Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 9, Number 3, November 2014

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 3,088 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

Are you a morning person, like Maya Angelou, or more of a night owl, like Picasso or Mozart? Is New York really the city that never sleeps? There must be something about the shorter days, earlier darkness, and the ending of daylight savings time which is making people — or at least the news outlets — more aware of our circadian sleeping and waking cycles. We feature two interesting links this month: One on the daily rhythms of famous creative people and the other on the sleep-wake cycles of U.S. inhabitants featuring an interactive graphic of sleep times averaged over each county within every state.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches here in the US we are grateful for lots of things from good health to a continuous stream of interesting findings in personality psychology that we are happy to share with all of our readers!

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. When Does A Consciousness Test Not Test for Consciousness?

Describes the classic Mirror Test and the controversy behind it, most notably from B. R. Skinner, and questions if the test really measures self-awareness or just good training. Includes a video of a pigeon undergoing the mirror test. By Chelsea Wald for the science blog “Nautilus”, November 24, 2014.

3. Debunking Myths About Sexual Fluidity

Researcher and relationships expert Dylan Selterman, of the “Science of Relationships” website explains what sexual fluidity is and clarifies some misconceptions and controversies around the concept including bisexuality, emotional bonding, sexual desire, and gender differences in fluidity. Posted November 2014.

4. What Were the Daily Routines of the Great Composers?

“Night owls or early birds – how did Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss structure their day? Their habits in composing, breakfast, socialising and exercise are plotted against those of other great minds in this look at the daily routines of famous creative people” by Kyle Macdonald for Classic FM radio. Posted November 2014.

5. Dance to the (Circadian) Rhythm

The consumer technology company “Jawbone” released data aggregated from its users tracking sleep and wake times by location. The result is a series of fascinating interactive graphs of bedtimes and total hours of night sleep by county within the United States. Some fascinating findings suggest that our circadian rhythms are more attuned to the sunrise and sunset than to what the clocks say. Posted November 2014.

6. The Long and the Short of It

New research suggests that stress takes a toll on us at the most basic level: our genes. Over time, telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of our chromosome what protects our genetic data become shorter and die, leading to a wide range of aging-related diseases including dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. From the APS “Observer”, volume 27 (9), November 2014.

7. Why Self-Control and Grit Matter —- And Why It Pays to Know the Difference

C. Nathan DeWall, writing for the Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science column in the APS “Observer”, presents this five-minute activity on the Duckworth and Gross (2014) study of Self-Control and Grit.

8. How Long Will You Live? Ask Your Friends

Joshua Jackson and colleagues discovered that peer estimates of personality are better predictors of health and longevity than are self-reports according to research published in “Psychological Science” and summarized here by Wray Herbert for “The Huffington Post”, November 19, 2014.

9. Beyond the Purchase

From the website “We know that the effects of our spending choices often last beyond the place or moment of a purchase. Sometimes those effects are beneficial, leading to enjoyment, happy memories, or feelings of belongingness. At other times those effects may be financially or emotionally detrimental. We developed Beyond The Purchase to explore happiness and the quality of life, and the outcomes of different purchasing and money-management choices, as well as the motivations behind them.” Psychologist Ryan Howell and colleagues created this site to help people make more informed choices. The site features personality tests, research findings, and a special section for incorporating their ideas into your classroom including a demonstration and slides on the Big Five personality traits and teaching central tendency using the Big Five.

10.The Jung Page

From the website: “Begun in 1995 by Jungian analyst Don Williams, The Jung Page provides online educational resources for the Jungian community around the world. With the cooperation and generosity of analysts, academics, independent scholars and commentators, and the editors of several Jungian journals, The Jung Page provides a place to encounter innovative writers and to enter into a rich, ongoing conversation about psychology and culture.”

11. Favorite Link Revisited: 10 Easy Activities Science Has Proven Will Make You Happier

Grounded in research, these activities including practicing gratitude, controlling counter-factual thinking and others may be used to spark discussion or to introduce topics in stress, resilience, cognition, emotion, and positive psychology.


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