Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 9, Number 12, August 2015

August 12, 2015

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 3,202 other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we have been continuing our summer housekeeping. We’ve been busy checking and updating each link on the site. To our dismay, we discovered that some links have disappeared entirely — especially videos (due to copyright infringements) and instructor’s class slides and web pages (probably due to retirement or changing jobs). This serves as a good reminder that any materials you use from the Internet may disappear or move so you should find a way to capture, print, copy, and/or download your favorites so that you can always have access to them.

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. Pixar’s “Inside Out” is a Surprisingly Accurate Look at Human Psychology —- Here’s What it Gets Right and Wrong.

Applies psychological theory and research to the movie “Inside Out” and describes what aspects of human psychology they got right (e.g., sleep consolidating memories, reframing memories, emotional complexity) what they got sort of right (e.g., core memories, personality islands) and what they just made up (e.g., imagination land). From “Business Insider”, June 23, 2015.

3. This Facial Expression Appears More Trustworthy To Others

According to research by Hehman, Flake, and Freeman (2015) in the “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin” and summarized here for PsyBlog, “A neutral face with a slightly upturned mouth and eyebrows makes people look more trustworthy, a new study finds. [But] the same neutral face with a slightly angry expression is seen as less trustworthy.”

4. This Fascinating TED Talk Shows Why You Have No Idea What Will Make You Happy in 10 Years

In his 2014 TED talk, Harvard social psychologist Daniel Gilbert explains “the end of history illusion” where “people are unable to anticipate just how much they’ll change in the future — even though they can appreciate how much they’ve grown in the past. So, at every age, you think the person you are today is the person you’ll be for the rest of your life.” Runs 6 minutes, 50 seconds.

5. CHIPTS: Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services

CHIPTS maintains this extensive list of links to 203 questionnaires for practitioners and researchers, many of them related to personality including:
Sub-Categories: Attachment, Coping Strategies, Health Efficacy, Life Outcomes, Mental Health, Perceived Vulnerability/Susceptibility, Personal Traits, Quality of Life, Religious/Spiritual, Self-efficacy, Sexual Attitudes, Social and much, much more.

6. College Social Life Can Predict Well-Being at Midlife

It’s well known that being socially connected promotes a person’s overall and psychological health. A new study now shows that the quantity of social interactions a person has at 20 — and the quality of social relationships that person has at age 30 — can benefit her well-being later in life.

7. Your Musical Tastes Reflect Your Thinking Style

A study by David Greenberg and colleagues published in PLOS ONE, shows that the way someone thinks – his or her cognitive style – is a better predictor of the songs they’ll like than is their personality type. From Discover Magazine, July 24, 2015.

8. Keeping Up That Positive Feeling: The Science of Savoring Emotions

Savoring a beautiful sunset and the positive emotions associated with it can contribute to improved well-being, according to research. But why and how are some people better than others in keeping the feeling alive? From Science Daily, July 21, 2015.

9. The Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS)

The PANAS is based upon research demonstrating that self-reported mood states can be effectively classified on two dimensions. Each PANAS scale comprises ten specific mood-related adjectives rated on five-point scales of frequency over a two-week period.

10. State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)

The STAI is a validated 20 item self report assessment device which includes separate measures of state and trait anxiety. Recommended for studying anxiety in research and clinical settings.

11. Global Attachment: Relationship Scales Questionnaire (RSQ)

The RSQ is a 30-item questionnaire requiring participants to rate, on a 7-point scale, the extent to which each statement describes their characteristic style in close relationships (1 = not at all like me, 7 = very much like me). Items are summed to create two subscales, corresponding to the dimensions of avoidance and anxiety. Developed by Griffin, D., & Bartholomew, K. (1994).

12. Janis Self-Esteem Scale

Jannis, I. L., & Field, P. B. (1959). The Jannis and Field personality questionnaire. In C. I. Hovland & I. L. Jannis (Eds), Personality and persuasibility (pp. 300). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

13. The Pros and Cons of Being a Night Owl Instead of a Morning Person

While some research has found that early birds tend to have more positive social traits, such as optimism, night owls may have their own distinct advantages as well. From “Business Insider”, June 23, 2015.

14. Sexual Attitudes

Links to 8 measures of sexual attitudes including attitudes towards abstinence, sexual risks scale, sexual self-concept questionnaire and more.

15. How To Measure Circadian Rhythms in Humans

From Wirz-Justice, A. (2007). How to measure circadian rhythms in humans. Medicographia, 29(1), 84-90. Provides an overview of the topic with vivid examples and graphics. Opens in PDF.

