Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 12, August 2014

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 3,046 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month would be a good time to get moving on your upcoming fall classes. But if you are still in summer mode, then check out our links on procrastination below.

If, however, you are looking for inspiration for your classes including activities, textbooks, syllabi, and even ideas for first-day-of-class ice breakers, then check out The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology, our featured Favorite Link Revisited this month brought to you by The Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

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.Getting Over Procrastination

Piers Steel, a researcher whose specialty is procrastination, explains how procrastination has been a problem since recorded time leading to lessened well-being, worse health, and lower salaries. So, why do we do it and how can we stop it? Steel shares some of his research findings in this piece by Maria Konnikova for “The New Yorker”, July 22, 2014.

3. Procrastination and Science

What do the Dalai Lama, Victor Hugo, St. Augstine and Margaret Atwood have in common? They are all procrastinators according to researchers Piers Steel, Rosa Hendijani and Chris Morin of the University of Calgary. They put together this web page to study procrastination and to link it to other aspects of personality. Includes links to the downside and the upside of procrastination, famous procrastinators, quotes about procrastination, personality tests, online polls, strategies to counter procrastination, and a summary of their latest research. Posted August 2014.

4. Procrastination Survey

You can sign up here to take the procrastination survey of researchers Piers Steel, Rosa Hendijani and Chris Morin of the University of Calgary and to participate in their ongoing research on procrastination.

5. Sometimes Early Birds Are Too Early

From the article: “Since the advent of the deadline, procrastinators have suffered society’s barbs for putting off until later what needs doing now. But it turns out that many people appear to be finishing things sooner than they need to get them done. They are “precrastinators,” researchers say. “ From “The New York Times”, July 19, 2014.

6. How Your “Locus of Control” Drives Your Success (and Stress)

Though generally people with an internal locus of control fare better in life, an extreme internal orientation can become a problem unless it is tempered by competence, self-efficacy, and opportunity or else people may become neurotic, anxious, and depressed. From “Business Insider”, July 30, 2014.

7. Mathematical Equation to Predict Happiness: Doesn’t Depend on How Well Things Go, But on Whether Things are Better Than Expected

“The happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide has been predicted by an equation developed by researchers at [University College, London], with results showing that moment-to-moment happiness reflects not just how well things are going, but whether things are going better.” From “ScienceDaily”, August 4, 2014.

8. Study Reveals “Unhappiest” Cities in the U.S.

“New research identifies the unhappiest cities in the U.S., but finds that some young people are still willing to relocate to them for a good job opportunity or lower housing prices. The analysis suggests people may be deciding to trade happiness for other gains.” From “ScienceDaily”, July 22, 2014.

9. How Much Does Happiness Cost in Your State?

According to ABC News “In a popular study by psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton, it was determined that the “magic income” is $75,000 a year. According to the study, as people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness (or “Emotional Well-Being”) rises.” They put together a map estimating how much it takes in each state to reach this idea level of income. In some states like Utah and Mississippi, it takes less, while in others, New York, Connecticut, and Hawaii, it takes much more. July 18, 2014.

10. How 14 Things That Happened To You In Childhood Shape You As An Adult

From attachment with caretakers to making one’s own decisions, to being spanked as a kid, there is evidence that these experiences from one’s childhood can affect personality in adulthood. From “Business Insider”, July 28, 2014.

11. Why Was Darth Vader So Evil? Blame His Lack of Parental Care, Say Psychologists

“Why was Darth Vader such a bad dude? According to a team of psychologists led by Peter Jonason, it’s down to his lack of parental care: the fact he was separated from his mother at age 9, and his father’s absence. The researchers believe such circumstances can catalyze the emergence of the Dark Triad of personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism and Psychopathy. These traits are usually seen as negative, but Jonason and his colleagues believe they may be an adaptive response to tough early circumstances that signal to a child “life is bad”.” From “BPS Research Digest”, August 5, 2014.

12. How to Manage Both Extroverts and Introverts

Introverts and extroverts both bring assets to the workplace. Understanding what they are and how to manage them can help managers run a more productive and happy workplace. From “Business Insider”, July 10, 2014.

13. This Personality Trait Is The Most Important Driver Of Creative Achievement

According to research, the factor of Openness and its four constituent factors of explicit cognitive ability, intellectual engagement, affective engagement, and aesthetic engagement are related to creative work. From “Business Insider”, July 7, 2014.

14. One Simple Question Can Determine if You’re A Narcissist

According to Brad Bushman, “Narcissists aren’t afraid to tell you they’re narcissists” in this summary of his research here in “Business Insider”, August 6, 2014.

15. If Freud Worked Tech Support

Michael Brit, former professor of psychology, produces a podcast about psychology called “The Psych Files”. In this episode (Episode 224) he presents a ”humorous way to learn about the Freudian defense mechanisms (actually elaborated by Anna Freud) of Displacement, Denial, Sublimation, Reaction Formation, and Projection. A little dream analysis thrown in. Who knows? Maybe Freud would have been good at tech support” (runs 4 minutes, and 8 seconds).

16. Favorite Link Revisited: The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP)

The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) develops and distributes teaching and advising materials and provides services to teachers of psychology at all levels on behalf of The Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Look here for everything from copies of syllabi, how to write letters of recommendation, how to host an undergraduate research conference, to ethical issues and ice breakers with everything else in between.

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