Integration Course

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Personal Theory:  Sample Paragraph on Individual Differences

Dr. Brian Campbell


Below, please find the section of the “Note Taking” form I provided dealing specifically with the topic of Individual Differences.  This is followed by a sample paragraph I have provided dealing with individual differences with respect to the theory of CCBT.  Feel free to use this paragraph, verbatim, for your own Personal Theory Paper.  When writing your paper, you would then follow this paragraph with another paragraph (or two) where you compare/contrast the other authors you have studied with respect to the topic of individual differences.

Note:  Some of the authors you have studied may not deal specifically with this topic.  Also, please not that it is not necessary to use citations in the sample paragraph I provided below.  However, you would use citations in the subsequent paragraph(s) dealing with the authors you have read.


Individual Differences


  • Beliefs differ from one individual to another
  • No two people have the exact same set of beliefs
  • Not everyone believes the same thing
  • Different nationalities hold different sets of beliefs.
  • Different races and cultures hold different sets of core beliefs
  • Gender (male/female) also affects core beliefs that individuals develop (are taught) about themselves and the world around them
  • Individual differences in beliefs result from different experiences in the world


Is the author’s theory equally applicable to all individuals, regardless of race, gender, culture?

Does the author’s theory take into account individual differences in life experiences?

Do treatment techniques promoted by the author take into account individual differences?  Are they tailored to meet the person’s individual needs?


  • Adams:

·   Anderson:

  • Backus & Chapian:
  • Cloud & Townsend:
  • Crabb:
  • Hart:
  • Wilson:




Sample Paragraph by Dr. Campbell

 Individual Differences

            Why is it that some individuals develop mental health problems but others do not? CCBT recognizes that individual differences in psychological well-being result from a complex interplay of nature (biology) and nurture (learning). However, the main focus of CCBT is on the individual’s unique experiences in life (i.e., nurture). It is through these experiences that individuals acquire (i.e., learn) a unique set of beliefs that can result in mental health, or mental illness—as well as a wide variety of outcomes that lie in between these two extremes.

            Thus, according to CCB T, individual differences in mental health reflect individual differences in experience that shape and mold a person’s unique set of beliefs. The particular belief set that is learned will differ from culture to culture, and from family to family. If the individual is exposed to “unhealthy” beliefs (or “lies”), he or she may develop mental illness. In contrast, if an individual is taught “healthy” beliefs, then the result will be mental health.

          Follow the above paragraphs with a paragraph (or two) where you compare/contrast the authors you have studied with regard to how their theories conceptualize individual differences.  Note:  some authors may not specifically conceptualize or write about this concept.