16. How to Stop Procrastinating in 2 Easy Steps

Describes the work of Katy Milkman on “temptation bundling” in which behaviors we should do but procrastinate on are bundled with activities we’re tempted to do. Together, people are better able to exert their self-control to do what must be done and procrastinate less.

17. Researchers Discovered a Psychological Trick That Will Help You Stop Procrastinating
http://www.businessinsider.com/psychological-trick-to-stop-procrastinating-2015-7

“Psychologists have figured out a ridiculously easy trick to combat your tendency to put things off: Break them up into smaller pieces. The idea is that you’ll get a thrill out of checking those individual items off your to-do list and, before you know it, you’ll have completed the whole project.” From “Business Insider”, July 8, 2015.

18. College Social Life Can Predict Well-being at Midlife

It’s well known that being socially connected promotes a person’s overall and psychological health. A new study now shows that the quantity of social interactions a person has at 20 — and the quality of social relationships that person has at age 30 — can benefit her well-being later in life. From “ScienceDaily”, July 23, 2015.

19. Research Suggests There are 4 Types of Introverts — Find Out Which Best Describes You

According to new research, there are four different kinds of introversion: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained. From “Business Insider”, July 1, 2015.

20. Exploring Bioethics

The National Institutes of Health provide this Curriculum Supplement on Exploring Bioethics for grades 9-12: “Students use a new model for ethical inquiry to develop thoughtful positions on complex bioethical issues. The supplement’s six modules each contain three 45-minute class periods of lessons on a specific issue.” Includes modules on balancing individual and community claims, allocating scarce resources, weighing benefits and harms of genetic testing, research ethics, and human responsibilities toward animals.

21. Favorite Link Revisited: How to Search APA’s Research Databases

Anne Breitenbach, APA Publications & Databases, put together this primer describing the host of free teaching tools for psychology research that are perfect for undergraduate students, [including] video tutorials, training webinars and reference guides that will help students learn how to efficiently search scholarly research databases, [and] website materials, podcasts and topic guides that will help them explore psychology and human behavior.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 9, Number 11, July 2015

July 22, 2015

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 3,179 other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you no doubt have heard of this summer’s hit movie “Inside Out”. This charming movie depicts life inside the head of 11-year old Riley focusing on her emotions personified by different characters and grounded in psychological theory and research.

Turns out, social-personality psychologist and emotion researcher Dacher Keltner is long time friends with Pixar director Pete Docter. The two became intrigued by the mysterious ways of emotions in their own kids (according to link #3 below). Keltner explains that pre-teens often experience a drop in happiness and a rise in anxiety. “It’s like the world crashes down on them,” Keltner said. The movie traces that shift, with tear-inducing as well as laugh-inducing effects.

Keltner was joined by facial expressions expert psychologist Paul Ekman in working with the Pixar team to portray childhood emotions, memory and character development in a scientifically sound way. The result speaks for itself. We here at Personality Pedagogy urge you to take you and your little friends to see this family-friendly movie, if you haven’t already done so.

Also new this month, it was announced that work has begun on a new film depicting Viktor Frankl’s account of his experience during the Holocaust. Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning” is being adapted by screenwriter Adam Gibgot. Gibgot explains, “The movie is about the best and worst of humanity, but how out of the worst the best can emerge.”

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. Science of Sadness And Joy: ‘Inside Out’ Gets Childhood Emotions Right
The hit of the summer of 2015, “Inside Out”, depicts life for an 11-year old girl. Much of the film takes place inside her mind, in a control center staffed by five emotions personified: Joy, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust. Read about the science behind the movie and the contributions of psychologists Dacher Keltner and Paul Ekman who were consultants to the film.

3. ’Inside Out’ Movie Reflects the Realities and Fantasies of Neuroscience
Kids and the general public may be learning about how the brain and emotions work from an unlikely source: the hit movie “Inside Out” (2015). This article takes a look at the science behind the movie.

4. The Harry Potter Personality Test
According to a study published in the journal “Personality and Individual Differences” a person’s preferred Hogwart’s house from the fictional Harry Potter series may be related to their personality traits.

5. What it Means to Come Out in the Transgender Community
Inspired by the recent debut of Caitlyn Jenner on the June 2015 cover of “Vanity Fair” magazine, “Time” ran this article explaining that the process of coming out as a transgendered person is not linear; it varies from person to person. From “Time”, June 2, 2015.

