Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 7, March 2014

March 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 2,964 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

As you know, the month of March is women’s history month and the media has been filled with all kinds of articles on gender differences. We’ve got some of the most fascinating collection of links on gender and gender differences, from man-tissues to an all-girl robotics team to a special episode in which the MythBusters question whether there is any evidence for gender differences in throwing by investigating the insult “You throw like a girl”.

Also, this month, we have located a series of videos illustrating attachment in both infants and adults. All in all, this is one of our newsiest issues in a long 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 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. Myth Busters You Throw Like a Girl

The Myth Busters team from the Discovery Channel bring out the evidence and take on the insult “You throw like a girl”. See how they debunk this myth of gender differences in this video (runs 3 minutes 39 seconds).

3. I’m An Engineer, Not A Cheerleader.

When 17-year old Sara Sakowitz and her all-girl robotics team were mistaken for cheerleaders instead of competitors, she described her frustration and dismay at one more micro aggression against smart non gender-conforming girls in this astute and moving opinion piece for “The Washington Post”, February 26, 2014.

4. Digging Into The Roots of Gender Differences

New research published in “Animal Behaviour” and summarized by Barbara J. King for NPR suggest that “[D]ata on wild chimpanzees from […] Tanzania, indicate that human sex differences in childhood are primarily the result of biological, evolutionary mechanisms.” Published March 21, 2014.

5. Google, Tell Me. Is My Son A Genius?

“MORE than a decade into the 21st century, we would like to think that American parents have similar standards and similar dreams for their sons and daughters. But my study of anonymous, aggregate data from Google searches suggests that contemporary American parents are far more likely to want their boys smart and their girls skinny.” So says commentator Seth Stephens-Davidowitz and he has the graphics and explanation to support this statement.

6.The Most Pointlessly Gendered Products

Plenty has been said on how gendered advertising is harmful by reinforcing ender stereotypes. But according to the “Feministing” website, gendered advertising has reached a new low. There are now tissues, bread, and eggs marketed to men and even pet shampoo marketed to the owners of male and female dogs. Is using gender to sell gender-irrelevant products taking things too far? These images ought to spark a lively discussion of stereotypes vs. true gender differences in personality. Published March 26, 2014.

7. The Hidden Messages in Children’s Books

“Adults often find surprising subtexts in children’s literature – but are they really there? Hephzibah Anderson delves into the world of Freud and fairy tales” in this piece for the BBC. Published March 19, 2014.

8. Psychoanalysis and Art

John Dodds built this site to support the psychology courses he teaches including a course on Psychoanalysis and Art and Psychoanalysis and Society. Includes syllabi, readings, visuals, and more, on Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, and Object Relations.

9. Attachment Styles and Romantic Relationships

A description and illustration of the three patterns of adult attachment by Alex Sauciuc and Colin Ford with Professor Dana Kotter-Gruehn. Published April 10, 2013 (Runs 15 minutes, 12 seconds)

10. Attachment Styles in Adults

Actors portray interactions between a secure, anxious, and ambivalent woman and her boyfriend. Published December 1, 2012 (runs 4 minutes 19 seconds).

11. PsychAlive: Dr. Dan Siegel on Optimal Attachment in infants and adults

Published March 3, 2011. Runs 1 minute, 4 seconds.

12. PsychAlive: Dr. Dan Siegel on Avoidant Attachment in infants and adults

Published March 3, 2011. Runs 2 minutes, 3 seconds.

13. PsychAlive: Dr. Dan Siegel on Ambivalent Attachment in infants and adults

Published March 3, 2011. Runs 1 minute, 55 seconds.

14. PsychAlive: Dr. Dan Siegel on Disorganized Attachment in infants and adults

Published March 3, 2011. Runs 5 minutes, 29 seconds.

15. Does Teaching Kids to Get “Gritty” Help Them Get Ahead?

Summarizes the research by Angela Duckworth and describes how school are trying to teach students “grit” i.e., that persistence, determination and resilience are the keys to success in school and beyond. Tovia Smith visits a public school in Brooklyn and reports on how they have put Duckworth’s ideas into action. From NPR’s “Morning Edition”, March 17, 2014. Includes links to a a Grit scale and the mindset test of Carol Dweck. Part 1 Runs 7 minutes, 48 seconds; Part 2 runs 7 minutes, 43 seconds.

