Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 10, June 2014

June 19, 2014

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 3,012 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month, to celebrate the end of the school year and the start of summer we present a mixed-bag of very interesting links: laughter, dog treats, extroverts on Mars, healthy eating, Legos, Leo Tolstoy and much, much more. We hope that these will inspire you to think about personality and your teaching of personality psychology in new ways over the summer.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can view the current newsletter, comment on newsletters, re-read what you missed in previous newsletters, or search all newsletters by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the “RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Dogs Like Treats, But Here’s What Really Gets Their Tails Wagging

It’s autonomy and competence, according to a study published in “Animal Cognition” and summarized here for “The Huffington Post”. According to the researchers, “The experimental animals in our study were excited not only by the expectation of a reward, but also about realizing that they themselves could control their access to the reward.” Posted June 16, 2014.

3. Extroverts Don’t Belong on Mars

A new study by Suzanne Bell and colleagues and summarized here for “The Atlantic”, finds that Extroverts, with their outgoing personalities, may not be suited for long, isolated voyages. Better go with the strong, silent, Introverts instead. Posted June 13, 2014.

4. The Role of Personality and Psychology in Healthy Eating

Can an understanding of personality and the five factors in particular help people to eat healthier? Patrick Fagan writing for “PsychCentral” thinks so. Posted June 12, 2014.

5. The Power of Our Personal Stories

Margarita Tartakovsky, writing for “PsychCentral” explains how revising our stories and our perceptions of problems can empower us. Posted June 15, 2014.

6. Leo Tolstoy on Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World

Maria Popova for “Brain Pickings” describes how Leo Tolstoy experienced depression and suicidal thoughts which led to “A Confession”, his meditation on the meaning of life. Posted June, 2014.

7. Lego To Launch Female Scientists Series After Online Campaign

According to this news report, “Women in science are taking one tiny, plastic step forward after Lego announced on Tuesday it will launch a series of female scientists and their lab tools. The science-themed project was selected as the latest Lego Ideas winner, and is set to hit shelves in August 2014. The series – notably devoid of pink – includes an astronomer with a telescope, a paleontologist with a dinosaur skeleton and a chemist in a lab.” The project idea was submitted by Dr Ellen Kooijman, a geochemist in Stockholm. In her project proposal, Kooijman wrote: “The motto of these [s]cientists is clear: explore the world and beyond!”. From “The Guardian”, June 4, 2014.

8. Self-Affirmation: A Simple Exercise That Actually Helps

According to research published in the “Annual Review of Psychology” and summarized here for “PsychCentral”, one effective way of affirming our values and strengths is to revise our narratives. Published June 2, 2014.

9. How To Get A Narcissist to Feel Empathy

Narcissists can feel empathy if they put themselves in another person’s shoes according to research by Erica Hepper and colleagues, published in the “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” and summarized here for “PsyBlog”, May 2014.

10. Laugh Often to Live Well

According to “Brain Blogger”: “Humor and mirth offer a multitude of preventive and healing effects and a new study is offering more evidence that laughter has quantifiable benefits for the brain”. Posted May 10, 2014.

11. Dog People vs. Cat People: Who’s More Outgoing? More Intelligent?

“Dog people and cat people really do have different personalities. People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules.” This, according to research by Denise Guastello and colleagues and summarized here for “LiveScience”, May 27, 2014.

12. Hello Stranger

What happens when strangers are enticed to break the unwritten “no eye contact” rule? Positive emotions! Read about this research by Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder in this piece from the “New York Times”, April 25, 2014.

13. Viktor Frankl on the Art of Presence As a Lifeboat in Turbulent Times and What Suffering Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life.

Maria Popova for “Brain Pickings” describes Frankl’s concept of presence which comes from “accepting [one’s] suffering as a task”. Posted March, 2014.

14. Thrill Seeker or Chill Seeker?

Ken Carter designed this online version of the Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale. You can take the 40-item test and the site will tell you how you score overall and on the individual subscales of Boredom Susceptibility, Disinhibition, Experience Seeking, and Thrill & Adventure Seeking. Bonus: respondents’ results are combined to draw a map of sensation seeking scores around the world and within the United States.

15. Dr. Ken Carter

This web page of Clinical psychologist, speaker, and science writer Ken Carter contains many background resources on sensation seeking including audio and videos describing what sensation is and isn’t, links to a sensation seeking quiz, world heat maps of sensation seeing, press releases and more.

16. Resilience: Why It’s Vital and How to Enhance It

From the website: “You can’t always get what you want, but resilience helps you feel good anyways.”. From “Psychology Today”, June 6, 2013.

17. The Obstacle Is the Way

From the website: “the principle of changing poison into medicine explains that we can transform even the most horrific tragedy into the very thing we need to become happier than we currently are”. From “Psychology Today”, May 4, 2014.

18. Is There Hope for the Insecurely Attached?

Yes, according to Erica Djossa writing for “Science of Relationships”. In this piece she describes two categories of secure attachment: continuous secures and earned-secures. Earned-secures started out with an insecure attachment in infancy that developed into a secure attachment style later. This provides evidence for a secure buffering effect in which an insecure individual may come to show more secure attachment behaviors if they are in a relationship with a secure partner.

