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

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

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: 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 RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the ”RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.


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 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 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!


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