This is the first course in the Research Master programme: Individual Differences and Assessment and aims to set the theoretical foundation of understanding individual differences. The focus is on providing a solid basis in understanding individual differences in the areas of personality, intelligence and motivation. The course starts with a general discussion of the individual difference perspective and the properties of good scientific theories. Following this, classical as well as theories that form the areas of personality, intelligence and motivation are reviewed. Finally, integrative theories are presented, and novel developments are discussed.