19. Here’s How Being Neurotic can Make you More Successful

Despite tendencies towards anxiety, depression, and mood swings, people who are high in Neuroticism tend to be strivers, whose proclivity for rumination may pay off in the right environment, like academia or knowledge-based work. From “Business Insider”, May 9, 2014.

20. Favorite Link Revisited: Electronic Texts Available on the Internet

Did you know that you can find electronic articles and writings free on the internet to supplement your personality course? Links to original writings by Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Carl Jung, Kurt Lewin, Niccolò Machiavelli, Abraham Maslow, Henry Murray, Carl Rogers, B.F. Skinner and more including an e-textbook in Personality Psychology by George Boeree of Shippensburg University are available here at PersonalityPedagogy.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 5, January 2014

January 27, 2014

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,930 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Happy New Year! And for many of you, Happy New Semester! We have quite the newsy newsletter this month, starting with a strange and disturbing crime: vandals attempted to steal the ancient Greek urn containing the ashes of Sigmund Freud and his wife Martha Bernays. The vase was damaged in the process and is now kept in a more secure location.

Also, 2013 ended with an exciting and controversial new finding suggesting that men’s and women’s brains are wired differently. But before you let the news go to your head (so to speak) check out the astute critique of the research and interpretation of the evidence by cognitive psychologist Christian Jarrett.

Finally, you may have noticed that we’ve spruced the place up a bit. We are in the process of adding photos and changing the page layout to make the site more readable.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can view the current newsletter, comment on newsletters, re-read what you missed in previous newsletters, or search all newsletters by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the “RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Urn Containing Sigmund Freud’s Ashes Smashed During Theft Attempt

“Staff at the crematorium in Golders Green discovered broken pieces of the urn, which dates from around 300BC and came from Freud’s collection of antiquities, lying on the floor on New Year’s Day, after thieves apparently broke in overnight and smashed it in the attempt to steal it.” The severely damaged urn was subsequently moved to a secure location according to staff at the crematorium. From “The Guardian”, January 15, 2014.

3. Male and Female Brains Wired Differently, Scans Reveal

According to research by Madhura Ingalhalikar and colleagues and summarized here “Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.” Evidence suggests that men’s brains have more connectivity within each hemisphere; women have more connectivity between the hemispheres. From “The Guardian”, December 2, 2013.

4. Getting in a Tangle Over Men’s and Women’s Brain Wiring

Christian Jarrett for “Brain Watch” takes a critical view of the research and the interpretation of the evidence suggesting that men’s and women’s brains are wired differently. Posted December 4, 2013.

5. Is Narcissism Essential for Success?

The Association for Psychological Science reports the results of a study which suggests that “While narcissists are more likely to garner leadership positions, there was no evidence of a link between narcissism and a leader’s success . . . the poorest leaders are those with either extremely high or extremely low levels of narcissism.” January 17, 2014.

6. B. F. Skinner at the APA Annual Convention 1990

“Behavioral psychologist Dr. B. F. Skinner presented this keynote address at the American Psychological Association’s 1990 Annual Convention. In Dr. Skinner’s last public appearance, he expresses his belief that the proper role for psychological science is the analysis of behavior. He speaks about the path psychology has followed over the years, from early introspection methods to three kinds of variation and selection, including natural selection, the evolution of operant conditioning, and the evolution of culture.” August 10, 1990. (in English with Spanish subtitles). Runs 20 minutes, 56 seconds.

7. Nicholas Claus: Big Five for the Big Guy

Heather A. Haas wrote this humorous “case study” of Santa Claus using the big five. Find out whether the big guy is high or low on Extraversion Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness and the “evidence” she used to make her judgements in “Dialogue”, the newsletter of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, volume 19 (1), Spring 2004, p. 24-25, 21.

8. Parents Sinking Some Kids With Their Puffed-up Praise, Study Finds

Research by Eddie Brummelman and colleagues suggests that “Moms and dads who bathe kids in exaggerated flattery to boost low self-esteem are stifling the very children they hope to elevate, a new study shows.” From “NBC News”, January 3, 2014.

9. Should Every Kid Get a Trophy Just for Participating?

SportzEdge.com presents this discussion by their commentators on whether children ought to get a trophy just for participating. Presents some interesting ideas to get your students thinking. Runs 7 minutes, 11 seconds.

10. Editing Your Life’s Stories Can Create Happier Endings

This piece from the NPR program “All Things Considered” uses the example of the author Lulu Miller’s nephew to illustrate the work of psychologist Tim Wilson. “Wilson has been studying how small changes in a person’s own stories and memories can help with emotional health. He calls the process “story editing” And he says small tweaks in the interpretation of life events can reap huge benefits.” From January 1, 2014. Includes a link to listen to the story, which runs 8 minutes, 54 second.

11. The Meaningful Life is a Road Worth Traveling

“A Stanford research project explored the key differences between lives of happiness and meaningfulness. While the two are similar, dramatic differences exist – and one should not underestimate the power of meaningfulness. “The quest for meaning is a key part of what makes us human,” ” Jennifer Aaker and her colleagues concluded. From the “Stanford News”, January 1, 2014.

12. A Case Study Using CBT

The Australian Institute of Professional Counselors presents this excerpt from a counseling session of an actual client to illustrate the four basic steps of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: identify the automatic thought, question the validity of the automatic thought, and challenge core beliefs. Posted March 22, 2010.