16. Grit Scale

According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, “Grit is the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals”. The idea is that determination, persistence, and resilience are the keys to success. Take this short quiz and see how much grit you have compared to others.

17. Mindset Scale

When it comes to your own level of intelligence and other basic qualities, do you have more of a fixed mindset or more of a growth mindset? Take this 16-item quiz to find out your attitude toward basic abilities.

18. Why Sleep is Important and What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough

Summarizes research on sleep and sleep disorders and explains why it is so important that we get our rest. Published by the American Psychological Association March 30, 2014.

19. To Keep Teenagers Alert, School Let Them Sleep In

“The sputtering, nearly 20-year movement to start high schools later has recently gained momentum in communities like this one, as hundreds of schools in dozens of districts across the country have bowed to the accumulating research on the adolescent body clock.” according to this story in the “New York Times” published March 13, 2014.

20. Favorite Link Revisited: Psychological Differences Between the Sexes: A time capsule from 1964

This 1964 film claims that innate psychological and emotional differences between the sexes leads to problems in relationships and strives to educate young people to avoid these problems. But according to psychological research in the 50 years or more since this film was produced, are these truly sex differences or merely stereotypes? This obviously dated film is sure to spark discussion on these and related issues.

 

 

 

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Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 10, June, 2013

June 22, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-second Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,801 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we are very excited to present a hard-to-find example of insecure infants in the Strange Situation. While it is easy to find videos of secure attachments between parents and their children in the strange situation, it is much harder to find good illustrations of insecure attachment. This brief clip shows how children with avoidant and ambivalent attachment react to maternal separation and reunion.

Also, this month it seems that we have amassed quite a few links to happiness research and positive emotions. And maybe that’s just the way it ought to be while summer is in full throttle. So, why fight it! Check out our Favorite Link Revisited for ways to increase the healing power of positive emotions in your life by having more fun this 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: 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. Chimpanzees’ Personas Seem More Complex Than People’s

Using the same techniques as the early (human) trait theorists did, Hani Freeman and her colleagues found evidence that chimpanzee personality consists of 6 dimensions. These include extroversion, agreeableness and openness, shared by humans, but also reactivity (related to the human trait of neuroticism, perhaps?), dominance and methodicalness which are not. Their research was published in the “American Journal of Primatology” and summarized here in “The Economist”, June 15, 2013.

3. Arrogant, Moi? Investigating Narcissists’ insight into Their Traits, Behavior and Reputation

Research by Erika Carlson and colleagues suggests that “Narcissists do have genuine insight into their narcissism” [but] “They seem to perceive narcissism as a ‘get ahead’ trait that brings them personal gain … a personal strength, and [they] justify their narcissism in terms of the benefits it has for them.” Read more in this summary from the “British Psychological Society Research Digest”, June 4, 3013.

4. Anxious? Activate Your Anterior Cingulate Cortex With a Little Meditation

Research by Fadel Zeidan and colleagues published in “Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience” found that area of the brain which regulate worrying are activated during mediation, leading to lowered anxiety according to this summary in “Science Daily”, June 4, 2013.

5. Secure, Insecure, Avoidant & Ambivalent Attachment in Mothers & Babies

This brief video clip features the analysis and voice-over of Everett Waters, as three mothers and babies react to the strange situation by showing patterns of secure, avoidant, or ambivalent/resistant attachment. Runs 3 minutes, 39 seconds.

6. The Strange Situation – Mary Ainsworth

This brief video clip illustrates the Strange Situation used to assess attachment using a 14-month old girl who shows secure attachment with her mother. Runs 3 minutes, 15 seconds.

7. How Positive Emotions Lead to Better Health

Research by Bethany Kok and colleagues suggests that “Positive emotion, positive social connections, and physical health influence one another in a self-sustaining, upward-spiral dynamic.” Read a summary of their research from “Psychological Science” here in “Pacific Standard”, May 8, 2013.

8.Teaching Students About the Sunny Side of Stress

Nathan DeWall and David G. Myers offer their advice and guidance about teaching an area of research recently highlighted in “Current Directions of Psychological Science”. In this column for the May/June 2013 APS “Observer” they discuss how people can use arousal reappraisal to lessen the experience of stress in both mind and body.

