Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 3, November, 2011

Hello and welcome to the sixty-third Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,348 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month we feature four links on Narcissism, including one of our favorite links revisited. In this issue you’ll also find links related to the five factors, genetics, gender, and Facebook friends and the brain! All in all, an issue sure to spark your and your students’ interest in the latest research findings in personality.

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. Searching for Meaning

Existential-humanistic psychologists hope to promote the idea that therapy can change not only minds but lives. By Michael Price, from the APA ”Monitor”, November 2011, 42(10), print version p. 58.

3. Those With A Sweet Tooth Usually Have a Sweeter Personality

”People who have a preference for eating sweet things tend to have sweeter dispositions [higher in Agreeableness] and are more likely to help people in need, compared to those who opt for savory foods or nothing at all, researchers from North Dakota State University and Gettysburg College reported in the ”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” ” and summarized here in ”Medical News Today”, October 12, 2011.

4. Facebook Friends Predicted by Size of Brain Structures

Brain regions associated with creating memories of names and faces and interpretation of social cues appear to be larger in people who have more friends on Facebook according to research by Geraint Rees published in the ”Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences” and summarized here in ”LifeScience”, October 18, 2011.

5. Personality Plays Role in Body Weight

People who are high in Neuroticism and low in Conscientiousness are more likely than others to go through cycles of gaining and losing weight throughout their lives according to research by Angelina Sutin and Luigi Ferrucci published in the ”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” and summarized here.

6. Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Understanding Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation may be particularly powerful because it draws on attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation and sense of self according to research by Britta Holzel published in Perspectives on Psychological Science and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, October 31, 2011.

7. At What Age Do Girls Prefer Pink?

According to research by Vannessa LoBue and Judy DeLoache, children’s color preferences — and aversions — emerge between the ages of 2 and 3 just as they are beginning to be aware of gender. Their research was published in the ”Journal of Developmental Psychology,” September 2011, and is summarized here in The British Psychological Society ”Research Digest”, September 5, 2011.

8. NPR: Radio Diaries

The NPR project Radio Diaries encourages teenagers, seniors, prison inmates and others whose voices are rarely heard to document their lives for public radio. Their stories are often powerful, surprising, intimate, and timeless, illustrating many aspects of the self, including self-concept, self-esteem, and social identity.

9. McDonald’s Advertisements and Culture: ”I’m Loving It”
The McDonald’s famous ”I’m Loving it” campaign looks different, depending on the culture in which the ad is targeted. For example, in India the ad features more collectivistic values: A father and son share a bonding moment. In the individualistic United States, the ads most often feature a person alone. Würtz (2005) explains all about cultural differences and advertisements and this companion website includes many illustrations of McDonald’s Ads from China, Japan, India, and the United States.

10. When It’s Good To Be Bad

Acknowledging our Jungian shadow can help us become more creative according to Susan O’Doherty in this article from ”Psychology Today”, October 16, 2009.

11.Happiness Depends On Who You Know and Your Goals, Study of College Students Suggests

Introverted and extroverted college students use different strategies to be happy according to research by Bernardo Carducci and colleagues and summarized in ”ScienceDaily”, August 30, 2011.

12. Parents’ Stress Leaves Lasting Marks on Children’s Genes

”Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Child & Family Research Institute have shown that parental stress during their children’s early years can leave an imprint on their sons’ or daughters’ genes — an imprint that lasts into adolescence and may affect how these genes are expressed later in life” according to research published in ”Child Development” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily”, August 30, 2011.

13. Is Culture Behind Men’s Better Spatial Reasoning?

New research by Moshe Hoffman, Uri Gneezy and John List suggests that the gender gap in spatial skills maybe be partially due to culture according to research published in the ”Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” and summarized here in ”Discover Magazine” online, 2011.

14. Parents Need An Attitude Adjustment to Improve Their Children’s Homework Motivation

”Parents who want to improve their child’s motivation to complete homework this school year need to change their own attitude and behavior,” providing more structure to improve children’s perceived competence and feelings of warmth to increase perceived relatedness.

15. The Incredibly Seductive Pull of a Very Skilled Narcissist

Psychologist Samuel Lopez De Victoria discusses 7 characteristics which can make a narcissist both appealing and dangerous to others including charm, storytelling ability, believability, wisdom, acting ability and others.

16. Narcissists’ Overconfidence May Hide Low Self-Esteem

”Narcissists may seem to love themselves, but a new study finds that narcissistic self-aggrandizement may hide deep feelings of inferiority” according to research by Erin Myers as published in the ”Journal of Research in Personality” and summarized here in ”LiveScience”, October 20, 2011.

17. Narcissists Already Know What You Think of Them, But Do They Care?

Research suggests that narcissists know that others do not share their inflated self-view and think they have a problem but they often choose to do nothing about it. This suggests that narcissism is a character disorder rather than a personality disorder according to this summary by David DiSalvo for the ”Psychology Today” Neuronarrative blog, October 31, 2011.

18. Favorite Link Revisited: Is Your Boss a Narcissist?

According to research by Amy Brunell and colleagues published in ”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin”, December, 2008, and briefly summarized here, chances are he or she is.


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