13. CBT in Action: A Case Study

Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a counseling psychologist, illustrates how the use of Daily Mood Sheets can help clients see the the feelings and emotions caused by a triggering event. He presents this case study of “Jodie” and how she was able to recognize her problematic thought patterns and where they came from through therapy.

14. Psychologists Put the ‘Selfie’ On the Couch

Psychologists Lisa Obran and Andrew Przybylski explore both the positive (e.g., “self exploration and identity experimentation” in the service of relatedness needs and identity formation) and the negative (e.g.,”indulg[ing] in a narcissistic activity”) sides of selfies in this video for the #BBCtrending program. (runs 1 minute, 29 seconds).

15. Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

“When a team of scientists in Finland asked people to map out where they felt different emotions on their bodies, they found that the results were surprisingly consistent, even across cultures.” From NPR Health News, December 30, 2013.

16. The Orchid Effect: How Relationships and Genetics Influence Your Health

Research by S. C. Suth and R. F. Krueger, published in “Psychological Science” found evidence for a genotype-environment interaction or “an orchid effect” in which “really bad marriages are capable of turning on (and even amplifying) any genetic predispositions one might have to experiencing poor health. But really good marriages may help “good health” genes thrive more so than they would have otherwise.” From the “Science of Relationships” blog, December 2, 2013.

17. Fearful ‘Memories’ Passed Between Generations Through Genetic Code

Jeremy Dean of PsyBlog summarizes a study by Dias and Ressler (2013) which found evidence that mice who were conditioned to become afraid of a particular smell passed that fear onto their offspring. Could this transgenerational genetic response happen in humans? That’s the big question. Published December 5, 2013.

18. Missing “Brake in the Brain” Can Trigger Anxiety

According to research published in the journal “Cerebral Cortex” and summarized here “social phobias and fear can be triggered in the brain [by] a missing inhibitory connection or missing “brake” in the brain.” “Science Daily”, December 4, 2013.

19. Favorite Link Revisited: Sigmund Freud’s Voice

Toward the end of his life, Freud was asked by the BBC to provide a brief statement about his decades-long career in psychoanalysis. He offered a succinct overview in 1938 which you can hear for yourself in his voice: “I started my professional activity as a neurologist trying to bring relief to my neurotic patients. Under the influence of an older friend and by my own efforts, I discovered some important and new facts about the unconscious in psychic life, the role of instinctual urges and so on. Out of these findings grew a new science, Psycho-Analysis, a part of psychology and a new method of treatment of the neuroses. I had to pay heavily for this bit of good luck. People did not believe in my facts and thought my theories unsavoury. Resistance was strong and unrelenting. In the end I succeeded in acquiring pupils and building up an International Psycho-Analytic Association. But this struggle is not yet over. Sigmund Freud.” (runs 2 minutes)


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 3, November, 2013

November 30, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-fifth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,905 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

As we in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving by reflecting on all that we are thankful for, it only seems fitting that we here at Personality Pedagogy share our gratitude with you. This month we are particularly grateful for new scales to add to our extensive online collection of legitimate personality questionnaires, Google (and their “doodle” honoring Herman Rorschach in particular), selfies, a certain fox who says things, and, of course, you, our loyal readers.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can view the current newsletter, comment on newsletters, re-read what you missed in previous newsletters, or search all newsletters by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the “RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Scholarly Reflections On The ‘Selfie’

Oxford dictionaries choose ’selfie’ as their Word of the Year 2013. To celebrate, several scholars from different fields shared their thoughts selfies including psychologists Robert Arkin and Mark R. Leary.

3. Psychoanalytic Perspective Illustrated: Bless You Hawkeye

Jill Payne, George Mason University via the PsychTeach discussion list, suggested that the episode of the TV series M*A*S*H titled “Bless You Hawkeye” (1981) “nicely illustrates some Freudian constructs. The tone of the episode is serious–not derisive–and emotional as well.” In this episode (Season 9, Episode 17), Hawkeye develops a sneeze, which cannot be explained by an allergy or other medical condition. Eventually, the psychiatrist, recurring character Sidney Freedman, is brought in to talk to him and they discover the root of his problem lies in an event from childhood triggered by a specific smell. The episode illustrates Freudian concepts such as reaction formation, psychosomatic symptoms, importance of childhood memories, slips of the tongue, repressed memory, stream of consciousness, and talk therapy. The entire episode runs about 24 minutes, but you could cut the first two scenes (before the Psychiatrist interviews Hawkeye) and the final scene (the Poker game) if time is an issue. If the link above does not work for you, try searching for it elsewhere on the Internet. See a synopsis of the episode here: http://aftermash.blogspot.com/2009/11/episode-211-bless-you-hawkeye.html.

4. Openness to Experience and Creative Achievement

Summarizes research by Scott Barry Kaufman, identifying four factors of Openness/Intellect: Affective Engagement, Aesthetic Engagement, Intellectual Engagement, and Explicit Cognitive Ability. Each factor relates slightly differently to creative achievement in arts and sciences. He concludes that “These results support the need to separate different forms of cognitive engagement when trying to predict creative achievement. Different forms of engagement are related to different modes of information processing. What’s more, people differ in their drive to engage in various aspects of the human experience, and these drives are related to different forms of creative achievement.” From “Scientific American”, November 25, 2013.

