Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 8, April 2014

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,982 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

Where did this semester go? For the first two months many of us barely had a complete week without missing a class day and here it is, finals already! We’ll keep this month’s issue short, sweet and highly entertaining. But first, in honor of finals week at my school, a few thought questions for you: Is Vladimir Putin a Narcissist? How is psychological science like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Can you use your French toast as a kind of Rorschach test? Read on to find out!

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. Self-Other Agreement in Personality judgements

Seth Kaplan, Alicia Stachowski and Jill Bradley-Geist describe a classroom activity in which students judge each other using the five factors. The exercise can be used to illustrate the five factors, personality testing, interpersonal judgement, and self-awareness, as well as serve as a lively ice breaker exercise.

3. Inspiring Short Video: What is it that you desire most?

This short video is actually an advertisement for a Thai Insurance Company. In it, a man is depicted going through his day where things keep going wrong and yet he cheerfully continues to help people around him: “What does he get in return for doing this every day? He gets nothing. He won’t be richer. He won’t appear on TV. Still anonymous. And not a bit more famous. What he does receive are emotions. He witness happiness. Reaches a deeper understanding. Feels the love. Receives what money can’t buy and a world made more beautiful.” Published on April 5, 2014. Runs 3 minutes, 5 seconds.

4. Guide Your Students to Become Better Research Consumers

In this article for the April 2014 APS “Observer” psychologist Beth Morling outlines four validities (external, internal, construct, statistical) which are easy to remember and can help students to more critically evaluate research.

5. The Deathly Hallows of Psychological Science

Personality psychologist Brent Roberts compares the proposed changes to improve psychological science — including the Open Science Framework, journal reporting practices, and new statistics — to the dilemma Harry Potter faces in the final book of the series “The Deathly Hallows”. The dilemma we face is whether to destroy the Horcrux by eliminating problematic practices or to continue in the path of least resistance by pursuing the Deathly Hallows. His vivid analogy and clear description of the problem make this a thought-provoking and challenging read for any psychological scientist. Posted March 2014.

6. Inside Social Modeling With Albert Bandura

The Association for Psychological Science presented this special edition of “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” featuring an in-depth interview with Albert Bandura. Filmed August 26, 2013 at Stanford University, the video runs 46 minutes and 03 seconds.

7. Photos of Identical Twins As Grown-Ups Show How Fate Takes Its Course

Beijing-based photographer Gao Rongguo captured this series of photos of men and women — identical twins — over 50 years of age. These haunting images raise the question of how genetics and our experiences make us who we are. Posted March 2014.

8. IRBs and Research on Teaching and Learning (2014)

Ryan C. Martin, Regan A. R. Gurung, and Janie H. Wilson put together this resource for the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP). This unit “addresses common questions researchers might have about seeking approval from Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) to conduct research on teaching and learning (often called the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; SoTL)”. It is available under the Ethics tab.

9. Vladimir Putin, Narcissist?

Writing for the “The Atlantic”, Joseph Burgo examines how the concept of narcissism might provide insight into the Russian leader. Published April 15, 2014.

10. 5 Surefire Signs Someone You Care About is A Narcissist

Writing for the “Huff Post” Sharon Greenthal describes these five signs: “Believing that you’re better than others; fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness; exaggerating your achievements or talents; expecting constant praise and admiration; and believing that you’re special and acting accordingly.” Published February 24, 2014.

11. French Toast Rorschach Test

This entertaining “test”  will help you to determine which type of French Toast you should order when you go to its sponsor, the restaurant chain Denny’s. The images are eerily reminiscent of actual Rorschach cards. A fun way to open a discussion on projective tests, test construction, validity and reliability, and more.

12. Myers & Dewall Talk Psych

“David Myers and Nathan DeWall enjoy connecting psychological science with everyday life. In Myers and DeWall Talk Psych they share exciting new findings, everyday applications, and observations on all things psychology.”

13. Study Reveals How Neurotic People View Action

According to new research by Molly E. Ireland, Justin Hepler,  Hong Li, and Dolores Albarracin published in the “Journal of Personality” and summarized here for “The Huffington Post” there is a relationship between Neuroticism and negative attitudes towards action and positive attitudes towards inaction. Posted April 27, 2014.

14. Favorite Link Revisited: A Flashcard Strategy to Help Students Prepare for Three Types of Multiple-Choice Questions Commonly Found on Introductory Psychology Tests (2013)

The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) 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.


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