Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 2, October, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-fifth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,887 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

Just in time for Halloween, we present a newsletter full of tricks and treats. First, the trick: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Monster Needs (see link below). You may be as amazed as we were to discover that zombies, vampires, ghosts, and werewolves can all achieve self-actualization. Of course, like most jokes of this type, the more you know about the actual theory, the funnier the jokes seem. Brought to you by the Canadian English language TV comedy channel BiteTV. Also in keeping with the season, see our special ‘’Favorite Link Revisited’’ for how to incorporate the characters of ‘’Twilight’’ as case studies for various theorists including Maslow, Horney, Erikson and others.

For more tricks, Lego this month released new play figures, one of which is a woman scientist. But we couldn’t get all that excited about the stereotype-busting brainiac, because they also released ‘’Diner Waitress’’, ‘’Dirndl Girl’’, ‘’Grandma’’, and ‘’Lady Robot’’. Decked out in pink accessories and rosy cheeks, the Lady Robot claims to ‘’party like nobody else’’ according to the press release issued by Lego. You win some and you lose some we guess!

Finally, the treat. If you’ve ever wondered if you are living in the right place, check out the latest research by Peter Rentfrow and colleagues and the geographical ‘’Mood Map’’ created from their work below. According to the quiz (with dubious validity) it says that I should be in South Carolina or Georgia. Hmm, with the temperatures we’ve been having in Philly this week, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

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. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Monster Needs

According to the Canadian English language TV comedy channel BiteTV, zombies, vampires, ghosts, and werewolves all have their belongingness and self-esteem needs and can achieve self-actualization.

3. Video Clips of Elements of Master Teaching

(2013) by Jeffrey R. Stowell (Eastern Illinois University) and R. Eric Landrum (Boise State University) is ”composed of 73 short YouTube videos of college teachers displaying qualities associated with elements of master teaching. Information about each clip is contained in a table that lists the clip length, course discipline, course level, and specific teacher behaviors demonstrated. Viewers can use YouTube’s built-in functions to submit comments and provide like/dislike ratings. The videos could be incorporated into teaching seminars, graduate student training, faculty development efforts, and research studies on the impact of viewing elements of master teaching behaviors. It is accessible from the general page (here) under the category title ”Faculty Development” or directly at link above.

4. Two Guys On Your Head: Locus of Control

”Two Guys on Your Head” is a short feature, produced at KUT Radio, that explores topics associated with the brain. In this episode, University of Texas Professors Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain what locus of control is and review the evidence which suggests that though people differ in their view of reality believing that they have control over their outcomes or not, we can change our perceptions to cope better — even giving up control as circumstances warrant. (Audio; runs 8 minutes).

5. How Dare You Say Narcissism Is Increasing?

To satisfy the critics — and the curious — Jean Twenge provides the psychological evidence behind her ”New York Times” article (available here) claiming that today’s young people are more narcissistic than previous generations. From ”Psychology Today”, August 12, 2013.

6. Self-Control and Stress

Art Markman explains the marshmallow test and research on delay of gratification and how it predicts positive outcomes and a better ability to deal with stress. From ”Psychology Today”, July 16, 2013.

7. Losing is Good for You

Ashley Marryman summarizes the research on praise and rewards and suggests that the best thing we can give kids is the opportunity to fail . . . and to learn from that failure. From ”The New York Times”, September 24, 2013.

8. 23andMe’s Designer Baby Patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office award a patent on ”gamete donor selection” to the company ”23andMe” that sells at-home DNA testing kits. This technology would ”enable prospective parents to handpick a sperm or egg donor with whom they would likely to produce a child born with certain traits that they desire”. Whether this information is empowering to potential parents or a modern twist on eugenics is something you and your students can debate. From ”The Huffington Post”, October 4, 2013.