9. Teaching Students About How Simple, Positive Activities Can Increase Well-Being

Nathan DeWall and David G. Myers offer their advice and guidance about teaching an area of research recently highlighted in “Current Directions of Psychological Science”. In this column for the May/June 2013 APS “Observer” they discuss numerous classroom activities to illustrate the effect—how simple activities can increase well-being—and spark discussion.

10. Richard III: Psychopath or Mere Control Freak? Psychologists Weigh In

“Was England’s King Richard III (1452–85) a murderous psychopath? Thanks to Shakespeare’s play, the hunchbacked monarch has gone down in history as the heartless ruler who ordered the murders of the brother and young nephews who stood between him and the throne.” However, psychologists Mark Lansdale and Julian Boon of the University of Leicester re-analyzed Richard’s character using biographies and other written accounts. They conclude that “the king likely suffered from anxiety, not psychopathy” in this summary from the APA “Monitor on Psychology”, June 2013.

11. Transgender Today

“Throughout history, transgender people have been misunderstood and seldom studied. That’s beginning to change” according to this article by Eve Glicksman for the “APA Monitor on Psychology”, April 2013, volume 44, number 4, page 36.

12. The Psychology of Motivation Explained (in under 300 words)

According to Jeremy Dean of “PsyBlog”, the way to “harness the power of self-guiding, internal motivation” is to look for competence, autonomy, and relatedness in any activity. Read his succinct summary of the self-determination theory of motivation and engagement here.

13. It’s Nature, Not Nurture: Personality Lies in Genes, Twins Study Shows

“Genes play a greater role in determining key personality traits like social skills and learning ability than the way we are brought up by our parents”, according to research by Timothy Bates and colleagues in “The Journal of Personality” and summarized in this article from “The Telegraph”, May 16, 2013.

14. Could We Record Our Dreams?

“Have you ever wished your could record your dreams and watch them later? It may be possible sooner than you think” according to this video by Asap Science. While the premise may sound a bit like science fiction, the video does a great job of explaining the latest fMRI studies which do come eerily close to mind-reading. (runs 3 minutes, 55 seconds).

15. Social Connections Drive the ‘Upward Spiral’ of Positive Emotions and Health

“People who experience warmer, more upbeat emotions may have better physical health because they make more social connections” according to a study by  Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kok published in “Psychological Science” and summarized here by the Association for Psychological Science, May 8, 2013.

16. Facebook Profiles Raise Users’ Self-Esteem and Affect Behavior

“A Facebook profile is an ideal version of self, full of photos and posts curated for the eyes of family, friends and acquaintances. A new study shows that this version of self can provide beneficial psychological effects and influence behavior” according to research by Catalina Toma sand colleagues published in “Media Psychology” and summarized here in “Science Daily”, May 31, 2013.

17. Personality and Social Relationships

In 2008 a group of researchers established the “Personality and Social Relationships” or PERSOC group to help others integrate findings from social psychology and personality psychology. “PERSOC is based on the idea that the interplay of personality and social relationships is influenced by three classes of variables: dispositions (as measured by self-report questionnaires, indirect tests of personality or biological measures), cues (appearances, behaviors, and behavioral residues, as measured by direct observation), and interpersonal perceptions (as measured by other-reports at zero, short-term, or long-term acquaintance).” Their website contains a description of their work, tools for teaching and for statistical analysis, and links to important papers. Teaching materials are available in German with English versions to come.

18. Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes

This fascinating article explains the process of epigenetics and how “Your ancestors’ lousy childhoods or excellent adventures might change your personality, bequeathing anxiety or resilience by altering the epigenetic expressions of genes in the brain.” By Dan Hurley for “Discover Magazine”, May 2013.

19. Can Money Buy Happiness? 5 Smart Ways to Spend It

According to Michael Norton and Elizabeth Dunn, it can, if you know how to spend it. Check out these 5 suggestions from Erik Barker on his “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog.

20. 10 Research-Based Steps to a Happier Life

What do Christopher Peterson, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Sonja Lyubomirsky and others suggest lead to a happier life? Check out these 10 suggestions by Erik Barker on his “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog.

21. Favorite Link Revisited: The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun

Get focused, be creative, use your wisdom, take action and in the end have more fun in your life. This multi-media presentation is also available in a French and Spanish version.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 5, January, 2012

January 11, 2012

Hello and welcome to the sixty-fifth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,376 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month National Geographic is running an article on Twins: nature, nurture, and the so-called ”third way” of epigenetics. As researcher Danielle Reed explains ”Mother Nature writes some things in pencil and some things in pen. Things written in pen you can’t change. That’s DNA. But things written in pencil you can. That’s epigenetics. Now that we’re actually able to look at the DNA and see where the pencil writings are, it’s sort of a whole new world.” The article is a fascinating read for students and teachers alike and the accompanying photo montages of twins by two different photographers will liven up your class materials.

