Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 8, April, 2011

May 1, 2011

Hello and welcome to the fifty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,224 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? With the end of the semester upon many of us, is anyone NOT aware of stress these days? In this spirit, we offer you some links related to the topic of stress and resilience.

For example, the insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield, at least in Pennsylvania, has put together a campaign for employers to increase awareness of stress, the negative impact of stress, how to cope with stress, and resources employees can use to manage stress. Included in the kit is a 12-item Hardiness scale (see link below). While it may seem odd to include this non-academic test as part of our resources on Personality Pedagogy — after all, we pride ourselves on being the largest repository of legitimate personalty tests on the web — the actual Hardiness scale is not available for general use. This scale, however, was created by hardiness researcher Suzanne Kobasa. While not valid for research, it will illustrate for students what hardiness is and give them a sense of their own hardiness.

Ah, spring! The time to put away heavy clothing and brighten up with the world with light jackets, bright colors, and controversial toe nails. This month J. Crew sparked a debate on gender identity by featuring a sweet photo of president and creative director Jenna Lyon and her five-year-old sharing a playful moment. The controversy? She painted her son’s toenails neon pink. The question at issue is whether a child’s gender identity be affected by engaging in cross-gender behavior. People, including psychologists, are weighing in on all sides of the issue that pits innocent fun and natural curiosity against gender confusion and a societal abandonment of gender. No doubt you and students will have an opinion on this issue, and keeping it grounded in what we know about child development, gender identity, and sexual identity, could spark some interesting discussions in your personality classes this month (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 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 and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (”Really Simple Syndication”) 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. J. Crew Ad Showing Boy With Pink Nail Polish Sparks Debate on Gender Identity

The article in Fox News summarizes a recent debate caused by a charming photo J. Crew ran in their spring catalog featuring a company executive and her five-year-old son sporting neon pink nail polish. Parents, doctors, and psychologists are weighing in. This summary written by Diane Macedo from April 11, 2011 summarizes the controversy and provides links to commentary from both sides of the issue.

3. Stress Awareness: Hardiness Quiz

The insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield designed a stress awareness kit based on the work of Suzanne Kobasa on Hardiness. Respondents answer a dozen questions and can score themselves on control, commitment, and challenge, the Three C’s of hardiness. Included in this kit are the quiz, scoring instructions, interpretation, a summary of how stress affects the body, stress reduction exercises, and strategies for handling stress.

4. Want to Live to 100? Try To Bounce Back From Stress

”Gerontologist and commentator Mark Lachs says one of the keys to a long, health old age is the ability to keep moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks” in this piece from NPR’s ”Morning Edition”, April 11, 2011.

5. Stress and Aging

While stress is known to have a negative impact on the body (e.g., notably affecting chromosomal telomeres and leading to cancer), new evidence suggests that stress management (e.g., counseling, exercise) stops this damage and actually promotes their repair. The link is to a summary which ran in ”The Economist,” April 7, 2011. Also, see this summary from ”Science Daily”, April 2, 2011.

6. What is Psychological Resilience?

Provides an overview of what resilience is, the characteristics of resilient people, examples of resilient people, enhancing psychological resilience, measuring resilience, and more.

7. Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship

The Mayo Clinic provides this guild to resilience and mental health including tips to build resilience and when to seek professional advice.

8. The Penn Resiliency Program

Based on Ellis’ Adversity-Consequences-Beliefs (ABC) model and the cognitive-behavioral theories of depression by Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, and Martin Seligman, elementary and middle school children learn to detect automatic thoughts, evaluate the accuracy of these thoughts, and to consider alternatives to challenge negative beliefs. Includes an overview of the program, references, current projects, and a summary of research findings using the program.

9. Extreme Photo Retouching

Images in the media can have a powerful effect on the self-concept and self-esteem of young people. Many are unaware of just how doctored up media images ares. This movie shows the photo retouching process in detail reinforcing the idea that images we see are often idealized and unrealistic (runs 2 minutes, 29 seconds).

10. Learning Through Digital Media Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy

This combination printed book, free e-book, and web page is a collection of methodologies, social practices, and hands-on assignments by leading educators who are using digital media to enhance learning on and off college campuses. For example, recent essays included evaluation of new technologies, principles of fair use, networking in the classroom, and using technology to improve teaching and learning.

11. Self-promotion on Facebook Correlates With Narcissism

Students who use technology for self-promotion tend to be more narcissistic than those who simply use technology to connect to others” according to research by Meghan M. Saculla and W. Pitt Derryberry” and summarized in this article in ”The Chronicle of Higher Education”, April 4, 2011.

