Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 11, July, 2012

Hello and welcome to the seventy-first Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,549 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month we’re catching up with our backlog of links to be added. Speaking of old(er) links, at the top of our “Why didn’t we hear about this one sooner?” list is a charming article by Psychologist James Kaufman for “Psychology Today”. He claims that characters from Charles M. Schultz’ “Peanuts” cartoon illustrate the Five Factor model. Charlie Brown? High in Neuroticism. Snoopy? A typical Extrovert. Check out the link below to find out who’s high in Conscientiousness (one who practices piano regularly?), Openness (someone who believes in the Great Pumpkin?), and Agreeableness, (or rather, one who is low in Agreeableness based on her crabbiness and penchant for moving the football just as poor Charlie Brown is about to kick it).

As you are thinking about the semester or school year ahead — or even if you are only thinking about thinking about starting up again — check out our Favorite Link Revisited for “101 Things You can Do The First Three Weeks of Class” to build rapport, foster a supportive environment, and fire students up for a semester of good learning.

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

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2. The Charlie Brown Theory of Personality

James C. Kaufman, writer for “Psychology Today” makes the case that all you need to know about the Five Factors can be found in the comics. Read about how Charlie Brown and other members of the “Peanuts” crew illustrate each of the Five Factors. From March 2, 2010.

3. Character Traits Determined Genetically?

“Genes play a greater role in forming character traits such as self-control, decision making, or sociability, than was previously thought” according to research by Despina Archontaki, Gary Lewis and Timothy Bates published in the “Journal of Personality” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, May 16, 2012.

4. ‘Personality Genes’ May Help Account for Longevity

“Personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities” may be as important as physical health in allowing people to live to age 100 and beyond, according to research published in the journal “Aging” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, May 24, 2012.

5. Resilient People More Satisfied With Life

“Students who are more resilient … are also more satisfied with their lives and believe they have control over their emotions and their state of mind,” according to research by Joaquín Limonero and colleagues in “Behavioral Psychology” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily,” May 23, 2012.

6. Disagreeable People Prefer Aggressive Dogs, Study Suggests

Owners of dogs seen as more aggressive such as bull terriers or boxers are often lower in agreeableness than owners of more docile dogs. Yet, they were no more likely than other dog owners to engage in more delinquent behaviors, and are actually slightly higher in conscientiousness, suggesting that there may be some truth to the conventional wisdom that dogs match the personality of their owners, according to research by Vincent Egan and colleagues published in the journal “Anthozoos” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily,” May 22, 2012.

7. Stressed Men are More Social

Research by Markus Heinrichs and Bernadette von Dawans, published in “Psychological Science,” suggests that when under stress men may show the tend-and-befriend coping strategy often shown by women, according to this summary in “ScienceDaily,” May 21, 2012.

8. Emotionally Intelligent People Are Less Good at Spotting Liars

People high in emotional intelligence overestimate their ability to detect lies in others according to research by Stephen Porter and colleagues and published in the journal “Legal and Criminological Psychology” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily,” May 18, 2012.

9. Replication Studies: Bad Copy

“In the wake of high-profile controversies, psychologists are facing up to problems with replication”. These problem include the file-drawer problem, focusing on positive results, an emphasis on counter-intuitive findings, and lack of conceptual replication, among others, according to this article by Ed Yong for “Nature”, May 16, 2012.

10. The Merest Thought of Money Replenishes Self-Control

A brief summary of the work by Boucher and Kofos (2012) which found that people who were reminded of money performed better on tasks of self-control than people reminded of neutral concepts.

11. Already Struggling to Keep New Year Resolutions? Here’s the First Detailed Study of Daily Temptation and Resistance

Research by Wilhelm Hoffman and his colleagues suggests that “desire is a common, recurrent theme in the daily lives of modern citizens … everyday life may be an ongoing drama in which inner factors set the stage for motivation and conflict, while external factors contribute to how well people manage to resist and enact their current wants and longings.” Read the summary here in BPS Research Digest, January 3, 2012, or the original in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”

12. Personality Tests: Can they Identify the Real You?

BBC news writer Lucy Ash describes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and what it can — and can not — tell us about personality. Includes speculations on the personality type of Madonna, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Donald Trump, the Queen Elizabeth and others.

13. What Am I Like?

The BBC developed this brief personality test modeled after the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for fun to illustrate how personality type theory works. Through a series of 20 questions participants find out whether they are planners or spontaneous, more into fact or ideas, lead with their heads or hearts, or Extraverts or Introverts. The result is one of 16 personality types.

14. Preference for Solitude Scale

From Burger, J. M. (1995). Individual differences in preference for solitude.  “Journal of Research in Personality, 29”, 85-108, this 12-item scale measures individual differences in solitude, whether being away from others has a positive or negative on a person’s well-being. Opens in Microsoft Word (doc) format.

15. Burger (1995) Individual Differences in Preference for Solitude

Burger, J. M. (1995). Individual differences in preference for solitude. “Journal of Research in Personality, 29”, 85-108. Opens in PDF format.

16. Desirability of Control Scale

From Burger, J. M., & Cooper, H. M. (1979). The desirability of control. “Motivation and Emotion, 3”, 381‑393, this 20-item scales measures individual differences in the general desire for control over events in one’s life. Opens in Microsoft Word (doc) format.

17. Burger & Cooper (1979) The Desirability of Control Scale

Burger, J. M., & Cooper, H. M. (1979). The desirability of control. “Motivation and Emotion, 3”, 381‑393, this 20-item scales measures individual differences in the general desire for control over events in one’s life. Opens in PDF format.

18. The Perfected Self

Writer David Freedman describes how B. F. Skinner’s Behavior Modification work, once maligned by the world, is enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to smartphone apps which apply Skinner’s principles to help people lose weight and keep it off. From the “Atlantic Monthly”, June 2012.

19. Favorite Link Revisited: First Day of Class

“Beginnings are important.” says Joyce T. Povlacs of University of Nebrasks-Lincoln. This list of “101 Things You Can Do the First Three Weeks of Class” which she put together is a catalog of suggestions for college teachers who are looking for a fresh way of creating the best possible environment for learning.


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