Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 3, November, 2010

November 24, 2010

Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 3, November, 2010

Hello and welcome to the fifty-first Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,148 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

This month, in addition to the other things we are grateful for, we are giving thanks to Alan Reifman of Texas Tech University, who created a Questionnaire Compendium. We proudly feature the link to his website below, even as we shamelessly stole links to round out our collection of personality tests.

This month we continue our new feature to the newsletter: Favorite Links from Personality Pedagogy. In this feature we’ll be calling your attention to some of our favorite links from the site that are worthy of a second look.

We wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a restful weekend to follow!

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

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2. Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities

Excellent summary of the surprising finding that while siblings growing up in the same family are more similar than two kids picked at random, they are ”not much more” similar, according to Robert Plomin. Describes the three current explanations behind this finding: The principle of divergence, non-shared environment, and exaggeration. Story by Alix Spiegel for NPR, November 22, 2010. Also available in audio (8 minutes, 48 seconds).

3. Resurrecting The Czar

Genetic testing of DNA is helping to the solve the mystery of what really happened to Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children. Learn about how science is being used to solve one of history’s enduring mysteries in article from the November 2010 ”Smithsonian” magazine.

4. 3 Core Needs: Satisfy Them and You’ll Be Happy

Joe Robinson summarizes how to achieve happiness according to Rich Ryan and Ed Deci’s Self-Determination Theory. Having our needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness met leads to a host of positive outcomes, including happiness. From ”The Huffington Post”, November 15, 2010.

5. Psychopaths’ Brains Wired to Seek Rewards No Matter the Consequences

”The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain’s reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals”, according to research by Francis S. Collins and summarized in this article from ”Science Daily”, March 15, 2010.

6. Loneliness Adds to Rate of Blood Pressure Increase

”Chronic feelings of loneliness take a toll on blood pressure over time, causing a marked increase after four years”, according to a study by Louise Hawkley and summarized in ”Science Daily” March 19, 2010.

7. Mother-Son Relationship Key to Emotional Development

”Children, especially boys, who have insecure attachments to their mothers in the early years have more behaviour problems later in childhood”, according to research by Pasco Fearon and summarized in ”Science Daily”, March 29, 2010.

8. Exploration in Toddlers Activated by Fathers

”Fathers give toddlers more leeway and that allows them to actively explore their environments, according to a new study on parent-child attachment” by Daniel Paquette and summarized in ”Science Daily”, April 1, 2010.

9. Likert Scales: Dispelling the Confusion

John S. Uebersax wrote this overview of the uses and misuses of the term ”Likert Scale” to clear up confusion. Includes examples.

10. Create Your Own Crossword Puzzle

This website lets you enter vocabulary words and definitions which it then arranges into a crossword puzzle. Excellent way to help students review material and have some fun at the same time. Even better: Have students create their own puzzles.

11. Questionnaire Compendium

Alan Reifman, Texas Tech University, created this extensive listing of links to questionnaires used in Social-Personality psychology where ”(a) the full instrument is shown, and (b) the instrument was put on the web by the person who created the instrument, thus ensuring that the instrument was intended to be put into the public domain”.

12. Black Identity

Robert Sellers, director of the African American Racial Identity Lab at the University of Michigan, provides measures used in their research including The Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity (MMRI), The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI) and The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity-teen (MIBI-t).

13. African American Racial Identity Lab

Provides an overview of the work of Robert Sellers and the African American Racial Identity Lab at the University of Michigan. Includes presentations, publications, measures, and descriptions of current research studies on Identity Development, Racial Socialization, Racial Discrimination, Identity and Well-being and more. Most research reports are available in PDF format on the site.

14. Defense Mechanism Manual

According to researcher Phebe Cramer: ”The Defense Mechanism Manual was developed to assess the use of three defenses—denial, projection, and identification—as revealed in stories told to standard TAT and CAT cards.”

15. Meaning in Life Questionnaire

Michael F. Steger, director of the Laboratory for the Study of Meaning and Quality of Life explains ”The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) is a 10-item measure of the Presence of Meaning in Life, and the Search for Meaning in Life.”

16. A Favorite Link Revisited: How the Grinch Stole Psychology Class

After watching the 25 minute video of the classic Christmas story by Dr. Seuss, students analyze the Grinch’s personality and change of heart using theories and terms from personality including Freud, Adler, Horney, Maslow, and Rogers. A great end-of-the-semester review.

17. A Favorite Link Revisited BONUS: The Psych Elves

Michael Britt, of the Psych Files Podcast, had the temerity to turn these three personality psychologists into Elves. Can you identify them?