Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 4, December, 2012

Hello and welcome to the seventy-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,700 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

From giving presents to starting a new class off right in the new year, this month we are happy to present to you 13 links for the 12 days of Christmas (bonus!). Whether you are celebrating this holiday or just taking a break from the usual load of classes and commitments, here at Personality Pedagogy we wish you a happy holiday season and a happy 2013!

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 Person Inside the Present: Narcissists Buy to Big Themselves Up

Just as you suspected, “people with narcissistic tendencies want to purchase products, both for others and for themselves, that positively distinguish them — that is, that make them stand out from the crowd” according to research summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, December 17, 2012.

3. Prosocial Personality Battery

56-item and 30-item scales from Penner, L. A., Fritzsche, B. A., Craiger, J. P., & Freifeld, T. S. (1995). Measuring the prosocial personality. In J. N. Butcher, & C. D. Spielberger (Eds.) Advances in personality assessment, (Vol. 12). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Include subscales measuring Social Responsibility (SR), Empathic Concern (EC), Perspective Taking (PT), Personal Distress (PD), Other-Oriented Moral Reasoning (O), Mutual Concerns moral reasoning (M), Self-reported altruism (SRA), Other-oriented empathy (sum of scores on SR, EC, PT, O, M) and Helpfulness (sum of PD (reversed) and SRA).

4. Think Yourself Well

Summarizes research by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kok demonstrating that people with strong muscle tone of the a nerve which regulates that heart “are better than those with low at stopping bad feelings getting overblown. They also show more positive emotions in general. This may provide the missing link between emotional well-being and physical health.” From The Economist, December 8, 2012.

5. Neuroscience Fiction

This article takes a fascinating and critical look at the field of neuroscience and suggests that “The real problem with neuroscience today isn’t with the science (…) it’s with the expectations. The brain is an incredibly complex ensemble, with billions of neurons coming into—and out of—play at any given moment. There will eventually be neuroscientific explanations for much of what we do; but those explanations will turn out to be incredibly complicated. For now, our ability to understand how all those parts relate is quite limited, sort of like trying to understand the political dynamics of Ohio from an airplane window above Cleveland.” By Gary Marcus for “The New Yorker”, December 2, 2012.

6. Promoting Motivation, Health, and Excellence: Ed Deci at TEDxFlourCity

Ed Deci, professor of psychology at University of Rochester and Co-Founder of Self-Determination Theory, describes “two common forms of motivation; autonomous and controlled. He discusses the different results of each form and the implications for aspects of our lives; especially work and relationships” in this TED talk from June 9, 2012 (runs 14 minutes, 6 seconds).

7. Anal Personality? South Korea’s Toilet Culture

The Toilet Culture Park, “the only one of its kind in the world, exhibits a variety of bowls from Korean traditional squat toilets to western bedpans.” Check out this slide show of 11 images from the park. Posted November 23, 2012.

8. The Possible Role of Epigenetics in Sexual Orientation

“Epigenetics — how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches, called epi-marks — appears to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the long-standing puzzle of why homosexuality occurs, according to a study, published online in “The Quarterly Review of Biology”, and summarized here in “Medical News Today”, December 13, 2012.

9. General Resources: A Guide to Writing Learning Objectives for Teachers of Psychology (2012)

The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce a new resource for teachers: “A Guide to Writing Learning Objectives for Teachers of Psychology (2012)” by Guy A. Boysen of the State University of New York at Fredonia and McKendree University.  The purpose of this 18-page resource is to assist psychology teachers in (a) understanding key terms related to objectives and their assessment, (b) writing behavior-based learning objectives, and (c) evaluating objectives once they are written. The resource includes a table that illustrates how various psychology outcomes can be addressed with objectives at various levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.

10. Commitment-Phobic Adults Could Have Mom and Dad to Blame

“A study of the romantic history of 58 adults aged 22-28 found that those who avoid committed romantic relationships are likely a product of unresponsive or over-intrusive parenting” according to research by Sharon Dekel and Barry Farber published in the “Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, December 10, 2012.

11. Scientists Debunk the IQ Myth

“After conducting the largest online intelligence study on record, a Western University-led research team has concluded that the notion of measuring one’s intelligence quotient or IQ by a singular, standardized test is highly misleading, according to research published in the journal “Neuron” and summarized here, in “ScienceDaily”, December 19, 2012.

12. Relative Length of Adults’ Fingers Indicator of Verbal Aggression: Prenatal Exposure to Testosterone Linked

A new study links verbal aggression to prenatal testosterone exposure, using the 2D:4D finger ratio measure to predict verbal aggression. “This study is the first to use this method to examine prenatal testosterone exposure as a determinant of a communication trait” according to the study published in the “Journal of Communication” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, November 29, 2012.

13. Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood

A recent study suggests that bullying by peers changes the structure surrounding a gene involved in regulating mood, making victims more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age, according to research published in the journal “Psychological Medicine” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, December 18, 2012.

14. Favorite Link Revisited: First Day of Class

First Day of Class Beginnings are important says Joyce T. Povlacs of the University of Nebraska-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. (Opens in PDF)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: