Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 8, April 2014

April 30, 2014

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

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: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. 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 https://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com 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.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter
http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

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.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 4, December 2013

December 23, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,920 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month as the world celebrates many holidays, we bring you a shortened version of this newsletter. From all of us here at Personality Pedagogy, we wish you a new year filled with attachment, self-efficacy, self-actualization, mastery, happiness, and much, much more!

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: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. 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 https://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com 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.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter
http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu

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. Twenty Tips for Interpreting Scientific claims

William J. Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman, researchers in various fields, offer this “simple list of ideas that could help decision-makers to parse how evidence can contribute to a decision” tips in “Nature” Magazine, November 20, 2013.

3. Are You a Career Adapter?

Career adaptability, the “ability to manage existing and impending career challenges” including concern for future career tasks and challenges, control and self-discipline, curiosity, and confidence is related to personality traits including extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. This research was originally published this month in the “Journal of Vocational Behavior”, and summarized here on the Association for Psychological Science research blog, December 17, 2013.

4. Famous Personality Types

If you are a fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and other similar tests of personality, then check out this graphic showing all 16 personality types with “real life successful people” from celebrities to pop icons illustrating each of the types.

5. Narcissism Unleashed: Can an Entire Culture Be Narcissistic?

W. Keith Campbell and Jean M. Twenge review recent research which suggests a cultural epidemic of narcissism. The self-centeredness, arrogance, and self-absorption of individual narcissists may actually describe quite well American culture of the present day. From the Association for Psychological Science “Observer”, December 2013.

6. Meditation Changes How Genes Are Expressed

Research by Kaliman et al. (2014) found that people who meditated, compared to control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities, showed changes in gene functioning at the molecular level, demonstrating epigenetic alterations of the genome. This link is to the original press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; this link is to a summary of the press release from “PsyBlog”.

7. You Just Have to Believe: Audacious Ambition

“Researchers Timothy Judge and John Kammeyer-Mueller have shown that people who believe they can accomplish the goals they set are more likely to accomplish them. This is because if you believe you can accomplish your goal, you are more likely to put in the energy and effort required to attain it.” From the “PsychCentral” blog, December 2013.

8. Haste Makes Waste, But Not if You’re Neurotic

Despite popular wisdom that “haste makes waste”, people who are high in neuroticism make “more accurate judgments the faster they respond” according to research by James Bell and colleagues published in “Psychology of Sport and Exercise” and summarized here in “BPS Research Digest”, November 2013.

9. Night Owls and Early Risers Have Different Brain Structures

Using brain scans, researchers found that night owls showed “reduced integrity” of while matter” in the several areas of the brain, compared to early risers.

And for those of you with Christmas cookies in the house . . .

10. 2 Easy Ways to Increase Willpower — Courtesy Of The Cookie Monster

Eric Barker, in his “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” blog, reviews the research on willpower and how to delay gratification using videos of kids and the Cookie Monster. Interestingly, Sesame Street actually consulted with Walter Mischel, the originator of the marshmallow test, to be sure that Cookie got his psychology correct. Cookie Monster illustrates that distraction and focus can help self-control in a charming music video. From December 2, 2013.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 2, October, 2011

October 18, 2011

Hello and welcome to the sixty-second Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,322 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we have a record number of links to share with you, everything from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Magic Mushrooms, with Jeopardy, comedians, laughter, narcissism, the upside of pessimism, and the very first mention of Sigmund Freud in ”The New York Times” in between.

Know somebody high in Neuroticism? This month we are pleased to bring you a rare upside to this trait: People high in Neuroticism tend to lose themselves in movies more than people low in Neuroticism. This means that they experience movies more richly, including both the positive emotions of happy and uplifting movies and the negative emotions of sad and scary movies.

While we’re on the topic of Neuroticism, while you may think of Woody Allen or Richard Lewis when it comes to neurotic comedians, it turns out that comedians are not higher in Neuroticism than non-comedians. They are, however, lower in Agreeableness and higher in Openness.

Speaking of Openness, people who have taken hallucinogenic mushrooms (!) do indeed experience more Openness. This bit of folk wisdom left over from the 1960s now has scientific backing. Further, this change in Openness may last up to a year later. Not that we’re advocating hallucinogens, but this study is sure to spark discussion in your classes about the ethics of research, how experience can change personality, and the consistency of personality over time.