12. Gender: Color Survey

Randall Munroe, the creator of the xkcd comic put together an online survey of color names for a friend. With the help of over 222,000 users some five million colors were named. One of the most striking results is how men and women differ in their color naming, with women, for the most part, using more precise discriminations. Scroll down for a nice graphic illustrating this gender difference.

13. Favorite Link Revisited: Pink is For Boys and Blue is For Girls?

Pink is For Boys and Blue is For Girls? In response to an article published in Current Biology claiming that there is evolutionary support for why girls prefer pink (Hurlbert & Link, 2007), Writer Ben Goldacre wrote this column for The Guardian (August 25, 2007) to debunk both the myth that “blue is for boys and pink is for girls” and this piece of “bad science” in his words. He uses cross-cultural differences in color preference and cultural changes within the U.S. to question the “Biological components of sex differences in color preference” (the title of the original article). See the whole article by Goldacre including graphs and charts at his Bad Science website.

Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 1, September, 2010

September 24, 2010


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 1, September, 2010

Hello and welcome to the forty-ninth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,122 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

The big news for this month is that we are celebrating the 4th anniversary of this newsletter. In that time, our mailing list has grown to nearly 200 subscribers and even more read us online at our newsletter archive blog ( We thank you all for making us one of your favorite places on the web to find materials for teaching personality psychology.

This month, we found a cute, if questionable study, conducted by a 17-year old winner of a BBC contest. Perhaps her survey of exploring why people choose their Facebook profile photos will inspire your students to conduct studies of their own.

Speaking of Facebook, thanks to John Rust, director of the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge University who called our attention to the work of the institute. They have been collecting personality data from over 2 million (!) users of Facebook and will gladly collaborate with other researchers, including grads and undergrads, on research projects related to their dataset. Check out their site below.

If you have a suggestion of an article, summary, exercise, video or anything which you think may be helpful to others, please drop us an e-mail. This month we thank Jon Mueller, John Rust, and two anonymous commenters on our newsletter archive for their suggestions.

Alas, it has come to our attention that the link for signing up for our newsletter has been having problems since July. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused potential subscribers. We think we have the problem solved, but just in case, just drop us an e-mail and we can add you to our mailing list ”by hand”.

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 blog at and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (”Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the ”RSS-posts” button on the top right.


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Psychometrics Centre

The University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre conducts research on personality including the five factor model, life satisfaction, self-monitoring, and other constructs collecting data via  Facebook application. They are willing to collaborate and share their data with other researchers (including grads and undergrads) who have ideas for projects. Find out more about their work (including a list of research ideas for students) by visiting MyPersonalityWiki.

2. Rebuilding Maslow’s Pyramid on an Evolutionary Foundation

In focusing on motives and self-actualization, Abraham Maslow may have missed out on key ideas from neuroscience, developmental biology, and evolutionary psychology according to Douglas Kenrick a in a paper published in ”Psychological Science”. He summarizes his view in this blog entry for ”Psychology Today”, May 19, 2010 (See link to original paper below).

3.  Self-Actualization: Parenthood?

Douglas Kenrick and his co-authors redefine Maslow’s concept of self-actualization as ”an indirect means to attracting a mate and, ultimately, parenting children”. Read about the controversy surrounding this redefinition in this ”New York Times” article by Lisa Belkin, September 10, 2010. (Remember, access to articles in the ”New York Times” is free, but you must sign up for a subscription).

4. Kenrick, Griskevicius, Neuberg & Schaller (2010)

Kenrick, D.T., Griskevicius, V., Neuberg, S.L., & Schaller, M. (2010). Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations. ”Perspectives on Psychological Science”, 5, 292-314. (Opens in PDF).

5. What Does Your Facebook Profile Picture Say About You?

As one of the finalists of the BBC Radio 4’s “So You Want to Be a Scientist?” project 17-year old Nina Jones conducted a survey of Facebook users and identified the interesting ways in which people used their photos as a form of self-presentation.

6. Personality Predicts Cheating More Than Academic Struggles

According to research by Delroy Paulhus and colleagues published in the ”Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied” and summarized here, ”College students who admitted to cheating in high school or turned in plagiarized papers ranked high on personality tests of the so-called Dark Triad: psychopathy, Machiavellianism (cynicism, amorality, manipulativeness), and narcissism (arrogance and self-centeredness, with a strong sense of entitlement). Of the three dark personality types, psychopathy was most strongly linked to cheating”. From ”Science Daily”, September 8, 2010.

7. Designing Your Own Workspace Improves Health, Happiness and Productivity

”Employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier — they’re also up to 32% more productive” according to research by Craig Knight at the University of Exeter and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, September 8, 2010.

