Paper Instructions

Character Conceptualization

Purpose: This activity will consist of a critical application of a selected personality theory, of your choosing, towards the conceptualization of a character. The objective of this assignment is to demonstrate mastery of the material and extend your capacity for critical analysis.

Related Course Objectives:

  • Identify relevant knowledge necessary to conceptualize personality development.
  • Formulate conclusions that are logically tied and based on personality theory.
  • Apply personality theory to the conceptualization of a fictional character.

Relevance: The focus of this course has been on understanding the various theoretical perspectives that have emerged in the field of personality psychology. Although understanding theory is important, being able to apply theoretical frameworks to specific individuals is a necessary skill within the field of psychology, particularly clinical psychology. Over and above this direct relevancy, the capacity to critically evaluate and apply the material to a hypothetical situation will build your critical thinking skills, which is not only essential for your chosen careers but for being an informed consumer and global citizen.

Description: For this assignment you will be writing a character conceptualization (maximum of 5 pages, not including references which are not required) of a fictional character, of your selection, utilizing one of the theoretical frameworks (e.g., Freud, Skinner, Erikson, and Maslow, etc.) we covered this semester.

Directions: Your term paper will include the following key sections:

  • Introduction: Provide a short introduction that introduces the concepts of personality, the application of personality theory, and then introduces the specific theoretical framework you will be utilizing for the conceptualization of a fictional character. The order and structure of the introduction may vary from person to person.
  • Fictional Character Biography: Provide detailed information regarding the fictional character or your selection. Information provided should provide a general overview of the characters’ current personality and should highlight key events that you believe, based on the theories you have selected, contributed to this characters’ personality. For example, a key event in Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side might be when his mother was kidnapped by the sand people. 
  • Conceptualization of Character Based on Selected Theory: This section will make the bulk of your paper. The conceptualization will have you conceptualize the fictional characters’ current personality but also how life events in your fictional character have shaped their personality. For example, according to Freud, the lack of a father figure in Anakin’s young life may have resulted in a lack of sufficient castration anxiety necessary to create a strong superego – necessary for making moral decisions.
  • Summary: Conclude your case conceptualization with a summary of your case conceptualization.

Assessment & Grading: See Rubric.

Category0 points 1 points 2 points 3 points 
Background InformationInsufficient, minimal, or missing character background information.Includes summary of key recent and past events of character.  Includes useful summary of recent and past events of character with time frames.Includes detailed yet succinct description of recent and past events of character. Selected information helps develop coherent conceptualization.  
Subject Knowledge

Demonstrates no subject knowledge of material covered.Demonstrates some subject knowledge of material covered.Demonstrates subject knowledge of material covered.Demonstrates extensive subject knowledge that is relevant.
ConceptualizationThere is no application of personality theory towards conceptualizing the character.There is minimal application of personality theory towards conceptualizing the character.There is application of personality theory towards conceptualizing the character, however, there are missed opportunities or conceptual ambiguities. There is clear and direct application of personality theory towards conceptualizing the character.  
Organization  The essay lacks structure and organization, which makes it difficult to navigate. The essay has some structure, but at times is hard to follow or not well organized.The essay has good structure but lacks unity due to occasionally straying from topic.The essay is excellently structured and well-organized.
Grammar & SpellingThere are a significant amount of grammar and spelling errors, which makes it difficult to read.There are a moderate amount of grammar and spelling errors.Few spelling and minor grammatical errors.No spelling or grammatical errors.

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