5. The Evolution of Beauty

Back in 1959 geneticist Dmitry Belyaev started an experiment in Russia in which he bred silver foxes to make them tamer, and thus easier to raise for their prized fur. However, selecting for friendly behavior had the unanticipated result of also selecting for certain facial features. The result is that the same hormones which regulate behavior also regulates physical development. But even more amazing is the implication that beauty and an even temperament and friendliness also co-occur in humans. Read all about the findings in this fascinating article from “The Economist”, November 16, 2013.

6. The Paradoxical Traits Of Resilient People

Entrepreneur Faisal Hoque, writing for “Leadership Now” argues that resilient people, those who are able to bend but not break during adversity, possess the paradoxical traits of control, acceptance, and using adversity to change for the better.

7. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS-X)

The PANAS-X, contains 60 items measuring general positive and negative affect and 11 specific affects including fear, sadness, guilt, hostility, shyness, fatigue, surprise, joviality, self-assurance, attentiveness, and serenity. This link is to the manual by David Watson and Lee Anna Clark (1994). Opens in PDF format. Also available in a Japanese version here: http://www2.psychology.uiowa.edu/faculty/Clark/J-PANAS.pdf

8. The Gratitude Questionnaire — Six Item Form (GQ-6)

“The GQ-6 is a short, self-report measure of the disposition to experience gratitude. Participants answer 6 items on a 1 to 7 scale (1 = ‘strongly disagree’, 7 = ‘strongly agree’). Two items are reverse-scored to inhibit response bias. The GQ-6 has good internal reliability, with alphas between .82 and .87, and there is evidence that the GQ-6 is positively related to optimism, life satisfaction, hope, spirituality and religiousness, forgiveness, empathy and prosocial behavior, and negatively related to depression, anxiety, materialism and envy. The GQ-6 takes less than 5 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit.” From McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The Grateful Disposition: A conceptual and Empirical Topography. “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82″, 112-127.

9. Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT) Revised and Short Forms

According to Watkins et al. (2003), “A grateful person would not feel deprived in life, they would have a sense of abundance […] acknowledge the contribution of others to their success and well-being, […] appreciate life’s simple pleasures, and […] acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude. Their conceptualisation of gratitude was shown to correlate with measures of subjective well-being and positive affect. The revised GRAT consists of 44 items measuring these characteristics. The short-form GRAT consists of 16 items. Both scales are rated on a nine point scale from I strongly disagree to I strongly agree with the statement”. From Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationship with subjective well-being. “Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 31″, 431-452.

10. Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT)

Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationship with subjective well-being. “Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 31″, 431-452. Opens in PDF format.

11. Herman Rorschach’s 129 Birthday Google Doodle

On November 8, 2013, “Google” honored Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach with a shape-changing doodle reminiscent of the famous personality test with his name (and controversial validity and reliability).

12. Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences.

Maintained by the National University of Ireland, Galway, this site is “designed to be a repository for instruments that are used to collect data from across the social sciences. Please use the site to discover instruments you can use in you own research. We now have more than 500 instruments concerned with a wide range of topics (e.g. autism, health, pain). You can use the search function above to search the database using pre-identified key words, or generate your own terms to search the instrument titles.” Researchers are welcome to submit any scales, questionnaires, and instruments that they have developed in an easy to use wiki-like format. See the site for details.

13. Sense of Belonging Increases Meaningfulness of Life

“[B]elonging to a group provided meaning over and above the value of others or the help they could provide. It’s more than just bonding, therefore, but really feeling like you are fitting in with others which is associated with higher levels of meaningfulness. Just the reverse effect has been shown in previous studies. People who feel excluded from social groups tend to feel that life has less meaning”, according to new research by Lambert et al. (2013) and summarized here in “PsyBlog”, November 25, 2013.

14. 10 Things You Should Know About Goals

“Your brain is a goal-setting machine, and research is illuminating why”, according to this article in “Psychology Today”, October 22, 2013.

15. You’re So Self-Controlling

Is our sense of time, not our lack of willpower, the real issue? While we generally think that delay of gratification is a good thing, research on decision making by Joseph Kable and Joseph McGuire suggests that since the timing of real-world events is often unpredictable, giving up can be a rational response to a time frame that is off. From “The New York Times”, November 16, 2013, by Maria Konnikova.

16. Favorite Link Revisited: Five-Ful Envelopes

In this activity, by Barbara Frederickson, participants explore the positive emotions of hopeful, joyful, peaceful, playful, and thankful, and brainstorm ways of increasing the frequency and intensity of these positive emotions in their lives. From the January 2010 issue of the Thiagi Gameletter (Seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants, and managers, see their website: http://www.thiagi.com/).


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 7, March, 2013

March 26, 2013

Hello and welcome to the seventy-ninth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,752 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

One-hundred and eight years ago today psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl was born in Austria. This would be a good time to reflect upon the lessons on finding meaning Frankl presented in his moving book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Our first link is to a very moving summary of the book in words and pictures by Maria Popova for her “Brain Pickings” blog.

There are two sides to every story, and this month we present you with the pros and cons of a new initiative endorsed by President Obama this month: The Brain Activity Map. The goal is that neuroscientists will join their efforts to map areas of the brain the way scientists decoded the human genome a few years back. But is it even possible to identify all of the areas of brain function, and is localization even the best way to understand brain functioning? See the links below for more on this controversial proposal.