8. Childhood Personality Traits Predict Adult Behavior: We Remain Recognizably the Same Person, Study Suggests

”Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse elementary schoolchildren in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later […] Personality traits observed in childhood are a strong predictor of adult behavior” according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the Oregon Research Institute and University of Oregon and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, August 5, 2010.

9. Stories of the Middle Passage

Shrink Rap Radio: A Psychology Talk and Interview Show (Podcast; Show #244, August 19 2010). In this episode, Dr. Dave talks with Jungian analysis James Hollis as he describes the theory of Carl Jung, especially as it pertains to the second half of life (middle age and beyond) (runs 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 35 seconds).

10. Economic Status, Genetics, Together Influence Psychopathic Traits

”Researchers studying the genetic roots of antisocial behavior report that children with one variant of a serotonin transporter gene are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits if they also grow up poor” according to research by Edelyn Verona and colleagues, published in the ”Journal of Abnormal Psychology” and summarized in this article from Science Daily, August 7, 2010.

11. ABC Model That is the Central Basis of REBT

In this essay, therapist Stacey McCall reviews her use of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy with a 17-year old male client. Posted September 4, 2010, on the Creativity and Conflict Blog.

12. What Clients Think CBT Will Be Like and How It Really Is

”People expect cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to be more prescriptive than it is, and therapists to be more controlling than they really are. That’s according to a series of interviews with 18 clients who undertook 8 sessions (14 hours) of CBT to help with their diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder” according to research by H. Westra and colleagues published in Psychotherapy Research and summarized here.

13. My Life In Therapy

Writer Daphne Merkin, who struggles with chronic depression, describes her experiences with psychotherapy which started when she was 10 years old.

14. Feeling Angry or Guilty? Maybe It’s Time to Stop “Shoulding!”

Therapist Clifford Lazarus argues that living under self-imposed “should, oughts, and musts” creates anger and guilt which makes life miserable for themselves and those around them.

Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 12, August, 2010

August 26, 2010


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 12, August, 2010

Hello and welcome to the forty-eighth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at Personality Pedagogy. For more about the links below and approximately 2,107 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: Personality Pedagogy.

The big news for this month is that we are celebrating our own Marianne Miserandino, who won the American Psychological Association, Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division Two) Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award. Among the many achievements which won her this award is the web site Personality Pedagogy and this very newsletter you are reading! See for more information.

This month we are also excited to have found links to the entire ”Gloria” films which now completes our collection! Do you remember this classic 1965 film ”Three Psychotherapies”, where Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, and Albert Ellis each conduct a therapy session with Gloria? Gloria chose to continue having therapy with Perls, but later regretted not continuing with Carl Rogers. She initiated a warm correspondence with Rogers and his family which continued until her death. Her daughter ”Pammy” (Pamela J. Burry) wrote a biography of Gloria in 2008, ”Living with ‘The Gloria Films”’.

We also have an interesting link to a TED Talk by Sheena Iyengar, Psycho-Economist on the Art of Choosing. In case you don’t know, TED is a small nonprofit devoted to ”Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.” Some of their previous psychologist speakers have included Martin Seligman, Daniel Gilbert, and Philip Zimbardo. Check out Iyengar, and the others in this fascinating series, if you haven’t already.

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 blog at and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (”Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the ”RSS-posts” button on the top right.


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino at arcadia dot edu

1. Carl Rogers: Client-Centered Therapy with Gloria

Carl Rogers doing psychotherapy from the classic film ”Three Approaches to Psychotherapy” (1965) in which Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, and Albert Ellis each give a demonstration of their approach to therapy with the real client ”Gloria”. The entire section on Rogers is presented here in 5 parts (total runs about 30 minutes).

2. Fritz Perls: Gestalt Therapy with Gloria (29 minutes: 30 seconds)

Fritz Perls doing psychotherapy from the classic film ”Three Approaches to Psychotherapy” (1965) in which Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, and Albert Ellis each give a demonstration of their approach to therapy with the real client ”Gloria”. (about 30 minutes)

3. Albert Ellis: Rational Emotive Therapy with Gloria. (29 minutes: 48 seconds)

Albert Ellis doing psychotherapy from the classic film ”Three Approaches to Psychotherapy” (1965) in which Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, and Albert Ellis each give a demonstration of their approach to therapy with the real client ”Gloria”. (about 30 minutes)

4. TeachPsychScience: Resources for Teaching Research and Statistics in Psychology

Gary W. Lewandowski, Natalie Ciarocco and David Strohmetz created this site containing links to peer-reviewed resources for teaching research methods and statistics including online demonstrations, descriptions of class demonstrations, class and lab activities, class assignments, lecture materials, PowerPoints, exemplar studies, and student exercises.