Also this month, in the aftermath of the peak toy season, there has been a big controversy over gender-neutral toys now being re-designed and marketed to girls. Yes, the Lego building blocks loved by children all over are now getting feminine figures, cafe and salon play scenes, and a make-over in shades of pink and purple. See young Riley’s rant about such marketing ploys, a very thoughtful op-ed article on the issue, and a vintage ad for Legos from the 1980s below. These materials can be used to illustrate gender stereotyping and gender socialization or to give your students food-for-thought for a lively classroom debate on the topic.

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

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. A Thing or Two About Twins

From the website: ”They have the same piercing eyes. The same color hair. One may be shy, while the other loves meeting new people. Discovering why identical twins differ—despite having the same DNA—could reveal a great deal about all of us.” Good explanation of epigenetics from ”National Geographic”, January 2012 by Peter Miller.

3. The Photographic Fascination With Twins

Photographer Martin Schoeller capture these portraits of three sets of identical twins to illustrate a recent story in National Geographic: ”In Schoeller’s portraits, eyes are like an open book. His portraits are studies of the face’s physical topography, but also of our irrepressible emotions — how they translate to the twinkle of an eye or the wrinkle on a forehead.”

4. Photo Gallery: A Thing or Two About Twins

From the website: ”Photographer Jodi Cobb captures the interaction between twins — and how they can be both alike and different — in this photo gallery.”

5. Should the World of Toys Be Gender Free?

Peggy Orenstein evaluates the pros and cons of gender targeted toys and marketing campaigns in this op ed article from the ”New York Times”, December 29, 2011.

6. Riley on Marketing

Riley Maida, age 4, has had enough of pink princesses being marketed to girls and super heroes being marketed to boys. She speaks out for the cessation of gendered toy marketing and the elimination of gendered stereotypes. Also check out this ABC News profile on Riley.

7. Vintage Lego Ad and article on Social Media Backlash against the new Legos

8. Resilience: The Ghost Boy

According to this uplifting story in the ”Mail Online”, from July 6, 2011, ”Martin Pistorius was a happy, healthy boy – until at the age of 12 a mystery illness left him in a virtual coma. Doctors never found the cause of his condition – even his mother gave up hope. Yet in 1992, when Martin was 16, a miracle happened: he started to regain consciousness. But he was still trapped in his broken body, unable to communicate. Slowly, however, he regained some control of his head and arms, and began to use a computer to write messages and operate a synthetic voice. Here, Martin tells the story of his remarkable recovery – and how he came to find love, a home and a job in England…”

9. Virginia Tech Shootings: Research on Post-Traumatic Stress

According to research by professors Michael Hughes and Russell T. Jones, 15.4 percent of Virginia Tech students experienced high levels of posttraumatic stress three to four months following the shootings. Their research is published in ”Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 3, 2011.

10. The Great Parking Debate: A Research Methods Case Study

The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science presents this vignette to teaching principles of hypothesis testing: ”Two friends debate whether people leave their parking spaces faster if others are waiting. They decide to see if they can design a study to test their ideas. In this interrupted case study, students develop a research question and hypothesis and consider how to test a hypothesis. Students read about what researchers have done to answer the research question and identify and evaluate different research designs. Students are also asked to evaluate data. Developed for a use in an introductory psychology course to cover terms and concepts related to research methods, the case could be used in other introductory science classes, early in research methods courses, or in upper-level social science courses.” Includes teaching notes and answer key.

11. Narcissists Look Like Good Leaders — But They Aren’t

”Narcissists rise to the top. That’s because other people think their qualities—confidence, dominance, authority, and self-esteem—make them good leaders.” However, this is not the case according to research by Barbora Nevicka and others published in ”Psychological Science”, September 2011, and summarized here.

12. Existentialtainment

A compendium of jokes, cartoons, and examples from the media which illustrate aspects of existentialism.

13. Best Marriage Equality Commercial Ever

This Australian public service announcement takes a novel and moving approach in its support for marriage equality.