Speaking of the other side to stories, check out the softer side of B. F. Skinner. Thanks to Michael Britt of “The Psych Files” we have links and sound clips of Skinner discussing compassion, music, a love of reading and other topics. Britt argues that Skinner and his theories are more complicated than you might have first thought.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can view the current newsletter, comment on newsletters, re-read what you missed in previous newsletters, or search all newsletters by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the “RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Happy Birthday, Viktor Frankl: Timeless Wisdom on the Human Search for Meaning

In recognition of Viktor Frankl’s birthday, science writer Maria Popova summarizes Frankl’s theory and how we create meaning out of purposeful work, love, and courage in the face of difficulty, using excerpts from his work and photos of Frankl and others.

3. Brain Activity Map Proponents Explain Goals of Blood Neuroscience

Science writer Stephanie Pappas explains “Neuroscientists are pushing for a major project that would map the activity of the brain, potentially illuminating the causes of depression, schizophrenia and other major mental health disorders” in this article from “LiveScience”, March 7, 2013.

4. What’s Wrong With the Brain Activity Map Proposal

“With the president suggesting a multibillion-dollar neuroscience effort, a leading neuroscientist explains the deep conceptual problems with plans to record all the brain’s neurons” in this article by Partha Mitra in “Scientific American”, from March 5, 2013.

5. What Was B.F. Skinner Really Like?

According to Michael Britt of “The Psych Files” podcast, “Would you be surprised to learn that B.F. Skinner was a very likable guy and that you may actually be very much in agreement with his ideas? Many people who study psychology have a negative impression of Skinner. Well, I’m about to challenge those impressions by presenting a side of Skinner you probably haven’t been exposed to. In these sound bytes you’ll hear his ideas about learning to play music, about discovery, having fun and becoming the most that you can be.” From episode 191 posted March 11, 2013 (runs 32 minutes, 35 seconds).

6. Skinner on Compassionate Behavior

Michael Britt of “The Psych Files” podcast presents this audio clip of B.F. Skinner on compassion: “Listen to B. F. Skinner as he explains how he believes we can get people to be more compassionate as they deal with old people, prisoners, psychiatric patients and the developmentally delayed (which in his day were referred to commonly as ‘retardates’). Note that he is more in favor of rewarding positive behavior than in implementing ‘aversive controls’ also note that he speaks of how important knowledge is in treating people with these needs” (runs 2 minutes, 31 seconds).

7. Skinner on Learning to Love Reading

Michael Britt of “The Psych Files” podcast presents this audio clip of B. F. Skinner talking about reading. “In another surprisingly “humanistic” interview with B.F. Skinner he discusses what he thinks we can do to make learning to read fun. ‘Fun’? and ‘Skinner’? Yup. There are more sides to Skinner than we sometimes think about after we’ve had only a basic course in psychology” (runs 3 minutes and 31 seconds).

8. Skinner on Learning to Play Music

Michael Britt of “The Psych Files” podcast presents this audio clip of B.F. Skinner talking about learning to play music. As Britt explains, Skinner “has, unfortunately, suffered from a bad reputation. Listen to how he explains his own experiences learning to play the piano and his suggestions for how children might come to love playing music if we introduce it into their lives correctly. If you didn’t know it was his voice you probably wouldn’t guess this was him speaking” (runs 1 minute, 40 seconds).

9. Gender Trouble

Summarizes the work of Judith Butler who argues that gender identity is a social construction.

10. The Bechdel Test For Media Bia

According to the Feminist Frequency website by media critic Anita Sarkeesian: “The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’ in 1985″. The test is: (1) Does the film have at least two [named or otherwise central character] women in it, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a man? (runs 2 minutes, 3 seconds). You and your students can use this test to see how popular movies, especially those winning Oscars or other top awards, fare. See here for a discussion of similar tests for other types of bias in the media.

11. Humanistic Theory and Therapy Applied to the Psychotic Individual

Ann Reitan describes how therapy in general, and humanistic therapy in particular, can be helpful to a psychotic person. Focusing on the theory and techniques of Carl Rogers, and especially his notions of conditions of worth and unconditional positive regard, she describes how therapy could help a person with schizophrenia.

12. The Stories That Bind Us

Writer Bruce Feiler describes research which suggests that the stories families tell about themselves inspire resilience in future generations. From “The New York Times”, March 15, 2013.

13. How You Can Be a Better Storyteller

Eric Barker, of the “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” blog presents this interview with UCLA Film School Professor Howard Suber. Along the way, Suber reveals the power of a narrative to define — and change — our lives. Posted March 4, 2013.

14. Can People’s Personalities Change?

“Instead of personality being set in stone at 30, now evidence is emerging that there is some change. In fact people don’t give exactly the same answers to personality questionnaires at different times in their lives” according to research by Boyce et al., published in “Social Indicators Research” and summarized here in “PsyBlog”, February 25, 2013.

15. World of Warcraft: Why People Play is Linked to their Personality

John Grohol reviews research by Graham and Gosling (2013) which found that people play “World of Warcraft” for different reasons linked to their personality and that the experience of playing is different for people depending on their levels of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Posted March 18, 2013.

