Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 9, May, 2012

Hello and welcome to the sixty-ninth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,513 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

Self-regulation. Willpower. Ego control. Self-control. Call it what you will, but this month we have gathered enough of it to establish a new page devoted to this hot topic. This brings the number of topic pages to 60, which along with our 24 pages on specific theorists covers a lot of personality psychology! Just in case these 84 pages are missing something, we welcome your suggestions of links to include and new topic pages to add.

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 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 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. Sigmund Freud Speaks: The Only Known Recording of His Voice, 1938

Open Culture, ”the best free cultural & educational media on the web”, presents a link to this recording of Freud on for the BBC December 7, 1938. Includes the text of his statement, written in his own handwriting. (runs 1 minutes 57 seconds).


The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience, all leading global nonprofit organizations working to advance brain research, created this web site to ” share what neuroscientists know, explore what they don’t yet know fully, and discuss how today’s research advances understanding”. Written for a general audience, the site presents short articles and summaries of current research on the brain and nervous system.

4. TED Radio Hour: The Pursuit of Happiness

NPR and TED talks created this compilation of TED talks on a single topic. For this one, three speakers offer some big ideas for achieving happiness: Barry Schwartz on ”Does having options make us happier? (11:58); Kathyrn Schultz on “Why should we embrace regret?” (17:54); and Malcolm Gladwell on “What does spaghetti sauce have to do with happiness?” (18:44).

5. Obesity and the Biological Clock: When Times Are out of Joint

”Urgent appointments, tight work timetables and hectic social schedules structure modern life, and they very often clash with our intrinsic biological rhythms. The discrepancy results in so-called social jetlag, which can damage one’s health. Among other effects, it can contribute to the development of obesity,” according to a new study published in ”Current Biology” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily”, May 10, 2012.

6. Lagging at School, the Butt of Cruel Jokes: Are Males the New Second Sex?

According to Elizabeth Day, writing for ”The Observer”, ”They work longer hours, face economic insecurity and suffer worse health. Now their feckless ways are lampooned in the media. A controversial new book argues that men increasingly face a prejudice that dare not speak its name.” Published May 12, 2012.

7. Happiness Model Could Help People Go from Good to Great

”The sayings “variety is the spice of life” and “happiness isn’t getting what you want, but wanting what you get” seem to have a psychological basis, according to” research by Kennon Sheldon and Sonja Lyubomirsky published in ”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily”, May 7, 2012.

8. What Happens When We Laugh?

According to neuroscientist Sophie Scott in this TED talk, ”It has to do with breathing … as well as emotions, and the voice. Studying the mechanisms of laughter, she discovered it’s a social, universal expression not just in humans but even chimpanzees and rats. Brain scans revealed the areas of the brain active during laughter (interestingly, similar to yawning, another socially contagious expression). Her lab also examined polite, posed laughter vs. uncontrollable mirth, and revealed how we tell the difference.” (runs 13 minutes and 27 seconds).

9. That Impulsive, Moody Preschooler May Grow Up to Be a Problem Gambler

”Give me the child at 3 and I will give you the adult compulsive gambler. That is the striking finding of a new study” published in ”Psychological Science” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily”, April 23, 2012.

10. Can You Instill Mental Toughness?

The U.S. military is implementing a resilience-building program designed by Martin Seligman and colleagues to help train personnel to think more optimistically through attributional retraining and to develop the capacities for gratitude and generosity using principles of positive psychology. Read about this work in this article from ”Time” magazine online, April 19, 2012.

11. The Hero’s Journey and Dreams

Shrink Rap Radio: A Psychology talk and Interview Show (Podcast; Show #301, April 20, 2012). In this episode, Dr. Dave talks with Kelly Sullivan Walden about Joseph Campbell’s model of the hero’s journey as it applies to dreams. (1:08:51)

12. Exploring Synchronicity

Shrink Rap Radio: A Psychology talk and Interview Show (Podcast; Show #303, May 4, 2012). In this episode, Dr. Dave talks with Jungian Analyst Dr. Jeffrey Raff about his views and experiences with synchronicity. (1:08:51)

13. Tragic Beauty: The Dark Side of Venus Aphrodite

Shrink Rap Radio: A Psychology talk and Interview Show (Podcast; Show #301, May 11, 2012). In this episode, Dr. Dave talks with Jungian Analyst and mythology scholar Arlene Diane Landau exploring the dark side of the Venus Aphrodite archetype. (1:08:23)

14. To increase willpower should you focus on greater self-control or greater self-compassion?

Recent research summarized here in the ”Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog post by Eric Barker, May 11, 2012, suggests that greater self-compassion will increase motivation.

15. 5 Ways to Easily Increase Self-Control

Eric Barker in his ”Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog post of January 23, 2012, presents this list of things you can do to increase your self-control based on the latest empirical data.

16. What Does Not Kill You Makes You Stronger

Eric Barker in his ”Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog post of May 8, 2012, summarizes research which suggests that this old adage is indeed true, a follow up to his December 16, 2011 post on the same issue.

17. Building Resiliency

Psych Central’s founder and Editor-in-Chief John M. Grohol interviewed therapists Daniel J. Tomasulo, Ph.D. & Marie Hartwell-Walker on how to build resilience. In their original video from May 12, 2012 (which runs 5 minutes, 33 seconds) they offer 5 suggestions and in a follow up from May 21, 2012 (running 4 minutes, 10 seconds) they offer more.

18. Favorite Link Revisited: Case Study: Johnny Carson and the Five Factor Model

I noticed that the obituary of Johnny Carson is filled with personality descriptors making it a useful illustration of the five factor model of personality, personality stability, personality change, and personality coherence. (For the full description of how to utilize this obituary as a case study see Miserandino, M. (2007) Heeeere’s Johnny: A Case Study in the Five Factor Model of Personality, ”Teaching of Psychology, 34(1)”, 37-40. Also see a May 2012 NPR interview with documentary filmmaker Peter Jones on ”Johnny Carson: ‘King Of Late Night,’ A Man Unknown” (runs 9 minutes, 33 seconds).


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