14. WingClips: Movie Clips that Illustrate and Inspire

Inspirational movie clips for use in school, church, or other organization. The site is organized by movie title, scripture, category, and theme, and is searchable. Clips can be streamed (but are imprinted with a watermark) or can be downloaded. Most are free; some are available for a small fee.

15. Laughter Has Positive Impact on Vascular Function

”Watching a funny movie or sitcom that produces laughter has a positive effect on vascular function and is opposite to that observed after watching a movie that causes mental stress according to research” by Michael Miller and colleagues presented at the ”European Society of Cardiology Congress” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 28, 2011.

16. Three Facts You Might Not Know About Freud and His Cocaine Addiction

Writer Margarita Tartakovsky for ”World of Psychology” presents these three little-known facts about Freud’s cocaine addiction from Howard Markel’s book ”An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted and the Miracle Drug Cocaine”.

17. Sex Differences in Mental Illness

”Women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression, while men tend toward substance abuse or antisocial disorders, according to a new study” published in the ”Journal of Abnormal Psychology” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 18, 2011.

18. Flawed Logic of Segregating Boys and Girls for Education Purposes Based on Alleged Brain Differences

According to research by Lise Eliot and colleagues, ”There is no scientific basis for teaching boys and girls separately. Her review reveals fundamental flaws in the arguments put forward by proponents of single-sex schools to justify the need of teaching teach boys and girls separately. Eliot shows that neuroscience has identified few reliable differences between boys’ and girls’ brains relevant to learning or education.” This research was published in ”Sex Roles” and is summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 18, 2011.

19. Consumer Self-Esteem While Shopping

”People who don’t feel positive about their appearance are less likely to buy an item they’re trying on if they see a good-looking shopper or salesperson wearing the same thing” according to research by Darren Dahl, Jennifer Argo, and Andrea Morales, published in the ”Journal of Consumer Research” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, August 20, 2011.

20. Favorite Link Revisited: Psychology Cartoons

Spice up your lectures with one of these classic single-panel cartoons of Sydney Harris. In this online collection of science cartoons you will find references to Freud, Rorschach, brain dominance, Skinner, existentialism, and more.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 6, February, 2010

February 23, 2010

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Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 6, February, 2010

Hello and welcome to the forty-second Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Is it spring yet? Not that we think our weather here has been any worse than yours, but let’s just say between two-hour delays, shoveling, two back-to-back blizzards, we’ve had enough! This seems like a good month to stay indoors and keep warm with a nice cup of hot chocolate by the computer with this month’s newsletter.

This month we are reflecting on the life and work of noted personality psychologist Jack Block, who died January 13. You can read about him in his New York Times obituary (see link below). Among his many accomplishments, often with his wife and co-author Jeanne, is establishing one of the earliest longitudinal studies in the field, development of the Q-sort test, work on the ego-resilient personality, the Ego Resiliency scale, and his classic book ”Lives Through Time”. It was Jack and Jeanne Block who introduced the word ”resilience” to psychology over 60 years ago in their dissertations.

The second link this month is to a summary on the website ”Sociological Images” of a ”New York Times” article by Natalie Angier and Kenneth Chang summarizing research on gender differences in math. It seems that psychological research tells a very different story from folk wisdom. Check out the myths and the facts here. If you’re not already aware, ”Sociological Images” is a good source for controversial maps, graphs, advertisements (vintage and current), on issues related to sociology including institutionalized racism, sexism, etc. While more relevant to social psych or sociology, their entries are always thought-provoking and sure to spark discussion among your students.

Have you heard of Thiagi? Sivasailam ”Thiagi” Thiagarajan was the genius behind the classic cross-cultural game, and one of our all-time favorites, called ”Barnga” (published by Intercultural Press; see link below). He has a website and monthly newsletter all about how to use play to teach and train people with games and interactive experiential exercises (http://thiagi.com/). This month, we feature a link to one of his newest games: Five ”-Ful” Envelopes.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues. 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 new blog: https://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com/ You can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. Jack Block, Who Studied Young Children Into Adulthood, Dies at 85

From the ”New York Times” obituary, February 6, 2010: ”Jack Block, a prominent psychologist of personality who in 1968 began studying a group of California preschoolers and for decades kept watch as they moved from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, died on Jan. 13 at his home in El Cerrito, Calif. He was 85.”

