Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 10, June 2014

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 3,012 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month, to celebrate the end of the school year and the start of summer we present a mixed-bag of very interesting links: laughter, dog treats, extroverts on Mars, healthy eating, Legos, Leo Tolstoy and much, much more. We hope that these will inspire you to think about personality and your teaching of personality psychology in new ways over the summer.

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. Dogs Like Treats, But Here’s What Really Gets Their Tails Wagging

It’s autonomy and competence, according to a study published in “Animal Cognition” and summarized here for “The Huffington Post”. According to the researchers, “The experimental animals in our study were excited not only by the expectation of a reward, but also about realizing that they themselves could control their access to the reward.” Posted June 16, 2014.

3. Extroverts Don’t Belong on Mars

A new study by Suzanne Bell and colleagues and summarized here for “The Atlantic”, finds that Extroverts, with their outgoing personalities, may not be suited for long, isolated voyages. Better go with the strong, silent, Introverts instead. Posted June 13, 2014.

4. The Role of Personality and Psychology in Healthy Eating

Can an understanding of personality and the five factors in particular help people to eat healthier? Patrick Fagan writing for “PsychCentral” thinks so. Posted June 12, 2014.

5. The Power of Our Personal Stories

Margarita Tartakovsky, writing for “PsychCentral” explains how revising our stories and our perceptions of problems can empower us. Posted June 15, 2014.

6. Leo Tolstoy on Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World

Maria Popova for “Brain Pickings” describes how Leo Tolstoy experienced depression and suicidal thoughts which led to “A Confession”, his meditation on the meaning of life. Posted June, 2014.

7. Lego To Launch Female Scientists Series After Online Campaign

According to this news report, “Women in science are taking one tiny, plastic step forward after Lego announced on Tuesday it will launch a series of female scientists and their lab tools. The science-themed project was selected as the latest Lego Ideas winner, and is set to hit shelves in August 2014. The series – notably devoid of pink – includes an astronomer with a telescope, a paleontologist with a dinosaur skeleton and a chemist in a lab.” The project idea was submitted by Dr Ellen Kooijman, a geochemist in Stockholm. In her project proposal, Kooijman wrote: “The motto of these [s]cientists is clear: explore the world and beyond!”. From “The Guardian”, June 4, 2014.

8. Self-Affirmation: A Simple Exercise That Actually Helps

According to research published in the “Annual Review of Psychology” and summarized here for “PsychCentral”, one effective way of affirming our values and strengths is to revise our narratives. Published June 2, 2014.

9. How To Get A Narcissist to Feel Empathy

Narcissists can feel empathy if they put themselves in another person’s shoes according to research by Erica Hepper and colleagues, published in the “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” and summarized here for “PsyBlog”, May 2014.

10. Laugh Often to Live Well

According to “Brain Blogger”: “Humor and mirth offer a multitude of preventive and healing effects and a new study is offering more evidence that laughter has quantifiable benefits for the brain”. Posted May 10, 2014.

11. Dog People vs. Cat People: Who’s More Outgoing? More Intelligent?

“Dog people and cat people really do have different personalities. People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules.” This, according to research by Denise Guastello and colleagues and summarized here for “LiveScience”, May 27, 2014.

12. Hello Stranger

What happens when strangers are enticed to break the unwritten “no eye contact” rule? Positive emotions! Read about this research by Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder in this piece from the “New York Times”, April 25, 2014.

13. Viktor Frankl on the Art of Presence As a Lifeboat in Turbulent Times and What Suffering Teaches Us About the Meaning of Life.

Maria Popova for “Brain Pickings” describes Frankl’s concept of presence which comes from “accepting [one’s] suffering as a task”. Posted March, 2014.

14. Thrill Seeker or Chill Seeker?

Ken Carter designed this online version of the Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale. You can take the 40-item test and the site will tell you how you score overall and on the individual subscales of Boredom Susceptibility, Disinhibition, Experience Seeking, and Thrill & Adventure Seeking. Bonus: respondents’ results are combined to draw a map of sensation seeking scores around the world and within the United States.

15. Dr. Ken Carter

This web page of Clinical psychologist, speaker, and science writer Ken Carter contains many background resources on sensation seeking including audio and videos describing what sensation is and isn’t, links to a sensation seeking quiz, world heat maps of sensation seeing, press releases and more.

16. Resilience: Why It’s Vital and How to Enhance It

From the website: “You can’t always get what you want, but resilience helps you feel good anyways.”. From “Psychology Today”, June 6, 2013.

17. The Obstacle Is the Way

From the website: “the principle of changing poison into medicine explains that we can transform even the most horrific tragedy into the very thing we need to become happier than we currently are”. From “Psychology Today”, May 4, 2014.

18. Is There Hope for the Insecurely Attached?

Yes, according to Erica Djossa writing for “Science of Relationships”. In this piece she describes two categories of secure attachment: continuous secures and earned-secures. Earned-secures started out with an insecure attachment in infancy that developed into a secure attachment style later. This provides evidence for a secure buffering effect in which an insecure individual may come to show more secure attachment behaviors if they are in a relationship with a secure partner.

19. Here’s How Being Neurotic can Make you More Successful

Despite tendencies towards anxiety, depression, and mood swings, people who are high in Neuroticism tend to be strivers, whose proclivity for rumination may pay off in the right environment, like academia or knowledge-based work. From “Business Insider”, May 9, 2014.

20. Favorite Link Revisited: Electronic Texts Available on the Internet

Did you know that you can find electronic articles and writings free on the internet to supplement your personality course? Links to original writings by Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Carl Jung, Kurt Lewin, Niccolò Machiavelli, Abraham Maslow, Henry Murray, Carl Rogers, B.F. Skinner and more including an e-textbook in Personality Psychology by George Boeree of Shippensburg University are available here at PersonalityPedagogy.


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