16. Favorite Link Revisited: “I Was Not A Lab Rat”

Deborah Skinner’s essay about growing up as the baby in the box.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 5, January, 2013

January 26, 2013

Hello and welcome to the seventy-seventh Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,725 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Happy New Year! Happy New Month! And for many of you, Happy New Semester! As much as I hate the darkness of winter here on the East Coast, I do relish the chance to start again with new beginnings. If you are like me, then you will welcome this month’s newsletter filled with new things to refresh and renew your personality psychology classes.

Speaking of happy, we’ve got a bit of a debate of sorts happening in this issue. Check out three of our newest links suggesting that money does buy happiness —  but that there’s more to life than being happy, and judge for yourself.

This month marks 20 years since the first fMRI study was published. To celebrate, the APS journal Perspectives on Psychological Science features a special section in which leading scientists reflect on the contributions this brain scanning technique has made to our understanding of human thought. While not strictly related to personality, the reflections are nonetheless interesting. Check it out here.

Special thanks goes out to Jon Mueller for the link to the Easy Bake Oven controversy (see below). Be sure to check out his newsletter and website if you are interested in teaching social psychology.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can view the current newsletter, comment on newsletters, re-read what you missed in previous newsletters, or search all newsletters by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the “RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Maslow’s Theory of Self-Actualization, More or Less Actualized

Psychologist Ann Reitan reflects on Abraham Maslow’s notion of self-actualization. First, she explains what it is, then she muses on what it means for different people at different times in their lives, drawing on the work of Eric Erikson. Finally, she suggests that self-actualizing people may find meaning at lower levels of the hierarchy, such as when their needs are being threatened. She gives examples of people who she believed were actualizing while facing death (e.g., Viktor Frankl), fearing for their safety (e.g., Nelson Mandela), losing their freedom (e.g., Ghandi), and experiencing mental illness (e.g., Sylvia Plath). From “Brain Blogger”, January 8, 2013.

3. There’s More to Life Than Being Happy

According to Viktor Frankl, “It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness,” and yet Americans and American psychology are obsessed with happiness. Meaningfulness and happiness are not the same thing, and this article draws on new work by Roy Baumeister, Kathleen Vohs, Jennifer Aaker & Emily Garbinsky (2013) to understand the difference. From “The Atlantic”, January 9, 2013. Their forthcoming paper in the “Journal of Positive Psychology” is available here: http://tinyurl.com/b8mbayk (opens in PDF format).

4. Yes, Money Does Buy Happiness: 6 Lessons from the Newest Research on Income and Well-Being

A summary of 6 observations from the paper “The New Stylized Facts about Income and Subjective Well-Being” by Daniel W. Sacks, Betsey Stevenson, and Justin Wolfers. From “The Atlantic,” January 10, 2013.

5. Implicit Assessment of The Five Factors

Researches have hit upon an implicit way of measuring personality, the “semantic misattribution procedure”. “In this initial study, and two more involving nearly 300 participants … participants’ scores on this test for conscientiousness, neuroticism and extraversion correlated with explicit measures of the same traits. The new implicit test also did a better job than explicit measures alone of predicting relevant behaviours, such as church attendance, perseverance on a lab task, and punctuality. The implicit scores for extraversion showed good consistency over 6 months. Finally, the new implicit test showed fewer signs of being influenced by social desirability concerns, as compared with traditional explicit measures.” From “BPS Research Digest”, December 13, 2012.

6. Assessing Personality via Social Media Postings: TruthSerum.com

TruthSerum.com claims to assess personality though people’s social media posts. Users can analyze their own personality and see how they compare to Barak Obama, Mitt Romney, Abraham Lincoln, the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and some 135 other famous people on Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy (aka, Psychoticism).

7. You Can’t See It, But You’ll be a Different Person in 10 Years

“No matter how old people are, they seem to believe that who they are today is essentially who they’ll be tomorrow.” according to the End of History Illusion. According to researcher Daniel Gilbert, “Life is a process of growing and changing, and what our results suggest is that growth and change really never stops … despite the fact that at every age from 18 to 68, we think it’s pretty much come to a close.” You can listen to the original segment and comment by Gilbert here, on the NPR website (runs 3 minutes, 58 seconds) or read a more in-depth summary from the “New York Times” here.

8. Sexism-Free Easy Bake Oven On the Way

Due to the protests started by 13-year old McKenna Pope (here) and backed by big-name chefs including Bobby Flay, and the general public, Hasbro, the makers of the class Easy-Bake, oven will launch a new line of gender-neutral ovens that will feature gender-neutral colors and more boys in their advertisements.

9. Activities Guide: Teaching Ethics in the Introduction to Psychology Course

The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce this new resource for teachers by Ana Ruiz and Judith Warchal of Alvernia University. “This 23-page guide presents 17 activities related to ethics for each chapter in a typical Introduction to Psychology text as it integrates the APA Learning Goals and Outcomes for ethics into that course.  For each chapter, the activity lists the student learning outcome, instructions for conducting the activity, materials needed, approximate time required, and a method of assessment.” Activities most relevant to the personality class include APA ethics code jeopardy, research methods, personality testing, and debating controversial topics.

10. Who’s Gay On TV? Dads, Journalists, Investigators, And Footmen

Presents an interesting account of the various portrayals of gays and lesbians found on TV today. Though the number of gays and lesbians has increased in recent years, for some, the portrayals may not be as realistic as they could be. Published January 3, 2013. (also available in audio running 7 minutes, 45 seconds).

