Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 4, December 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,920 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month as the world celebrates many holidays, we bring you a shortened version of this newsletter. From all of us here at Personality Pedagogy, we wish you a new year filled with attachment, self-efficacy, self-actualization, mastery, happiness, and much, much more!

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. Twenty Tips for Interpreting Scientific claims

William J. Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman, researchers in various fields, offer this “simple list of ideas that could help decision-makers to parse how evidence can contribute to a decision” tips in “Nature” Magazine, November 20, 2013.

3. Are You a Career Adapter?

Career adaptability, the “ability to manage existing and impending career challenges” including concern for future career tasks and challenges, control and self-discipline, curiosity, and confidence is related to personality traits including extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. This research was originally published this month in the “Journal of Vocational Behavior”, and summarized here on the Association for Psychological Science research blog, December 17, 2013.

4. Famous Personality Types

If you are a fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and other similar tests of personality, then check out this graphic showing all 16 personality types with “real life successful people” from celebrities to pop icons illustrating each of the types.

5. Narcissism Unleashed: Can an Entire Culture Be Narcissistic?

W. Keith Campbell and Jean M. Twenge review recent research which suggests a cultural epidemic of narcissism. The self-centeredness, arrogance, and self-absorption of individual narcissists may actually describe quite well American culture of the present day. From the Association for Psychological Science “Observer”, December 2013.

6. Meditation Changes How Genes Are Expressed

Research by Kaliman et al. (2014) found that people who meditated, compared to control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities, showed changes in gene functioning at the molecular level, demonstrating epigenetic alterations of the genome. This link is to the original press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; this link is to a summary of the press release from “PsyBlog”.

7. You Just Have to Believe: Audacious Ambition

“Researchers Timothy Judge and John Kammeyer-Mueller have shown that people who believe they can accomplish the goals they set are more likely to accomplish them. This is because if you believe you can accomplish your goal, you are more likely to put in the energy and effort required to attain it.” From the “PsychCentral” blog, December 2013.

8. Haste Makes Waste, But Not if You’re Neurotic

Despite popular wisdom that “haste makes waste”, people who are high in neuroticism make “more accurate judgments the faster they respond” according to research by James Bell and colleagues published in “Psychology of Sport and Exercise” and summarized here in “BPS Research Digest”, November 2013.

9. Night Owls and Early Risers Have Different Brain Structures

Using brain scans, researchers found that night owls showed “reduced integrity” of while matter” in the several areas of the brain, compared to early risers.

And for those of you with Christmas cookies in the house . . .

10. 2 Easy Ways to Increase Willpower — Courtesy Of The Cookie Monster

Eric Barker, in his “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” blog, reviews the research on willpower and how to delay gratification using videos of kids and the Cookie Monster. Interestingly, Sesame Street actually consulted with Walter Mischel, the originator of the marshmallow test, to be sure that Cookie got his psychology correct. Cookie Monster illustrates that distraction and focus can help self-control in a charming music video. From December 2, 2013.


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