Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 10, Number 1, September 2015

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 3,221 other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit:

Did you know that September 18 was “Jeans for Genes Day”, a campaign by this British charity to raise awareness of genetic disorders? As part of their educational campaign, they started a web page loaded with information and resources for teachers about genetics and genetic disorders. To celebrate with them, check out the links below and our Favorite Link Revisited.

Presidential hopefuls are often subject to name calling in the press, but have you heard about Donald Trump as “Narrcissist-in-Chief”? A touch of narcissism may actually be a helpful trait for the U.S. President…or at least a presidential hopeful according to research reviewed in the New York Times (see link below).

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

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2. Raising Awareness of Genetic Disorders: Jeans for Genes Day

As part of their mission, Jeans for Genes Day, which raises awareness of genetic disorders and money for people with genetic disorders, created “five minute films that are narrated by children who are either affected by a genetic disorder themselves or have an affected sibling. Each film is accompanied by a teacher fact sheet and a number of resources that can be used in the classroom.”

3. Six creative ways to teach genetics

A selection of creative ways to help students of all ages and abilities understand genes and genetic disorders. From “The Guardian”, September 7, 2015.

4. Your Family Health History: A DNA Day Activity

This PDF describes how to create a family tree or pedigree documenting medical conditions which may run in families, but you can easily adapt the activity to focus on personality traits.

5. Science says these 2 personality traits predict whether you’ll be a successful leader

“Every organization, from Apple and Google to the US government, demands different skills and personal qualities in its leadership. But research suggests there are two traits that are common to the majority of successful leaders: extroversion and conscientiousness”. According to a meta-analysis by Timothy Judge and colleagues as summarized here for “Business Insider”, July 14, 2015.

6. What does your selfie reveal about your personality?

According to research by Lin Qiu and colleagues published in “Computers in Human Behaviour” “[P]eople who scored higher in agreeableness (similar to friendliness) were more likely to show positive emotion in their selfies and to hold the camera in a lower position; high-scorers on conscientiousness were less likely to reveal a private location in the background (presumably because of concerns about privacy); people who scored higher in neuroticism (suggestive of emotional instability) were more likely to pull a duck face; and finally, higher scores in openness-to-experience correlated with showing more positive emotion. Levels of extraversion were not correlated with any of the cues, perhaps because so many people attempt to appear outgoing in their selfies.” From “BPS Research Digest”, August 11, 2015.

7. This personality test can signal if you have selfish or manipulative tendencies

“Do you deceive other people for your own benefit, see others as weak and untrustworthy, and ignore moral codes? If so, you may be” a high Mach according to this summary presented in “Business Insider”, August 27, 2015.

8. Machiavellianism Scale

This is an interactive version of the MACH-IV test of Machiavellianism.

9. The Narcissist in Chief

Writing for the “New York Times”, Gerard DuBois summarizes research on the kind of leaders narcissists make with an eye toward evaluating presidential candidates.

10. Research Tool Demonstrates How Your Facebook Likes Reveal Your Personality

Eric Ravenscraft, writing for “LifeHacker”, discusses a tool developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge to analyze your Facebook like to reveal what people can learn about you. This link takes you directly to the tool should you wish to try it out for yourself.

11. How Changeable Is Gender?

Richard A. Friendman, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College writes about how research in neuroscience suggests that gender identity and how it exists on a continuum in this thought-provoking essay. From “The New York Times”, August 22, 2015.

12. Here’s a Quick Way to Figure Out What You Should Do With Your Life, Based on Your Personality

Check out this colorful flow chart, based on the work of John Holland, which asks a series of questions to help you find your ideal career. From “The Muse”, July 13, 2015.

13. 6 Sample Questions Employers Ask to Assess your Personality

These 6 questions may be questions you are likely to see the next time you apply for a job. From “Business Insider”, July 16, 2015.

14. The Good Habit Which Boosts Self-Control

Research by Pilcher et al. (2015) and published in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience” finds that good sleep habits like going to bed at the same time every night, can boost attention, improve decision-making, and strengthen the ability to resist impulses. From PsyBlog, July 10, 2015.

15. This Obvious Happiness Strategy Really Does Work, Study Finds

According to research by Catalino et al. from the journal “Emotion”, explicitly trying to feel happier as well as paying too much attention to how happy you feel have both been linked to feeling worse. The secret to happiness appears to be “prioritizing positivity”. From PsyBlog, July 3, 2015.

16. The Personality Trait Linked To The Strongest Immune System

Outgoing, sociable people also have the strongest immune systems according to a study by Vedhara et al. (2014) published in the journal “Psychoneuroendochrinology” and summarized here in PsyBlog, December 14, 2014.

17. The Psychological Secret to Great Exercise Habits

Here’s the secret: “It’s all about making sure there are regular cues which prompt you to automatically exercise”. The catch? These cues are likely to be different for different people. From PsyBlog, July 15, 2015.

18. Take the Narcissism Test and Find Out If You’re ’Normal’

Ames et al. (2006) created a short 16-item test for narcissism which was published in the “Journal of Research in Personality”. You can take an online version of their test here.

19. Is Life’s Happiness Curve Really U-Shaped

Evidence suggests that happiness is likely to increase as we age according to research summarized here in “The Guardian”, June 24, 2015.

20. Why CBT is Falling Out of Favour

What’s going on? “After analysing 70 studies conducted between 1977 and 2014, researchers Tom Johnsen and Oddgeir Friborg concluded that CBT is roughly half as effective in treating depression as it used to be.” Read about their results and possible explanations for this trend in this summary for “The Guardian”, July 3, 2015.

21. Favorite Link Revisited: Teach Genetics

The Genetics Science Learning Center at the University of Utah built this website as a companion to their Learn.Genetics website. Here you will find classroom activities to teach the basics of heritable traits and take-home activities to help students share what they’ve learned with their families. PDFs are available for download including instructions, student worksheets, overhead masters, and answer keys. Some of the material may be too basic for a college class (although the graphics which review the basics of inheritance would make an excellent review), the topics do include Epigenetics, gene therapy, personalized medicine, cloning, and other fairly sophisticated topics. Most of the activities can be modified to fit the needs of your students and the topic of personality.

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