9. Lego Unveils First Female Lego Scientist

The toy company Lego just announced a new line of miniature figures including, for the first time, a woman in a non-traditional career. The scientist Professor C. Bodin comes complete with two Erlenmeyer flasks. The hope is that by providing a character girls can relate to, young girls can more easily imagine themselves as succeeding in the sciences. From ”ABC News”, September 4, 2013.

10. Scientists Discover One of the Greatest Contributing Factors to Happiness — You’ll Thank Me Later

What happens when people write a gratitude letter to a special person in their lives and then call that person and read their letter out lout to them? The result is happiness, according to psychological research demonstrated by this feel-good video. Runs 7 minutes 14 seconds.

11. CBT Relapse Prevention

”In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck describes examples of the application of techniques such as mindfulness, acceptance, and validation. He also explains how these and other important techniques can be used to enhance relapse prevention.” Posted by the Beck Institute, October 9, 2013. Runs 4 minutes, 59 seconds

12. Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues

NPR’s ”Morning Edition” reports that ”The federal government is considering whether to allow scientists to take a controversial step: make changes in some of the genetic material in a woman’s egg that would be passed down through generations.” From October 9, 2013. Listen to the full story and read the transcript here. Runs 5 minutes and 40 seconds.

13. Helen Neville on Experiential, Genetic and Epigenetic Effects on Human Neurocognitive Development

”Recent advances in neuroscience have effectively put an end to the “nature or nurture” debate. Instead, the focus of discussion has switched to mechanisms and brain-based interventions — in what ways are neural circuits changed by experience? When is the brain most receptive to education and learning? And what effects does high versus low socioeconomic status (SES) have on the development of neurocognition?” Helen Neville addresses these questions in her 2013 APS William James Fellow Award Address. Rums 50 minutes and 13 seconds.

14. Changing Brains

Helen Neville and her colleagues at the University of Oregon Brain Development Lab created this 12-part program to help parents, educators, policy-makers, and care-givers of young children understand how and when experience shapes the development of the human brain. Separate segments focus on vision, hearing, motor skills, attention, language, reading, math, music, and emotions and learning.

15. Can cognitive behavioural therapy really change our brains?

From the website: ”Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that’s used to treat a wide range of mental health problems, from depression and eating disorders to phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It recommends looking at ourselves in a different way that might prove useful for all of us in everyday life. But what happens to our brains when we have CBT?” From BBC Science, August 6, 2013.

16. U.S. regions exhibit distinct personalities, research reveals

”Americans with similar temperaments are so likely to live in the same areas that a map of the country can be divided into regions with distinct personalities”, according to new research by Peter Rentfrow and colleagues summarized here in ”Science Daily”, October 17, 2013.

17. America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude

”Using personality test data from over one million people, researchers have identified three distinct personality regions in the country. Here, each state is colored by the region it belongs to and shaded according to how strongly its personality matches that profile.” Features a map of the United States identifying which states are ”Friendly and Conventional”, ”Relaxed and Creative”, and ”Temperamental and Uninhibited” along with 10-item survey which lets visitors discover which state most closely matches their personality. From ”Time Magazine”, October 22, 2013.

18. How to Find the Best Workout for Your Personality

By taking account of a person’s BAS and BIS or traits like introversion, extroversion, and neuroticism, people can find a workout which best matches their personality leading to long term habits of exercise. Or, in the words of one of the researchers, ”Physical activity is just another expression of our personal preferences and style”.

19. Favorite Link Revisited: Twilight Deconstructed

Drawing on classic theorists including Carl Jung, Karen Horney, Erik Erikson, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and others, Donna Ashcraft takes a psychological and feminist approach to understanding the ‘’Twilight’’ characters in her book ‘’Deconstructing Twilight: Psychological and Feminist Perspectives on the Series’’. Thanks to her publisher, Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., you can read and download a PDF of Chapter 7 in which she uses Karen Horney’s 10 neurotic needs to understand the dynamics between Bella and her parents, Bella and Edward and more. (opens in PDF format)


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