Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 12, August, 2011

Hello and welcome to the sixtieth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,282 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month we are pleased to bring you an eclectic collection of links from sexism and heterosexism to your brain and your awkward friends. Many of the links below are to summaries of the latest research in personality psychology, most of which has been published this month.

We’ve been doing some housecleaning of sorts this month, painstakingly reviewing every link on the entire site, removing broken links, and updating old links. This is a big job, as you might imagine, so if you find a broken link or have a new link to suggest please let us know.

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. Too Pretty to Do Homework?

This summer, JC Penny offered a t-shirt for sale for girls which read ”I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me”. Adding insult to injury was the caption next to the photo of the shirt: ”Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.” Due to public outcry, sale of the shirt was discontinued as delivering an inappropriate and sexist message.

3. Your Most Awkward Friends May Save Your Life

Your insecure and anxious friends may be better that your secure friends at detecting impending danger and acting quickly according to research by Tsachi Ein-Dor and colleagues, and summarized here in ”LiveScience”, August 17, 2011.

4. Narcissism May Benefit the Young, Researchers Report; But Older Adults? Not So Much

A new study suggests that some forms of narcissism may be beneficial — at least in the short term — for making the transition into adulthood. This, according to research by Patrick Hill and Brent Roberts, published this month in ”Social Psychological and Personality Science” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 11, 2011.

5. Review Highlights Flawed Logic of Segregating Boys and Girls for Education Purposes, Based on Alleged Brain Differences

When it comes to learning and education, neuroscience has identified few reliable differences between boys’ and girls’ brains. There is no scientific basis for teaching boys and girls separately according to a review by Lise Eliot published this month in ”Sex Roles” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 18, 2011.

6. Teaching Research Methods

Jeff Standen conducted a workshop in 2010 at the ATP Conference on Teaching Psychology. This page contains links to his PowerPoint slides with suggestions for teaching research methods, a research methods mindmap, a PowerPoint-based experiment you can do with your class, PowerPoint slides on correlation, an overview of psychological research methods, levels of measurement, and notes on reliability and validity and much more.

7. Resources for Teaching Neuroscience

Jeff Standen compiled these resources for teaching neuroscience including PowerPoint slides on neurons, the brain and brain research and much more.

8. Evolution and Genetics

Jeff Standen shares his PowerPoint slides on natural selection and genetics.

9. is a website of teaching resources for teachers and lecturers. Though aimed at those teaching introductory psychology in the British system, there are many free resources here applicable to those teaching personality psychology including this unit on Freud and Personality.

10. Who Am I? Your Brain

The Science Museum of National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI), London, UK sponsors an extensive website. Check out their interactive online exhibit on ”Who Am I?” featuring videos, pictures, handouts, and information on understanding your body, your brain, and your genes. This page on ”Your Brain” answers the questions how can illness affect the brain, what happens when you are asleep, how do drugs affect the brain, what are emotions, and others.

11. Who Am I? Your Genes

The Science Museum of National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI), London, UK sponsors an extensive website. Check out their interactive online exhibit on ”Who Am I?” featuring videos, pictures, handouts, and information on understanding your body, your brain, and your genes. This page on ”Your Genes” answers the questions where did your genes come from, what was the Human Genome project, how do genes affect your health, and others.

12. Attributional Styles Test and Locus of Control

Discovery Health presents this online version of a 10-item locus of control scale with scoring and feedback. However, the real fun begins when you are asked to take the 47-item long version including scales measuring optimistic and pessimistic explanatory style, the three dimensions of internal-external, stable-unstable, global-specific, career and academic locus of control, belief in luck, health locus of control and more. All scales are scored automatically and feedback is provided.

13. Probe the Brain

PBS presents this site where you pretend you are a brain surgeon and get to virtually map out the brain’s motor cortex.

14. MRI — The Magnetic Miracle Game, the official site of the Nobel prize, presents this interactive game which illustrates how an MRI works, why metal can not be near the apparatus, and how does MRI compare to x-ray and CAT images.

15. Brain Facts

The society for neuroscience provides this free 74-page primer on the brain and nervous system designed as an introduction to neuroscience for a lay audience.

16. Heal Thyself: Think Positive

Realism may be bad for your health: believing things will turn out fine or feeling safe and secure may help the body maintain and repair itself according to research by David Creswell and colleagues reviewed in this summary and video (3 minutes, 5 seconds) from ”New Scientist”, August 29, 2011.

17. Multicultural Teaching

The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan sponsors this page of information and strategies for multicultural teaching. Everything from course planning, teaching social justice,  to responding to difficult decisions, and instructor identity.

18. Store Dresses Down Bride for Being a Lesbian

Yet another illustration of the ignorant and often negative attitudes that non-heterosexual people face. A bridal shop owner refuses to sell a woman a wedding dress because she didn’t want to be associated with an impending ”illegal action”, i.e., her marriage to another woman.

19. The Five Factors

Erica Melkonian put this montage together as an independent study project in her AP Psychology class in May of 2011. In it, she defines and illustrates people who are high and low on each of the five factors including the famous and infamous like Curious George and Adolph Hitler (3 minutes, 38 seconds).

20. Sam Gosling: Snoop: The Secret Language of Stuff

Gosling, author of Snoop, presents an overview of his research to the Commonwealth Club of California in this video. Topics include creativity and openness, Facebook profiles, faking a personal space, and much more. The site includes a biography of Gosling, highlights of the talk, transcript, and the entire talk (1 hour, 7 minutes).

21. Favorite Link Revisited: George Boeree of Shippensburg University

George Boeree should win some sort of award for the ”giving away” of psychology and resources for teaching psychology. He has written electronic textbooks in Personality Theories and General Psychology as well as for Social Psychology, History of Psychology, Qualitative Methods, and Buddhism, and has made them all freely available on the Internet. Thank you George, for all you do to help us teach and learn better!


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