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: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. Remember, you can read old newsletters, comment on newsletters, view the current newsletter or re-read what you missed in last month’s newsletter by checking out our blog at https://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com 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.

Cheers,
Marianne

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-Promotion: Why Arnold’s Self-Statue Is Very Serious. Really.

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a larger-than-life bronze statue of himself in his body-building days as part of a museum dedicated to Schwarzenegger in his hometown of Thal, Austria. Is this an example of egoism or merely the latest example of self-promotion harkening back to the ancients? From ”LiveScience”, October 2, 2011, by Stephanie Pappas.

3. Life’s Extremes: Early Bird vs. Night Owls

A good overview of circadian rhythm and the chronotypes of morning larks and night owls including genetic influences and sleep-phase disorders. From ”LiveScience”, October 2, 2011, by Adam Hadhazy.

4. Magic Mushrooms May Permanently Alter Personality

Even just one dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms can alter a person’s level of Openness for more than a year according to research by Katherine MacLean and colleagues as summarized in ”LiveScience”, September 29, 2011 by Stephanie Pappas.

5. Neurotics Experience More Immersion When Watching Films

People who score high in Neuroticism tend to feel more absorbed in films, both enjoying comedies more and horror and sad films less than people lower in Neuroticism. This, according to research by David Weibel and colleagues published this month in ”Personality and Individual Differences” and summarized here.

6. Neuroticism Influences Brain Activity During Anticipation and Experience of Pain

Neuroticism ”significantly affects brain processing during pain, as well as during the anticipation of pain”, according to a new study in ”Gastroenterology” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily”, September 20, 2011.

7. Pessimism — It Could Save Your Mind

Summarizes research by O’Mara, McNulty, and Karney (2011) in the ”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” which found that optimism led to increased mental health when participants were faced with less stressful situations, but that pessimism was more adaptive in the face of highly stressful situations. From ”Brain Blogger”, October 11, 2011 by Radhika Takru.

8. First Mention: Sigmund Freud, 1909

From the website: ”Sigmund Freud visited the United States only once, in 1909, to give a series of lectures. ”The New York Times” found nothing about the visit worth mentioning except his departure. ”Prof. Sigmund Freud” appears on Page 9 on Sept. 21, along with ”Dr. C. G. Jung,” in a list of passengers sailing to Bremen, Germany, aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse. It was the first time the newspaper mentioned his name […] A search of The Times database from the early 1920s until Freud’s death yields nearly 300 references to him and almost 1,000 to psychoanalysis. ”

9. How Not to Spot Personality Test Fakers

Can response times reveal test fakers? Maybe not. This notion was tested in research by Mindy Shoss and Michael Strube and summarized here in ”Research Digest”, September 14, 2011.

10. US Views on Gays, Lesbians, Shift Sharply

According to the 2010 update of the General Social Survey (GSS) at NORC at the University of Chicago, not only do a plurality of Americans approve of same-sex marriage, but they overwhelmingly support freedom of expression and basic civil liberties for gays and lesbians. This article summarizes these findings and includes two graphs which illustrate this trend toward increased tolerance over time.

11. Gender Non-Conformity in a Tide Ad

This ad depicts a mom who is exasperated at her daughter’s non-conformity with gender roles. While the mom tries to be supportive of her daughter’s non-traditional efforts, her obvious discomfort illustrates that gendered expectations for behavior still run strong.

12. It’s Ok to Be Neither: Teaching That Supports Gender-Variant Children

Melissa Bollow Tempel discusses her realization that just as gender training begins early, teaching about gender expectations and breaking down gender stereotypes should begin early as well. In this article Tempel describes how she changed her classroom to be more supportive of gender variance.

13.How to Get the Most Out of Studying

Stephen Chew, Samford University, created this series of 5 videos to help students. Grounded in his own research on using cognitive principles to improve teaching and learning, Chew presents basic principles of how people learn and tries to correct counterproductive beliefs so that students can improve their learning by designing their own effective study strategies and avoiding ineffective strategies.

14. Psychologists Discover A Gene’s Link to Optimism, Self-Esteem

According to research by Shelley E. Taylor and colleagues, and summarized here, researchers have identified a gene linked to optimism, self-esteem, and mastery. From ”Science Daily”, September 14, 2011.

