Book knowledge has little value if it is not applied. The discipline of psychology provides an opportunity to examine one’s self as well as others. The primary goal of this assignment is for you to apply concepts you have learned from this course to your own lifetime development.


How did you become the person you are today? – I grew up in a house of 3 children, myself being the middle child, older sister & younger brother. My parents raised and implemented the authoritarian parenting style (Authoritarian parenting is a style characterized by high demands and low responsiveness. Parents with an authoritarian style have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly).

What factors impacted your development? – very religious parents & tried forcing that upon us 3 kids. Church religiously every single Sunday for 3-4 hours / Sunday school / awana / after hours church groups. As time progressed and I got older I despised church and the feeling of it being forced upon me made me run the other direction.

How do you describe yourself? – Independent / free-spirited / critical thinker / logic & science based but also impulsive at times due to emotions / deep / intellectual / have dreams of owning my own business, becoming a doctor / impowered / positive / introspective

How do you know who you are? Every day I learn more and more about myself through interactions with people and through books. I love to read & learn. I pickup on certain lessons / message taught through the text. This shapes my morals & ethics.

How do others experience you? – kind / outgoing / personable / respect / loveable / caring / genuine / alpha

Who are your people? – I get a long well with almost anyone but I value those the most who are deep and not like the general public. I like free thinkers and people who I can relate with on a deep level.

Where did you come from? – Grew up in Austin, TX for nearly 20 years, moved to Florida when I was 21 because I wanted to make a radical change in my life and experience something new.

What outstanding experiences have you encountered? – Traveled to Australia for 5 weeks & experienced a different culture/way of living. Have tasted many cultural diverse foods from around the world. I have seen solar eclipses, experienced many concerts & have met many people from all around the world. I’m a traveler and free spirit at heart.

These are a few questions you may begin thinking about to prepare this assignment. Based on what has been covered in class and the textbook, you will focus on the influences that have shaped your personality. Hopefully, you have been looking within yourself throughout this class. Often students find that specific topics “speak” to them. This is a good place to start to include that particular information in your paper. Your goal is to explain your personality/self by analyzing key events in your life, or dominant personality traits.This paper is to be introspective and offer an explanation of who you are. All personal information is to be tied to academic facts and theory to answer the question why you are who you are. Summary – review your own unique life story and tie all presented personal information to a possible psychological foundation that provides supporting evidence of a viable explanation or outcome.



1. Piece together a number of autobiographical accounts of your life or if you choose one key facet, gather as much information on it as possible. You may want to ask your parents, siblings or friends 2r information.

2. You may want to look at significant life events (remember unique events are ones that most likely influence your personality)

3. You may want to examine patterns of your own behavior. (likely developed early)

4. You may want to explore your dominant personality traits and then answer academically the possible origin.

5. Interpret your autobiographical data in light of preferred theories (or theory) of personality or researched facts.


Organization of your paper:

Your Psychoautobiography should include the following:

· Introduction

· Introduce the importance of studying your key life events

· Theoretical perspective. Include information concerning the theory (or theories) and any series of known facts of developmental influences to be used in your Psychoautobiography.

· Explanation

· Implications

· Psychobiography

· Interpret your life (or key life events) chronologically through the lens of your theoretical perspective and academic factual information

· Demonstrate how your behavior throughout your life can be explained academically. Reference theoretical underpinnings of major life events and everyday activities.

· Conclusion

· Tie up loose ends

· Reflect upon assignment (i.e., what did you learn about yourself)

· References

· If you used only your text, include it here, but if you used other sources, include them.


Errors in writing psychobiographies:  Jai's Comments

Most Common Error – Writing a diary entry without any academic facts to support your ideas.

Writing – Many of you do not have the basic writing skills for college level. Please go to the writing lab for assistance before submitting your paper.  There is no option for a rewrite.

Grammar – I often see the incorrect words such as there/their, incorrect verb tense agreement, and sadly sentence fragments.

Use Spell Check

Read out loud your work to another person once you have reread it to yourself at least 3 times to catch your own errors.

The most time intensive part of your paper is the outline.  Get your ideas firmly and tightly organized before writing.  

HELP – I will review your outline with you during my office hours and offer suggestions.  I will not read your entire paper in advance.  Come prepared. 



Helpful websites about psychobiographies:

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Additional information:

Your paper needs to be typed, double-spaced, font size within Word (11), and a minimum of five fully completed pages long, not including your reference sheet or title page. If you do not meet the minimum, your paper will not be accepted. A portion of your grade will depend on organization & writing skills. If you need help with preparation, I recommend you go to the writing center on campus to help you before turning it in. There will be no opportunity for a rewrite.

The first stage is infancy and you are obviously going to have to rely on your family’s account to get valid information. Using Chapter 3 you could look at any abnormal issues related to your birth or development such as delayed speech, premature delivery, cognitive development or you could move on to Chapter 4 and choose a topic related to socioemotional development such as temperament, attachment (Ainsworth), or development of trust (Erickson). I once mentioned in class the power of your birth story and the information it contains related to development, you could use that story to tie in academic facts and theories. Or perhaps you would like to make an assessment using family systems theory and use your birth order as a topic. 

You could take one incident and develop only it but must include factual data for support.  Many students often choose to look only at adolescence and the many effects of that particular stage.  My goal is for you to take a serious look at yourself and hopefully use this assignment for personal growth.  It is intentionally vague because only you know what you need to focus on for personal growth.

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