textbook of psychoanalysis. Anchor Books.
- Maddi, S. R. (2001). Personality theories: a comparative analysis. (6th ed.) NY: Waveland PR Inc.
- Axline, Virginia (1986). Dibs in search of self. NY: Ballantine Books.
- Frankl, Viktor (1997). Man's search for meaning. NY: Pocket Books.
- Schreiber, Flora (1973). Sybil. NY: Warner Books.
- West, Morris (1983).: The world is made of glass. William Morrowold.
- Yalom, Irving (2000). Love's executioner. NY: Perennial Classics.
- Stone Irving (1971). The passions of the mind. Doubleday Books.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit is only offered to students with Psychology as an area of study and B.Ed. (Hons) PSD students.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Multiple Choice Questions Examination (3 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Roberta Farrugia Debono
Marta Sant
Sandra Scicluna Calleja

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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