Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 9, Number 10, June 2015

June 21, 2015

Hello and welcome to the eighty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 3,161 other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit:

This big news this month is that Personality Pedagogy has a new look: photos! If you browse any of our pages, you will notice the content is there but the layout is more aesthetically pleasing, incorporating many photos and illustrations. Also, we are now a mobile friendly site, meaning that it is easier than ever to look up content on the fly when you away from your computer. We will continue updating and repairing broken links over the summer and in the process finding new sites to add as you can see by this packed newsletter.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: Remember, you can view the current newsletter, comment on newsletters, re-read what you missed in previous newsletters, or search all newsletters by checking out our blog at and you can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via RSS feed as soon as they are posted, by clicking on the “RSS-posts” button on the bottom right.


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

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. Using OK Cupid to Teach Research Methods

Co-founder Christian Rudder talks about how OK Cupid collects and uses data. Their methods raise important questions about research including: “What are different kinds of social science data? How can/should we manipulate respondents to get it? What does it look like? How can it be used to answer questions? Or, how can we understand the important difference between having the data and doing an interpretation of it?”

3. Positive Reinforcement – The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon uses chocolate to shape Penny’s behavior. Later, Sheldon and Leonard have a discussion of conditioning, which, despite some misuse of terms, may still spark discussion in your class.

4. Nature v Nurture: Research Shows It’s Both

A meta-analysis of almost every twin study conducted from across the world shows that the average variation for human traits and diseases is 49% genetic and 51% due to environmental factors. This, according to research published in the journal Nature Genetics and summarized here. Published May 15, 2015.

5. On The California Shore, Sizing Up Female Marines’ Combat Readiness

The Pentagon has decreed that the Marines must open combat roles for women by 2016 unless they can show a good reason not to. The Marine Corps has teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh to scientifically measure skills, strength, and endurance in order to establish valid and reliable gender-neutral standards.

6. How 4th Grade Predicts Your Future

“A growing body of psychological research is revealing a few remarkable connections between our childhood experiences with peers and our lives in adulthood.” Read about personality coherence of adult personality in kids who were rejected, controversial, neglected, and accepted as fourth graders. From “Psychology Today”, June 2015.

7. James Randi Educational Foundation

“James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.” Towards this end, his website features educational modules on “How to Think About Dubious Claims”, “Astrology: Superstition or Science?”, “Do you have ESP?” and more.

8. A Key Researcher Says “Grit” isn’t Ready for High-Stakes Measures

Grit, the “ability to persevere when times get tough, or to delay gratification in pursuit of a goal”, has been embraced by educators, the media. But according to researcher Angela Duckworth, “the enthusiasm is getting ahead of the science”. From NPR, May 13, 2015.

9. This Day in Jewish History: A Psychoanalyst Who Couldn’t Understand War is Born

“March 23, 1900 is the birthdate of the Jewish scholar and psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, who gave up the religious obligations of the Orthodox Judaism of his youth for the study of the psychology of love – and war, which, to his mind, made very little rational sense.” From “Haaretz”, March 23, 2015.

10. Allport

A whiteboard video animation on the life of Gordon Allport. Runs 2 minutes and 19 seconds.

11. Gordon Allport Wiki

Includes pages on Allport’s early life, trait theory, and his visit with Freud.

12. Social Psychology Then and Now

Writing for the APS Observer, Anthony G. Greenwald describes the life and work of Gordon Allport including his work related to attitudes, IAT, prejudice, values, and more. From January 2013.

13. A Profile of Aaron Beck

“PsychCentral” presents this brief profile of Aaron Beck.

14. The Doctor is IN

“The American Scholar” presents this overview of the life, work, and theories of Aaron Beck. Posted September 2009.

15. Whether You’re a Lark or a Night Owl, Your Sleeping Habits Say Volumes About Your Health.

A brief summary of the research on morning larks and night owls and how they differ in their disposition, breakfast habits, alarm clock use, vulnerability to jet lag, age, and more. From April 2013.

16. Centre For Personal Construct Psychology

The University of Hertfordshire maintains this site related to personal construct psychology (PCP). Features background information on PCP, George Kelly, the repertory grid, courses and services, literature and library, and more.

17. Kelly (1978): Confusion and the Clock

The last work of George Kelly where he discusses the idea of death. Originally published as Kelly, G.A. (1978) Confusion and the Clock In Fransella, F. (Ed.) Personal Construct Psychology. Academic Press.

18. Kelly (1969): The Threat of Aggression

Kelly, G. A. (1969). The threat of aggression. In B. Maher (Ed.), Clinical Psychology and Personality: The Selected Papers of George Kelly (pp. 281-288). London, UK: Wiley.

19. The Duckworth Lab

The research lab of Angela Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania: “Our lab focuses on two traits that predict achievement: grit and self-control. Grit is the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals (Duckworth et al., 2007). Self-control is the voluntary regulation of behavioral, emotional, and attentional impulses in the presence of momentarily gratifying temptations or diversions (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005; Duckworth & Steinberg, 2015).”

20. Favorite Link Revisited: The Pavlovian Response to Seeing Birthday Announcements on Facebook

The Pavlovian Response to Seeing Birthday Announcements on Facebook Mike Masnick discusses an “experiment” conducted by David Plotz of Slate magazine. Plotz noted that well-wishers responded automatically when they saw that a friend was having a birthday on Facebook.