5. What Does Your Avatar Say About You?

”Old or young, beautiful or sinister — the choices are endless when designing an avatar or a virtual alter ego. In the end, do people choose one that is really different from themselves? Usually not, according to new Concordia University research that shows in most cases, avatars reflect the personality of their creators” according to research by H. Onur Bodur and Jean-Francois Belisle published in the August issue of ”Psychology and Marketing” and summarized in ”Science Daily,” July 26, 2010.

6. Should Kids Be Bribed To Do Well in School?

Describes the fascinating and controversial work by Harvard Economist Roland Fryer who studied financial incentives in the classroom in schools in Chicago, Dallas, Washington and New York. Using sound research design, kids were paid for outcomes like good test scores, not fighting, attendance, or reading. The surprising result was that the reading group did the best of all groups on standardized reading scores, and continued to excel the following year in the absence of rewards. Read the details here in this first published summary of his work from ”Time” magazine, April 8, 2010, by Amanda Ripley.

7. Regulations and Ethical Guidelines for Human Subjects Research

The Office of Human Subjects Research of the National Institutes of Health maintains this site which describes their regulations and ethical guidelines for research with human participants, including The Code of Federal Regulations (Title 45 and 46) outlining the functions and operations of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs); The Belmont Report of ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research; and The Nuremburg Code directives for human experimentation.

8. Test Your Cultural Awareness

Kwintessential, a company specializing in intercultural communication, translation, interpretation, and training provides these free online tests of respondents’ cultural awareness and knowledge. Includes quizzes of country locations, world capitals, world languages, and cultural awareness like business card etiquette and dining etiquette. There are a few general quizzes as well as over 20 tests of cultural awareness in specific countries including Argentina, Belarus, Bolivia, Chile, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and more.

9. Cultural Understanding: Teaching Resources from the Peace Corps

The Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program of the Peace Corps provides resources to enrich the K-12 classroom (many can be modified for college-level classes) ranging from publications, speakers, volunteer stories, multimedia, service learning, classroom projects, and lesson plans. Many of the lesson plans include exercises and simulations for teaching diversity in social studies, science, literature, and psychology classes.

10. You Are Sexually Attracted to Your Parents And Yourself

According to research by R. Chris Fraley and Michael J. Marks, ”Westermarck, Freud, and the Incest Taboo: Does Familial Resemblance Activate Sexual Attraction?” Published online in the ”Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” July 20, 2010, and summarized here, ”People appear to be drawn to others who resembler their kin or themselves”. The summary reports that ”All three experiments support the Freudian idea that we have subconscious mechanisms that make us attracted to features that remind us of our own, and that cultural taboos against incest exist to override that primitive drive.”

11. 5 Reliable Findings From Happiness Research

John Grohol compiled this list including lottery winnings create only short-term happiness, the importance of relationships and experiences over money and possessions, and how we can control about 40-50% of our own happiness and briefly discusses some of the criticisms of the positive psychology movement.

12. Science Fair Projects and Experiments

Topics, ideas, resources, and sample projects for primary, elementary, middle and high school students and teachers compiled by Julian Rubin. Includes science fair projects types, the scientific method, the display board for many topics in Psychology and Human Behavior. Personality projects include: Myers-Briggs type indicator, addictive behavior, birth order, stress and self-esteem, mood and humor, and more. With minor modifications, some topics and projects may also be suitable for college-level laboratory classes in personality psychology.

13. TED Talk: Sheena Iyengar, Psycho-Economist On the Art of Choosing

For Americans, choosing is a way of asserting our individuality, while in other cultures deferring to the choices of respected others is a way of creating community and fostering harmony. Her her talk about her work on choice, locus of control, and culture, including the famous 24 varieties of jam study, in this TED talk. (Posted July 2010. Duration: 24:05)

14. Personality May Influence Brain Shrinkage in Aging

Studying MRI images of volunteers aged 44-88 researchers found ”lower volumes of gray matter in the frontal and medial temporal brain regions of volunteers who ranked high in neuroticism traits, compared with higher volumes of gray matter in those who ranked high in conscientious traits” according to research by Jonathan Jackson, David A. Balota, and Denise Head published in the journal ”Neurobiology and Aging” and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, April 27, 2010.

15. Changing Thoughts Key to Battling Even Severe Depression

”Moderate to severely depressed clients showed greater improvement in cognitive therapy when therapists emphasized changing how they think rather than how they behave, new research has found.” According to research by Daniel R. Strunk, Melissa A. Brotman and Robert J. DeRubeis published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy, and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, May 14, 2010.

16. Sigmund Freud

Excellent overview of Freud’s life, theory, therapy, and references, including a critical look at the claim to scientific status of his theory and the efficacy of psychoanalytic therapy.


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