Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 2, October, 2012

Hello and welcome to the seventy-fourth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,598 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month we are greatly saddened to learn of the untimely death of Christopher Peterson. Peterson, among the 100 most cited psychologists, was an inspiring teacher and creative researcher and advocate in the field of positive psychology, which he once described as the”scientific study of what makes life most worth living.” Read more about his life and work here and check out our first and last links below.

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.The Good Life

In tribute to Christopher Peterson, a founding father of the positive psychology movement, “Psychology Today” put together this special online issue highlighting the life and legacy of Christopher Peterson, research pioneer, colleague, and teacher.

3. Careers in Psychology

A resource for students who are interested in pursuing a career in the field of psychology. The site has career and licensure info, jobs, internships, and commentary by experts — some of the top psychologists in the world — and more.

4. The Marshmallow Study Revisited

This classic measurement of children’s self-control was replicated and updated in a study published in Cognition this month and summarized here, October 11, 2012. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer — 12 versus three minutes — than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations. Includes photos and video from the study, and a graph of results.

5. Persuasive Messages Tied to Personality

The “Eclipse Writer Blog” presents a summary of the research by Hirsh et al. (2012) which found that advertising was more effective when it was tailored to the levels of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness of the target audience. Includes some interesting suggestions on how to apply these findings to advertising. See also Hirsh, Jacob, Sonia Kang and Galen Bodenhausen, Personalized Persuasion: Tailoring Persuasive Appeals to Recipients’ Personality Traits, “Psychological Science”, 30 April 2012.

6. The Bem Sex Role Inventory

According to the site: “The Bem Sex Role Inventory was developed in 1971 by Dr. Sandra Lipsitz Bem. It characterizes your personality as masculine, feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. The BSRI is based on gender stereotypes, so what it’s actually measuring is how well you fit into your traditional sex role. Thus, your score may say as much about how our cultural expectations have changed over the last 35 years as it does about your personality.” You can take the original 60-item scale and receive your scores automatically online here.

7. Teampedia: Tools for Teams

Teampedia is a “collaborative encyclopedia of free team building activities, free icebreakers, teamwork resources, and tools for teams that anyone can edit!
This site is designed for a wide audience including: team leaders, trainers, teachers, managers, camp directors, counselors, and youth groups.”

8. Understanding That You’ll Never Be Perfect

Writer Therese J. Borchard muses on what it’s like to live with perfectionism and finally learn to let it go.

9. Pupil Dilation Reveals Sexual Orientation

“Pupils were highly telling: they widened most to videos of people who participants found attractive, thereby revealing where they were on the sexual spectrum from heterosexual to homosexual”, according to research published in PLoS ONE and summarized here, in “Science Daily,” August 6, 2012.

10. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Video Toolkit

This toolkit consists of seven videos, up to 16 minutes each, with accompanying worksheets and information, on “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy” (MBCT) by Jay Uhdinger.

11. Is it Better to be an Introvert or an Extrovert?

Blogger Erik Barker summarizes research on the strengths and weaknesses of introverts and extroverts.

12. Was Freud Wrong? Are Dreams the Brain’s Start-Up Test?

“Measurements taken from sleeping people explain, at least in part, why dreams tend to have such bizarre but vivid story lines. The findings deal a blow to the Freudian interpretation of dreams but leave open the possibility that some useful personal meaning can be extracted from them. The main purpose of dreams, however, the authors of the new study believe, is to test whether the brain has had enough sleep and, if so, to wake it up”, according to this article by Nicholas Wade in “The New York Times”.

13. Happiness Equals Love

George Vaillant explores and explains the data behind his finding that “The only thing that really matters inline are your relationships to other people”. From “Positive Psychology Daily News”, July 16, 2009.

14. Favorite Link Revisited: Positive Psychology Center

The Positive Psychology Center has extensive resources including summary of current research, sample syllabi, high school curriculum, online research participation, and extensive bibliography.


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