2. The Truth About Gender and Math

From the website: ”Math ability, in some societies, is gendered. That is, many people believe that boys and men are better at math than girls and women and, further, that this difference is biological (hormonal, neurological, or somehow encoded on the Y chromosome)… But actual data about gender differences in math ability tell a very different story. Natalie Angier and Kenneth Chang reviewed these differences in ”The New York Times”.”

3. Five ”-Ful” Envelopes

In this activity by Barbara Frederickson, participants explore the positive emotions of being hopeful, joyful, peaceful, playful, and thankful, and brainstorm ways of increasing the frequency and intensity of these positive emotions in their lives.

4. Barnga (PDF of instructions)

This game teaches participants about inter-cultural awareness: ”In Barnga, participants experience the shock of realizing that despite many similarities, people of differing cultures perceive things differently or play by different rules. Players learn that they must understand and reconcile these differences if they want to function effectively in a cross-cultural group.” Essentially, the game induces feelings of culture shock in the limited (and safe) environment of a classroom. (Note: We have used this game to introduce principles of conformity, obedience, normative social influence, informational social influence, etc., in our social psychology classes with great success for years. We’ve also used this game as the basis of an orientation session for students about to study abroad. The manual, which you can purchase from Intercultural Press or online at Amazon.com, features extensive notes about possible discussion topics and sensitive debriefing of the experience).

5. From Music to Sports: Autonomy Fosters Passion Among Kids

”Parents take heed: children and young adults are more likely to pursue sports, music or other pastimes when given an opportunity to nurture their own passion. According to a three-part study led by Geneviève Mageau, a psychology professor at the Université de Montréal, parental control can predict whether a child develops a harmonious or obsessive passion for a hobby” according to this summary from ”ScienceDaily,” February 4, 2010.

6. Why We Love Narcissists (At First)

”Despite being self-absorbed, arrogant, entitled, and exploitative, narcissists are also fascinating. And not just from a clinical perspective; the research finds that we are strangely drawn to their self-centered personalities, their dominance and their hostility, their sensitivity and their despair, at least for a while.” This article from PsyBlog summarizes new research from Mitja Back and Stefan Schmukle (2010), Why are narcissists so charming at first sight? Decoding the narcissism–popularity link at zero acquaintance, from the ”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, 98(1), 132-145.

7. Cultural Comparisons

Compare any two cultures on Geert Hofstede’s 5 dimensions of cultural values (power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term orientation). From the website: this ”research gives us insights into other cultures so that we can be more effective when interacting with people in other countries. If understood and applied properly, this information should reduce your level of frustration, anxiety, and concern”.

8. Phineas P. Gage: photo, photo, NPR story

The first two links are to the only known photograph (daguerreotype) of Phineas Gage, the foreman who sustained a serious and amazing head wound which changed his personality for the rest of his life. The third link is to a January 24, 2010 NPR story on him and the surfacing of the photograph.

9. The Science of Success

The ”Atlantic Magazine” ran this article December 2009 summarizing research on the genetics of resilience: ”Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care. So holds a provocative new theory of genetics, which asserts that the very genes that give us the most trouble as a species, causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success. With a bad environment and poor parenting, orchid children can end up depressed, drug-addicted, or in jail—but with the right environment and good parenting, they can grow up to be society’s most creative, successful, and happy people.”

10. APA Style Essentials

Douglas Degelman, Vanguard University of Southern California, put together this document to ”provide a common core of elements of APA style that all members of an academic department can adopt as minimal standards for any assignment that specified APA style.”

11. Functional Asymmetry: Sitting in the Right Spot

According to research by Matia Okubo of Japan, right-handers sit to the right of the movie screen to optimize neural processing of the film. This summary from the British Psychological Society Research Digest Blog, December 29, 2009, of the paper: Okubo, M. (2010). Right movies on the right seat: Laterality and seat choice. ”Applied Cognitive Psychology”, 24 (1), 90-99.

12. Clips for Class

From the website: ”We launched an extensive search for videos on the internet that could be used both in class and by students at home. The videos range from news clips, to popular television shows, to student projects, and represent many psychological fields of study.” Collection of creative videos for all areas of psychology including personality. Under the Personality tab, check out: individualism vs. collectivism, psychosexual stages explained in the spirit of High School Musical, Self-Efficacy Theory (a la Masterpiece Theatre), a clip from the MTV show room raiders to illustrate the Five Factor model, and others.