11. Gorillas, Watermelons and Sperm: The Greatest Genomes Sequenced in 2012

Scientists identified the genetic codes of some of the world’s most fascinating animals and plants. Check out what they found in this online photo gallery of 8 stunning images posted by “Popular Science”, January 2, 2013.

12. The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

A good summary of 12 common flaws in our thinking including the confirmation bias, gambler’s fallacy, neglecting probability, the current moment bias, the anchoring effect, and more.

13. A Chart of Emotions that Have No Names in the English Language

Designer Pei-Ying Lin has created interesting conceptual charts of emotions including one for emotions that have no names in the English language and another for new emotions invented by the Internet.

14. Neurotic People Might Have Better Health Outcomes When They are High in Conscientiousness.

People who are high in Neuroticism and Conscientiousness experience lower levels of Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a biomarker for inflammation and chronic disease; lower body-mass index scores; and fewer diagnosed chronic health conditions. From “Prevention News”, November 2012.

15. Darwin Was Wrong About Dating

New research is beginning to question the long-accepted evolutionary explanation for various mating behaviors. Read about some of the alternative explanations and new data on sex differences in mating strategies, selectiveness, and desire for casual sex. From “The New York Times,” January 12, 2013.

16. Favorite Link Revisited: Careers in Psychology

From the website: “Are you preparing yourself for a career in psychology? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We understand your enthusiasm and eagerness to get started in a growing and lucrative field like psychology. However, we also know how difficult it can be to get started in this field, which is exactly why we’re here.” The site features background information on careers, degree paths, programs, internships, licensure information, interviews with psychology professionals, and more.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 10, June, 2011

June 21, 2011

Hello and welcome to the fifty-eighth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,256 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Happy Birthday to Personality Pedagogy! Five years ago this month we started a little wiki mostly to have a repository of all the cool and useful links we needed for our personalty class . . . and now we’ve become the top place on the web for resources for the teaching of personality psychology. We thank you, our loyal readers from all over the world, for your continued support and look forward to many more happy years.

This month, in the spirit of a good circus, we have ”a little something for everyone” as the great showman P. T. Barnum used to say. From evolution to the sensitivity, to longevity and brain myths, we have it all this month — including some videos illustrating the Barnum Effect.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can read old newsletters, comment on newsletters, view the current newsletter or re-read what you missed in last month’s newsletter by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the ”RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino ”at” arcadia ”dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than ”Personality Pedagogy”.

2. This is Psychology

The American Psychological Association presents this series of brief videos illustrating how psychological research can be applied to a broad range of issues and challenges such as bullying, children’s mental health, and other issues of concern to the general public.

3. The Secret to Longevity: It’s About Character, Not Just Calisthenics

Science writer Melanie A. Greenberg summarizes the results of Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin’s reanalysis of the Terman data identifying the psychosocial predictors of longevity, including strong social ties. From ”Psychology Today”, April 8, 2011.

4. Top Ten Myths About the Brain

Smithsonian.com asks ”When it comes to this complex, mysterious, fascinating organ, what do — and don’t — we know?” in this article by Laura Helmuth published May 20, 2011.

5. Women Warriors Show Resilience Similar to Men, Psychological Study Shows

”Women service members who experience combat are apparently as resilient as the men they serve alongside, according to a study” by Dawne Vogt and colleagues and summarized in ”Science Daily”, June 7, 2011.

6. When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?

According to Smithsonian.com writer Jeanne Maglaty, ”every generation brings a new definition of masculinity and femininity that manifests itself in children’s dress”. Read about the vicissitudes of gender-appropriate clothing and color and check out the fascinating slide show of examples. Originally posted April 8, 2011.

7. Hi, My Name’s Sarah And I’m An ENTP

Sarah explains what it’s like to find out her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator scores and her interpretation of them in this blog entry from ”3 Daily Quarks”, June 6, 2011.

8. What is Evolutionary Psychology?

Daniel J. Kruger, makes his book Kruger, D.J. (2002). ”What is Evolutionary Psychology?” (Ann Arbor, MI: Altralogical Press) available online. Topics include adaptation, inclusive fitness, kin selection, altruism, sexual selection, parental investment, and more.

9. Viktor Frankl on Behaviorism

Frankl discusses his theory of logotherapy and Skinner’s theory of behaviorism and the impact of each on human behavior. Excerpted from a longer film (6 minutes, 46 seconds).

10. BIS, BAS and the Highly Sensitive Person

Summarizes theory and research on the BIS and the BAS and how these two systems may account for the experience of people who are particularly sensitive to sensory input.

11. The Highly Sensitive Person: A Self-test

Based on the work of Elaine Aron, this self-test helps people to see if they are one of the 15-20% of the population who are particularly sensitive to sensory input related to BAS and BIS functioning.

12. James Randi Explains the Art of Cold Reading

Alleged psychics use the cold reading to impress an audience and gain their trust. However, when put to the test, as skeptic, magician, and challenger of paranormal claims James Randi has done, their abilities are more art than science.

13. The Barnum Effect

John Stossel, co-anchor of the ABC news program 20/20, questions the accuracy of astrology, and amazes an audience with a demonstration of how false astrology readings are believable when they include general statements that could apply to anybody (2 minutes, 24 seconds).

