Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 1, September, 2010


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 1, September, 2010

Hello and welcome to the forty-ninth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,122 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

The big news for this month is that we are celebrating the 4th anniversary of this newsletter. In that time, our mailing list has grown to nearly 200 subscribers and even more read us online at our newsletter archive blog ( We thank you all for making us one of your favorite places on the web to find materials for teaching personality psychology.

This month, we found a cute, if questionable study, conducted by a 17-year old winner of a BBC contest. Perhaps her survey of exploring why people choose their Facebook profile photos will inspire your students to conduct studies of their own.

Speaking of Facebook, thanks to John Rust, director of the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge University who called our attention to the work of the institute. They have been collecting personality data from over 2 million (!) users of Facebook and will gladly collaborate with other researchers, including grads and undergrads, on research projects related to their dataset. Check out their site below.

If you have a suggestion of an article, summary, exercise, video or anything which you think may be helpful to others, please drop us an e-mail. This month we thank Jon Mueller, John Rust, and two anonymous commenters on our newsletter archive for their suggestions.

Alas, it has come to our attention that the link for signing up for our newsletter has been having problems since July. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused potential subscribers. We think we have the problem solved, but just in case, just drop us an e-mail and we can add you to our mailing list ”by hand”.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues. 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 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 top right.


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Psychometrics Centre

The University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre conducts research on personality including the five factor model, life satisfaction, self-monitoring, and other constructs collecting data via  Facebook application. They are willing to collaborate and share their data with other researchers (including grads and undergrads) who have ideas for projects. Find out more about their work (including a list of research ideas for students) by visiting MyPersonalityWiki.

2. Rebuilding Maslow’s Pyramid on an Evolutionary Foundation

In focusing on motives and self-actualization, Abraham Maslow may have missed out on key ideas from neuroscience, developmental biology, and evolutionary psychology according to Douglas Kenrick a in a paper published in ”Psychological Science”. He summarizes his view in this blog entry for ”Psychology Today”, May 19, 2010 (See link to original paper below).

3.  Self-Actualization: Parenthood?

Douglas Kenrick and his co-authors redefine Maslow’s concept of self-actualization as ”an indirect means to attracting a mate and, ultimately, parenting children”. Read about the controversy surrounding this redefinition in this ”New York Times” article by Lisa Belkin, September 10, 2010. (Remember, access to articles in the ”New York Times” is free, but you must sign up for a subscription).

4. Kenrick, Griskevicius, Neuberg & Schaller (2010)

Kenrick, D.T., Griskevicius, V., Neuberg, S.L., & Schaller, M. (2010). Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations. ”Perspectives on Psychological Science”, 5, 292-314. (Opens in PDF).

5. What Does Your Facebook Profile Picture Say About You?

As one of the finalists of the BBC Radio 4’s “So You Want to Be a Scientist?” project 17-year old Nina Jones conducted a survey of Facebook users and identified the interesting ways in which people used their photos as a form of self-presentation.

6. Personality Predicts Cheating More Than Academic Struggles

According to research by Delroy Paulhus and colleagues published in the ”Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied” and summarized here, ”College students who admitted to cheating in high school or turned in plagiarized papers ranked high on personality tests of the so-called Dark Triad: psychopathy, Machiavellianism (cynicism, amorality, manipulativeness), and narcissism (arrogance and self-centeredness, with a strong sense of entitlement). Of the three dark personality types, psychopathy was most strongly linked to cheating”. From ”Science Daily”, September 8, 2010.

7. Designing Your Own Workspace Improves Health, Happiness and Productivity

”Employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier — they’re also up to 32% more productive” according to research by Craig Knight at the University of Exeter and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, September 8, 2010.

8. Childhood Personality Traits Predict Adult Behavior: We Remain Recognizably the Same Person, Study Suggests

”Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse elementary schoolchildren in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later […] Personality traits observed in childhood are a strong predictor of adult behavior” according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the Oregon Research Institute and University of Oregon and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, August 5, 2010.

9. Stories of the Middle Passage

Shrink Rap Radio: A Psychology Talk and Interview Show (Podcast; Show #244, August 19 2010). In this episode, Dr. Dave talks with Jungian analysis James Hollis as he describes the theory of Carl Jung, especially as it pertains to the second half of life (middle age and beyond) (runs 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 35 seconds).

10. Economic Status, Genetics, Together Influence Psychopathic Traits

”Researchers studying the genetic roots of antisocial behavior report that children with one variant of a serotonin transporter gene are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits if they also grow up poor” according to research by Edelyn Verona and colleagues, published in the ”Journal of Abnormal Psychology” and summarized in this article from Science Daily, August 7, 2010.

11. ABC Model That is the Central Basis of REBT

In this essay, therapist Stacey McCall reviews her use of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy with a 17-year old male client. Posted September 4, 2010, on the Creativity and Conflict Blog.

12. What Clients Think CBT Will Be Like and How It Really Is

”People expect cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to be more prescriptive than it is, and therapists to be more controlling than they really are. That’s according to a series of interviews with 18 clients who undertook 8 sessions (14 hours) of CBT to help with their diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder” according to research by H. Westra and colleagues published in Psychotherapy Research and summarized here.

13. My Life In Therapy

Writer Daphne Merkin, who struggles with chronic depression, describes her experiences with psychotherapy which started when she was 10 years old.

14. Feeling Angry or Guilty? Maybe It’s Time to Stop “Shoulding!”

Therapist Clifford Lazarus argues that living under self-imposed “should, oughts, and musts” creates anger and guilt which makes life miserable for themselves and those around them.


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