15. Why We Dream

The BBC produced this video documentary on dreams: ”People who study dreaming to find out why we dream have found several potential answers: they help keep us asleep, they contribute to good mental health, and they help us find answers to questions we seek. But what do they mean, and can we control them? This excellent documentary interviews scientists, dreamers, and people with sleep and dream disorders to find out more about this always fascinating subject.” (Runs 58 minutes and 24 seconds).

16.Life’s Extremes: Outgoing vs. Shy

Summarizes research on early temperaments related to extraversion,  introversion, and shyness. Includes an excellent graphic summarizing these differences. From ”LifeScience”, September 25, 2011.

17. What’s On Your Genes?

Written for kids, this overview of genetics nonetheless does an excellent job of explaining Mendellian inheritance and epigenetics.

18. Goodness Has Nothing to Do With It

This article from ”The Economist” summarizes research by Daniel Bartels and David Pizzaro which suggests that people with a utilitarian outlook tend to be Machiavellian or psychopathic.

19. It’s All About Autonomy: Consumers React Negatively When Prompted to Think About Money

From the webpage: ”Whether they are aware of it or not, consumers dislike being reminded of money — so much that they will rebel against authority figures, according to a new study in the ”Journal of Consumer Research” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily”, September 15, 2011.

20. Laughter is a Physical, Not a Mental Thing

From the summary: ”Laughter is regularly promoted as a source of health and well being, but it has been hard to pin down exactly why laughing until it hurts feels so good. The answer, reports Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, is not the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humor, but the physical act of laughing”. Read all about it here in ”3 Quarks Daily”, September 14, 2011.

21. Gender and the Narcissist

An overview of gender differences in narcissism and the finding that most narcissists are male.

22. Existential Therapy

An overview of existential theory and therapy as practiced by Rollo May and Irvin Yalom. Contains quotes, movie recommendations, training, comparisons with the humanistic tradition, and more.

23. The Strange Situation

Presents video of a mother and secure child going through Ainsworth’s Strange Situation. A voice over explains each part of the Strange Situation protocol, to which the baby reacts (runs 5 minutes and 24 seconds).

24. The Pursuit of Happiness

With the philosophy that happiness is ”understandable, obtainable, and teachable” this website presents a history of the philosophy of happiness and finding in the science of happiness along with teaching resources including syllabi, mini-lessons and PowerPoint presentations on the science and philosophy of happiness. They also welcome submissions.

25. Psychology Jeopardy

Stephen Wurst, SUNY Oswego, created these ”Jeopardy”-style games to use for review sessions with your classes. Boards are organized by theme and include: David Bowie Songs, Bruce Springsteen Songs, WordPlay, Broadway Musicals, Classic Jeopardy Categories, Dr. Strangelove and more. You play directly on the Super Teacher Tools website (see below) by choosing the number of teams and amount of time to answer questions. Correct answers are given and the site includes a scoreboard. See the Super Teacher Tools website (below) for a template you can use to make a Jeopardy review game with your own questions.

26. Super Teacher Tools

This site is ”dedicated to providing technology tools for teaching that are quick and easy to download, learn, and start using in your classroom.” Includes review games, classroom management software, and other miscellaneous tools for educators.

27. Personality: Funny in the Head

Does it take a special personality to be a stand-up comedian? Despite some notable exceptions, comedians are not more Neurotic than other people. They are, however, more Open to Experience and less Agreeable according to research by Gil Greengross and Geoffrey Miller summarized here.

28. Favorite Link Revisited: The Trait Paper Assignment

From the abstract: ”A personality trait-based term paper assignment that is appropriate for use in personality psychology courses and that is designed to foster critical thinking skills is introduced. The extent to which the trait questions correspond to generic critical thinking questions is considered, the specific thinking skills induced by each trait question are discussed, and potential limitations of the assignment are noted. Preliminary data are also presented which suggest that the trait-based term paper assignment stimulates critical thinking and enhances knowledge about personality traits. It is hoped that the ideas presented and issues discussed in the present article will encourage academic psychologists from all subdisciplines to develop writing assignments that foster critical thinking skills.” This assignment is not rooted in a particular model of traits and so is adaptable to any model. From Hittner, J. B. (1999). Fostering critical thinking in personalty psychology. ”Journal of Instructional Psychology”, 26, 92-97.