14. Derren Brown on Astrology

The British illusionist, mentalist, and skeptic Derren Brown conducts a demonstration with audiences in the UK, US, and Spain, to illustrate how the Barnum Effect can lead people to believe psychic readings (8 minutes, 24 seconds).

15. The Cold Reading Technique

Denis Dutton explains the cold reading technique, the Barnum Effect, and analyzes a spirit medium’s performance, in this paper originally printed in (1988) ”Experientia”, Volume 44, 326-332.

16. Favorite Link Revisited: The Barnum Effect

An online personality test which gives false, but easily believable feedback, using the Barnum Effect. Take this test to remind yourself why good personality tests should provide specific feedback…and why horoscopes are so much fun!


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 3, November, 2010

November 24, 2010

Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 3, November, 2010

Hello and welcome to the fifty-first Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,148 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month, in addition to the other things we are grateful for, we are giving thanks to Alan Reifman of Texas Tech University, who created a Questionnaire Compendium. We proudly feature the link to his website below, even as we shamelessly stole links to round out our collection of personality tests.

This month we continue our new feature to the newsletter: Favorite Links from Personality Pedagogy. In this feature we’ll be calling your attention to some of our favorite links from the site that are worthy of a second look.

We wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a restful weekend to follow!

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can read old newsletters, comment on newsletters, view the current newsletter or re-read what you missed in last month’s newsletter by checking out our blog at http://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (”Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the ”RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino ”at” arcadia ”dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities

Excellent summary of the surprising finding that while siblings growing up in the same family are more similar than two kids picked at random, they are ”not much more” similar, according to Robert Plomin. Describes the three current explanations behind this finding: The principle of divergence, non-shared environment, and exaggeration. Story by Alix Spiegel for NPR, November 22, 2010. Also available in audio (8 minutes, 48 seconds).

3. Resurrecting The Czar

Genetic testing of DNA is helping to the solve the mystery of what really happened to Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children. Learn about how science is being used to solve one of history’s enduring mysteries in article from the November 2010 ”Smithsonian” magazine.

4. 3 Core Needs: Satisfy Them and You’ll Be Happy

Joe Robinson summarizes how to achieve happiness according to Rich Ryan and Ed Deci’s Self-Determination Theory. Having our needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness met leads to a host of positive outcomes, including happiness. From ”The Huffington Post”, November 15, 2010.

5. Psychopaths’ Brains Wired to Seek Rewards No Matter the Consequences

”The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain’s reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals”, according to research by Francis S. Collins and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, March 15, 2010.

6. Loneliness Adds to Rate of Blood Pressure Increase

”Chronic feelings of loneliness take a toll on blood pressure over time, causing a marked increase after four years”, according to a study by Louise Hawkley and summarized in ”Science Daily” March 19, 2010.

7. Mother-Son Relationship Key to Emotional Development

”Children, especially boys, who have insecure attachments to their mothers in the early years have more behaviour problems later in childhood”, according to research by Pasco Fearon and summarized in ”Science Daily”, March 29, 2010.

8. Exploration in Toddlers Activated by Fathers

”Fathers give toddlers more leeway and that allows them to actively explore their environments, according to a new study on parent-child attachment” by Daniel Paquette and summarized in ”Science Daily”, April 1, 2010.

9. Likert Scales: Dispelling the Confusion

John S. Uebersax wrote this overview of the uses and misuses of the term ”Likert Scale” to clear up confusion. Includes examples.

10. Create Your Own Crossword Puzzle

This website lets you enter vocabulary words and definitions which it then arranges into a crossword puzzle. Excellent way to help students review material and have some fun at the same time. Even better: Have students create their own puzzles.

11. Questionnaire Compendium

Alan Reifman, Texas Tech University, created this extensive listing of links to questionnaires used in Social-Personality psychology where ”(a) the full instrument is shown, and (b) the instrument was put on the web by the person who created the instrument, thus ensuring that the instrument was intended to be put into the public domain”.

12. Black Identity

Robert Sellers, director of the African American Racial Identity Lab at the University of Michigan, provides measures used in their research including The Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity (MMRI), The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI) and The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity-teen (MIBI-t).

13. African American Racial Identity Lab

Provides an overview of the work of Robert Sellers and the African American Racial Identity Lab at the University of Michigan. Includes presentations, publications, measures, and descriptions of current research studies on Identity Development, Racial Socialization, Racial Discrimination, Identity and Well-being and more. Most research reports are available in PDF format on the site.

14. Defense Mechanism Manual

According to researcher Phebe Cramer: ”The Defense Mechanism Manual was developed to assess the use of three defenses—denial, projection, and identification—as revealed in stories told to standard TAT and CAT cards.”

15. Meaning in Life Questionnaire

Michael F. Steger, director of the Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life explains ”The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) is a 10-item measure of the Presence of Meaning in Life, and the Search for Meaning in Life.”

16. A Favorite Link Revisited: How the Grinch Stole Psychology Class

After watching the 25 minute video of the classic Christmas story by Dr. Seuss, students analyze the Grinch’s personality and change of heart using theories and terms from personality including Freud, Adler, Horney, Maslow, and Rogers. A great end-of-the-semester review.

17. A Favorite Link Revisited BONUS: The Psych Elves

Michael Britt, of the Psych Files Podcast, had the temerity to turn these three personality psychologists into Elves. Can you identify them?


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