Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 2, October, 2009

October 28, 2009

Hello and welcome to the thirty-eighth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at

What’s new this month? Well, it would be hard to top last month’s issue between the lost book of Carl Jung, the 100th anniversary of Freud’s visit to America, and the fMRI of the dead salmon. But just in case you missed these, the big news this month is that you can read old newsletters, comment on newsletters, view the current newsletter or you can even re-read what you missed in last month’s newsletter by checking out our new blog: You can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted.

In other news, have you ever wondered what happened to Little Albert, the baby who was conditioned by John Watson to fear a white laboratory rat? Well, psychologist Hall P. Beck does some sleuthing and discovers who psychology’s most famous research participant actually was.

In old news, the updated 6th edition of the APA style manual which came out over the summer is riddled with errors and typos . . . and many corrections have been issued, including an unprecedented reprinting of the entire manual!

If you’re new to all the fuss, our links below should help you straighten things out. The corrections include four pages of “nonsignificant typographical errors” and five pages correcting errors in content and problems with sample papers in the book. The APA also released four corrected sample papers in their entireties.

And, according to John Foubert who started a Facebook group called Boycott the APA Manual 6th edition, “I have just received word that After November 2, call APA at 1-800-374-2721, ext. 5510. Ask for instructions on how to go on-line and print a mailing label you can use to return your copy and receive a corrected copy. I don’t know for sure that this will work, but it sounds as though we may have won a victory.”

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues. We hope you get many treats (a new style manual perhaps?) and not too many tricks (typos) this month!


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. APA Manual Corrections: Overview of corrections (opens in PDF format)

Corrections to the First Printing of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (July 2009). “Corrections to the first printing of the manual have been organized into four categories in an effort to group like changes together: Errors in APA Style Rules, Errors in Examples, Clarifications, and Nonsignificant Typos. In the first three categories, each correction is followed by a brief explanation of the change that directs users to the relevant APA Style rule or section in the manual to provide context. Items in the fourth category, Nonsignificant Typos, are simply listed with no explanation, as the majority of these have no direct APA Style implications.” Also includes links to the corrected sample papers.

2. Little Albert: Lost and Found

Have you ever wondered what happened to Little Albert, the baby who was conditioned by John Watson to fear a white laboratory rat? Well, psychologist Hall P. Beck does some sleuthing and discovers who psychology’s most famous research participant was and writes about his experience in the American Psychologist, Volume 64(7), October 2009, 605-614. (The first link summarizes his findings, the second directs you to the published PDF version of his paper).

3. Understanding the Anxious Mind

Writer Robin Marantz Henig describes the research of Jerome Kagan and his colleagues who “put the assumptions about innate temperament on firmer footing, and they have also demonstrated that some of us, like Baby 19, are born anxious — or, more accurately, born predisposed to be anxious… babies differ according to inborn temperament; that 15 to 20 percent of them will react strongly to novel people or situations; and that strongly reactive babies are more likely to grow up to be anxious.” in this article from the New York Times Magazine, published September 9, 2009.

4. All about Projection

Psychology teacher Michael Britt created an episode for his podcast called The Psych Files which about projection: “How do the Rorschach, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the House, Tree, Person tests work? Do you reveal something about yourself when you tell stories about pictures or tell what you see in an inkblot or even when you do something as seemingly innocent as drawing a picture of a house? In this episode I try to answer these questions as well as show you how a wonderful poem called How It Will End by Denise Duhamel could be an excellent example of psychology in everyday life.”

5. How to Give a Good Talk in Psychology or Other Sciences

Kevin Grobman, “wrote the following advice primarily to help psychology graduate students improve their talks at a conference, pro-sem, or brown-bag. By speaking to lots of graduate students (and recently being one myself), I felt the most important areas to cover are developing self-confidence and knowing how to target a particular audience. Most of this advice is applicable to other speakers (e.g., undergraduates), other fields (e.g., business, physical sciences), and other medium (e.g., poster presentations).” Also includes links for a PDF file version of this essay and the 40-minute slide presentation which inspired it.

6. Resilient Kids Learn Better

“Embed lessons on optimism, assertiveness and flexibility into class instruction and you’ll improve a child’s outlook on life, curb his likelihood for depression and boost his grades, according to new research presented at APA’s Annual Convention by University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD.” according to Amy Novotney, in an article in this month’s APA Monitor on Psychology, 40(9), 32. October, 2009.

7. Epigenetics: DNA Isn’t the Whole Story

“Most people see DNA as the most significant factor in genetics, but when it comes to behavioral differences—even those as complex as mothers’ affection—researchers say we shouldn’t overlook other biochemical factors. Biologists have recently begun looking harder at epigenetics—the chemical modification to DNA that can change genes’ activity—to explain things that basic DNA transcription can’t. This year’s Neal E. Miller lecturer, Michael Meaney, PhD, explained why it’s important to psychology at APA’s 2009 Annual Convention” according to Michael Price, in an article in this month’s APA Monitor on Psychology, 40(9), 34. October, 2009.

8. All Mixed Up

“Madeline H. Wyndzen, Ph. D., a transgendered professor of psychology, discusses her personal experiences with gender dysphoria and critiques the mental illness model of “gender identity disorder” on this page called “All mixed up: A transgendered psychology professor’s perspective on life,the psychology of gender, and gender identity disorder.” Includes links to background information on transgenderism and the psychology of transgenderism, a revision of her autobiography, essays on living a transgendered life, and a discussion of transgenderism in society.

9. Resilience as a Life Skill

Writer and educator Sherri Fisher summarizes important findings from recent studies on resilience that “predict resilience and recovery from high-risk childhood, and success as adults.”

10. What Makes Us Happy?

Joshua Wolf Shenk writes: “Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.” From the Atlantic Magazine, June 2009.

11. Overview of Adult Attachment Theory and Research

From the website: “Research on adult attachment is guided by the assumption that the same motivational system that gives rise to the close emotional bond between parents and their children is responsible for the bond that develops between adults in emotionally intimate relationships. The objective of this essay is to provide people who are new to the field–or people who may simply be interested in learning more about research on adult attachment–a brief overview of the history of adult attachment research, the key theoretical ideas, and a sampling of some of the research findings.”

12. R. Chris Fraley: Research

Visit this page to learn about the research of Chris Fraley on attachment theory and close relationships, personality organization, dynamics, and development, Social cognition and affect regulation, evolutionary psychology, and dynamic modeling, simulation, and psychological methods. Includes links to sleeted publications in PDF format.