Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 11, July, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-third Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,821 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

Did you know that narcissists really are as sexy as they think, extroverts are happier and healthier later in life than introverts, and that gloomy thinking can be contagious? Well, it’s a good thing we also have a link to the inspirational Helen Keller and her thoughts on optimism this month. And as a special bonus to subscribers, you can check out this link to hear Keller explain — in her own words and voice —  her greatest regret.

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. Britain Could Create First ‘Three-parent Baby’ Through IVF

“Parents at high risk of having children with severe disabilities such as muscular dystrophy will be offered the controversial new IVF treatment after it was given the green light by ministers” in the UK today according to this article and video in “The Telegraph”, June 28, 2013. Video runs 2 minutes, 6 seconds.

3. Eight Misconceptions About “Three-Parent Babies”

What to know as the UK works to reverse ban on modifying future children’s genes. From “Psychology Today”, July 10, 2013.

4. We Can’t Undo What Our Parents Have Given Us

Royal Society fellow and epigenetics researcher Edith Heard clarifies the facts and downplays the hype behind recent developments in genetics and epigenetics in this article from “The Guardian”, June 22, 2013.

5. Are Narcissists As Sexy As They Think?

Narcissists think they are sexy. But, then again, they would say that. New research by Dufner et al. (2013) published in “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” and summarized here in “PsyBlog” suggests that the self-enhancing thoughts and beliefs of narcissists actually make them more attractive to others.

6. Narcissists’ Lack of Empathy Detected in Brain Scans

“Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to scan the brains of 34 people, including 17 individuals who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, and found that pathological narcissists have less gray matter in a part of the cerebral cortex called the left anterior insula” according to research published in “The Journal of Psychiatric Research” and summarized here in “Live Science”, June 24, 2013.

7. Extroverts are Happier and Healthier Later in Life

“People who were more outgoing and social during their younger years reported being significantly happier and more satisfied later in life”, according to research by Catharine Gale and colleagues published in the “Journal of Research in Personality” and summarized here in “Discover Magazine” online, July 8, 2013.

8. What Makes Us Extroverts and Introverts?

Drawing on the theories of Carl Jung, Hans Eysenck, and current research in neuroscience, BBC staff writer Tom Stafford explains how the way the brain processes rewards may make people more extroverted or introverted. From July 17, 2013.

9. Gloomy Thinking Can Be Contagious

A particular style of thinking — interpreting the causes of negative events as internal and stable or external and unstable — may actually infect roommates making them more or less vulnerable to depression six months later. This, according to research published by Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames in the journal “Clinical Psychological Science” and described in this report from NPR’s “Morning Edition”, June 24, 2013. Runs 4 minutes, 25 seconds.

10. Helen Keller on Optimism

Maria Popova for “Brain Pickings” shares her musings on Helen Keller’s moving treatise on optimism from 1903. Posted June 6, 2013.

11. Correlation vs. Causation

Everyday Einstein, Lee Falin, “uncovers the truth (and lies) of the correlation/causation fallacy. Just because something seems to cause something else, does not necessarily mean it does.” June 21, 2013.

12. Genes and Memes: Just for Hits – Richard Dawkins

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins describes the process of evolution focusing on successful and unsuccessful genes and memes in this entertaining and unusual introduction to the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase 2013 in Cannes (runs 8 minutes and 47 seconds).

13. How to Increase Willpower: Extended Interview with Roy Baumeister

Eric Barker, of the Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog presents this interview with Roy Baumeister, author of “Willpower: Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength”, June 25, 2013.

14. What Can Self-Control Do For You?

Can self-control make you happy, willing to sacrifice for others, fairer, unethical or easy to hypnotize? Read on to find out about all 10 new studies which provide surprising answers to these and other questions about what self-control can do for you.

15. Resilience in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy

Social factors such as neighborhood bonds and social supports are important factors in helping people cope with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy according to a recent study summarized here in “Science Daily”, June 24, 2013.

16. A Flashcard Strategy to Help Students Prepare for Three Types of Multiple-Choice Questions Commonly Found on Introductory Psychology Tests

The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology presents this resource (click to expand the “Introductory Psychology” category) by Drew Appleby to provide students with a research-based study strategy designed to help them understand, prepare for, and take multiple-choice tests more successfully. The 32 slides that accompany the introductory article familiarize students with three types of cognitive processes their instructors will commonly ask them to use in their classes and then invite them to model the behavior of their instructors by creating flashcards.  Their flashcards should contain verbatim definitions for retention questions, accurate paraphrases for comprehension questions, and realistic examples for application questions.

17. Favorite Link Revisited:

Brooke J. Cannon, Marywood University, created and maintains this extensive site which lists movies illustrative psychological principles organized by topic, genre, and popularity ratings. Check out her suggestions for mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and more.


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: