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Department of Psychology Personality Psychology

Master's examination

Information on exam preparation

For a successful examination, candidates must be able to critically discuss the given examination literature theoretically and methodically and to relate it to knowledge from their studies. Likewise, they should be able to derive further research questions and designs and, if necessary, practical implications.

Guiding questions for dealing with the articles are:

  • What is the contribution of the article to the relevant research field?
  • What are open questions? And how might these questions be addressed in a study?
  • What are particular strengths of the paper?
  • What are the main criticisms of the theoretical and/or methodological approach? And how could these criticisms be resolved?
  • What are the theoretical / methodological / practical implications of the article's findings?
  • Where do you see connections between the different approaches presented in each article?

Students will each select the 10 articles from the literature list that will serve as the basis for the oral examination. The articles should generally be chosen for their relevance to their master’s thesis topic. The list of the 10 selected articles must be emailed to Dr. Hopwood at least 10 days before the exam date; the file should be named as follows: YourLastName_MP.pdf.


Students can choose one article as an entry topic and present it in the first 5 minutes. During the remaining 25 minutes, questions will be asked about articles in the exam literature.

Exam literature, Fall semester 2022

The exam literature will consist of selected articles from various current areas and debates in Personality, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Human-Animal Relations, and Sustainability.

Personality Traits

Bleidorn, W., Hill, P. L., Back, M. D., Denissen, J. J., Hennecke, M., Hopwood, C. J., ... & Roberts, B. (2019). The policy relevance of personality traits. American Psychologist, 74, 1056.

Schwaba, T., Rhemtulla, M., Hopwood, C. J., & Bleidorn, W. (2020). A facet atlas: Visualizing networks that describe the blends, cores, and peripheries of personality structure. PloS one, 15(7), e0236893.

Soto, C. J. (2019). How replicable are links between personality traits and consequential life outcomes? The life outcomes of personality replication project. Psychological Science, 30(5), 711-727.

Thalmayer, A. G., Saucier, G., Ole-Kotikash, L., & Payne, D. (2020). Personality structure in east and west Africa: Lexical studies of personality in Maa and Supyire-Senufo. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 119(5), 1132–1152.

Thielmann, I., Akrami, N., Babarović, T., Belloch, A., Bergh, R., Chirumbolo, A., ... & Lee, K. (2020). The HEXACO–100 across 16 languages: A large-scale test of measurement invariance. Journal of Personality Assessment, 102(5), 714-726.

Widiger, T. A., Sellbom, M., Chmielewski, M., Clark, L. A., DeYoung, C. G., Kotov, R., ... & Wright, A. G. (2019). Personality in a hierarchical model of psychopathology. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(1), 77-92.

Personality Development

Bleidorn, W., Hopwood, C. J., & Lucas, R. E. (2018). Life events and personality trait change. Journal of Personality, 86, 83-96.

Briley, D. A., & Tucker-Drob, E. M. (2014). Genetic and environmental continuity in personality development: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1303-1331.

Roberts, B. W., & Mroczek, D. (2008). Personality trait change in adulthood. Current Directions in Ppsychological Science, 17(1), 31-35.

Roberts, B. W., Luo, J., Briley, D. A., Chow, P. I., Su, R., & Hill, P. L. (2017). A systematic review of personality trait change through intervention. Psychological Bulletin, 143(2), 117.

Stieger, M., Flückiger, C., Rüegger, D., Kowatsch, T., Roberts, B. W., & Allemand, M. (2021). Changing personality traits with the help of a digital personality change intervention. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(8).

Wagner, J., Orth, U., Bleidorn, W., Hopwood, C. J., & Kandler, C. (2020). Toward an integrative model of sources of personality stability and change. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(5), 438-444.

Wrzus, C., & Roberts, B. W. (2017). Processes of personality development in adulthood: The TESSERA framework. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21, 253-277.

Personality Dynamics

Fox, S. E., Thomas, K. M., Durbin, C. E., & Hopwood, C. J. (2021). A variance decomposition of the Continuous Assessment of Interpersonal Dynamics. Psychological Assessment, 33(5), 427–442.

Hopwood, C. J., & Back, M. (2018). Interpersonal dynamics in personality and personality disorders. European Journal of Personality, 32(5), 499-524.

Hopwood, C.J., Bleidorn, W., & Wright, A.G.C. (2021). Connecting theory to methods in longitudinal research. Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Quirin, M., Robinson, M. D., Rauthmann, J. F., Kuhl, J., Read, S. J., Tops, M., & DeYoung, C. G. (2020). The dynamics of personality approach (DPA): 20 tenets for uncovering the causal mechanisms of personality. European Journal of Personality, 34(6), 947-968.

Rauthmann, J. F., & Sherman, R. A. (2020). The situation of situation research: Knowns and unknowns. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(5), 473-480.

Wright, A. G., Gates, K. M., Arizmendi, C., Lane, S. T., Woods, W. C., & Edershile, E. A. (2019). Focusing personality assessment on the person: Modeling general, shared, and person specific processes in personality and psychopathology. Psychological Assessment, 31(4), 502-515.

Zimmermann, J., Woods, W. C., Ritter, S., Happel, M., Masuhr, O., Jaeger, U., Spitzer, C., & Wright, A. G. C. (2019). Integrating structure and dynamics in personality assessment: First steps toward the development and validation of a personality dynamics diary. Psychological Assessment, 31(4), 516–531.


Bringmann, L. F., & Eronen, M. I. (2018). Don’t blame the model: Reconsidering the network approach to psychopathology. Psychological Review, 125(4), 606-615.

DeYoung, C. G., & Krueger, R. F. (2018). A cybernetic theory of psychopathology. Psychological Inquiry, 29(3), 117-138.

Hopwood, C.J., Wright, A.G.C., & Bleidorn, W. (in press). Person-environment transaction differentiates personality and psychopathology. Nature Reviews Psychology.  

Kotov, R., Krueger, R. F., Watson, D., Cicero, D. C., Conway, C. C., DeYoung, C. G., ... & Wright, A. G. (2021). The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A quantitative nosology based on consensus of evidence. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 17, 83-108.

Levin-Aspenson, H. F., Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Zimmerman, M. (2021). What is the general factor of psychopathology? Consistency of the p factor across samples. Assessment, 28(4), 1035-1049.

Ringwald, W. R., Forbes, M. K., & Wright, A. G. (2021). Meta-analysis of structural evidence for the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) model. Psychological Medicine.

Wright, A.G.C., Pincus, A.L., & Hopwood, C.J. (in press). Contemporary Integrative Interpersonal Theory: Integrating structure, dynamics, temporal scale, and levels of analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Wright, A. G., & Woods, W. C. (2020). Personalized models of psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 16, 49-74.


Allemand, M., & Flückiger, C. (2017). Changing personality traits: Some considerations from psychotherapy process-outcome research for intervention efforts on intentional personality change. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 27(4), 476-494.

Barlow, D. H., Farchione, T. J., Bullis, J. R., Gallagher, M. W., Murray-Latin, H., Sauer-Zavala, S., ... & Cassiello-Robbins, C. (2017). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders compared with diagnosis-specific protocols for anxiety disorders: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry, 74(9), 875-884.

Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., Andersson, G., & van Oppen, P. (2008). Psychotherapy for depression in adults: A meta-analysis of comparative outcome studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 909–922.

Diener, M. J., Hilsenroth, M. J., & Weinberger, J. (2007). Therapist affect focus and patient outcomes in psychodynamic psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(6), 936-941.

Haynes, S. N., Leisen, M. B., & Blaine, D. D. (1997). Design of individualized behavioral treatment programs using functional analytic clinical case models. Psychological Assessment, 9(4), 334-348.

Hopwood, C. J., Bagby, R. M., Gralnick, T., Ro, E., Ruggero, C., Mullins-Sweatt, S., Kotov, R., Bach, B., Cicero, D. C., Krueger, R. F., Patrick, C. J., Chmielewski, M., DeYoung, C. G., Docherty, A. R., Eaton, N. R., Forbush, K. T., Ivanova, M. Y., Latzman, R. D., Pincus, A. L., . . . Zimmermann, J. (2020). Integrating psychotherapy with the hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology (HiTOP). Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 30(4), 477–497.

Wampold, B. E. (2015). How important are the common factors in psychotherapy? An update. World Psychiatry, 14(3), 270-277.

Human-Animal Relations

Amiot, C. E., Sukhanova, K., & Bastian, B. (2020). Social identification with animals: Unpacking our psychological connection with other animals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 118(5), 991–1017.

Caviola, L., Everett, J. A. C., & Faber, N. S. (2019). The moral standing of animals: Towards a psychology of speciesism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116(6), 1011–1029.

Dhont, K., Hodson, G., & Leite, A. C. (2016). Common ideological roots of speciesism and generalized ethnic prejudice: The social dominance human–animal relations model (SD–HARM). European Journal of Personality, 30(6), 507-522.

Hopwood, C. J., Bleidorn, W., Schwaba, T., & Chen, S. (2020). Health, environmental, and animal rights motives for vegetarian eating. PloS one, 15(4), e0230609.

Pfeiler, T. M., & Egloff, B. (2018). Examining the “Veggie” personality: Results from a representative German sample. Appetite, 120, 246-255.

Piazza, J., Ruby, M. B., Loughnan, S., Luong, M., Kulik, J., Watkins, H. M., & Seigerman, M. (2015). Rationalizing meat consumption. The 4Ns. Appetite, 91, 114-128.

Rothgerber, H. (2014). Efforts to overcome vegetarian-induced dissonance among meat eaters. Appetite, 79, 32-41.

Ruby, M. B. (2012). Vegetarianism. A blossoming field of study. Appetite, 58(1), 141-150.

Rosenfeld, D. L., & Burrow, A. L. (2017). The unified model of vegetarian identity: A conceptual framework for understanding plant-based food choices. Appetite, 112, 78-95.

Wilks, M., Caviola, L., Kahane, G., & Bloom, P. (2021). Children prioritize humans over animals less than adults do. Psychological Science, 32(1), 27-38.


Bleidorn, W., Lenhausen, M. R., & Hopwood, C. J. (2021). Proenvironmental attitudes predict proenvironmental consumer behaviors over time. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 101627.

Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1243-1248.

Hopwood, C.J., Schwaba, T., & Bleidorn, W. (in press). Personality change and environmental concerns. Journal of Environmental Psychology.

Hopwood, C.J., Schwaba, T., Sibley, C., Milfont, T., & Bleidorn, W. (in press). Personality change and sustainability attitudes and behaviors. European Journal of Personality.

Nielsen, K. S., Clayton, S., Stern, P. C., Dietz, T., Capstick, S., & Whitmarsh, L. (2021). How psychology can help limit climate change. American Psychologist, 76(1), 130-144.

Nisa, C. F., Bélanger, J. J., Schumpe, B. M., & Faller, D. G. (2019). Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials testing behavioural interventions to promote household action on climate change. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1-13.

Soutter, A. R. B., Bates, T. C., & Mõttus, R. (2020). Big Five and HEXACO personality traits, proenvironmental attitudes, and behaviors: A meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(4), 913-941.

Steg, L., Bolderdijk, J. W., Keizer, K., & Perlaviciute, G. (2014). An integrated framework for encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: The role of values, situational factors and goals. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 104-115.