6. Epigenetics and Its Major Influence on Life
In this essay James D. Baird explains how the science of epigenetics is finding that genes aren’t our destiny despite popular thinking. “Brain Blogger”, June 11, 2015.

7. Group Memberships Boost Self-Esteem More Than Friends Alone
“Belonging to multiple groups that are important to you boosts self-esteem much more than having friends alone” according to research published in PLOS ONE and summarized here for “ScienceDaily”, June, 2015.

8. Abraham Maslow: Father of Modern Management
Presents an overview of Maslow’s theories including the hierarchy of needs, self-actualization, theory Z, peak experiences; a summary of his books; quotes; and other resources.

9. Muppet Wiki: Walter Mischel
Muppet Wiki is a collaborative encyclopedia for everything related to Jim Henson, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and The Muppets Studio. It includes this page on Walter Mischel and features the musical sketch “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” illustrating the concept of delay of gratification.

10. Awaken: Fritz Perls
Presents an overview of Perls’ life and theory including links to articles and videos.

11. Fritz Perls Treats People With Demons
The video includes Fritz Perls treating a man with a psychosis and a women with grief from parent issues. (Runs 31 minutes, 29 seconds).

12. Fritz Perls: Spiritual Training
Fritz Perls speaks about how to use your spiritual energy. (Runs 1 minute 18 seconds.)

13. Fritz Perls Gestalt Segment
Fritz Perls recites the Gestalt prayer. (Runs 8 minutes 16 seconds.)

14. Fritz Perls on Gestalt Therapy
Fritz Perls speaks to students about Gestalt therapy, the self and spirit. (Runs 6 minutes 49 seconds.)

15. Fritz Perls Workshop
Excerpt from a Fritz Perls workshop. (Runs 1 minute 37 seconds.)

16. Frederick Perls: A Son’s Reflections
From the webpage: “In celebration of the centennial of the birth of Frederick Perls, The Gestalt Journal invited his son Stephen, to address our Fifteenth Annual Conference on the Theory and Practice of Gestalt Therapy. Dr. Perls delivered this talk on the morning of April 23, 1993, at the Hotel du Parc in Montreal.”

17. The Gestalt Therapy Network
Includes digital forums for practitioners, students, and interested others; a directory of practitioners; and a comprehensive bibliography.

18. Night Owl or Morning Lark?
Should you pull an all-nighter or wake up early to study? This blog post reviews the evidence and concludes that it all depends on your chronotype.

19. The Perils of Novelty Seeking
World-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist Christopher Bergland reviews the concept of Novelty Seeking, how it relates to the Big Five, and how sometimes the need for novelty may lead to extreme sports, ultra-endurance, and ultimately life-threatening experiences.

20. Desperately Seeking Sensation: Fear, Reward, and the Human Need for Novelty
“Sensation-seeking, the tendency to seek out novel experiences, is a general personality trait that has been extensively studied in psychological research, but neuroscience is just beginning to take aim at it.”

21. Novelty and the Brain: Why New Things Make Us Feel So Good
“We all like shiny new things, whether it’s a new gadget, new city, or new job. In fact, our brains are made to be attracted to novelty—and it turns out that it could actually improve our memory and learning capacity. The team at social sharing app Buffer explains how.” From LifeHacker, May 21, 2013.

22. Better Get to Work: Procrastination May Harm Heart Health
New evidence suggests that chronic procrastinators may be more vulnerable to serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease and hypertension. From the Association for Psychological Science, May 5, 2015.

23. Attachment Training
Alan Sroufe and June Sroufe provide information about attachment in the John Bowlby-Mary Ainsworth tradition and training in the assessment of attachment across the lifespan along with a primer on attachment theory, a list of suggested basic readings, and more.

24. An Attachment Primer: Fundamentals of Attachment Theory
Presents a brief overview of attachment theory.

25. Favorite Link Revisited: The British Museum of Science on Emotions
The British National Museum of Science has an extensive interactive web site. This online exhibit on recognizing emotions, emotions and the brain, faking emotional expression, animal emotions, and more.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 9, Number 5, January 2015

January 24, 2015

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 3,111 other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we just discovered CelebrityTypes.com a page which lets visitors take personality tests (e.g., Five Factors, Myers Briggs) and as part of the results, matches test takers to celebrities who allegedly have the same personality. I know this sounds suspect, but we recently had some fun and discovered something interesting. If you take the so-called “President Test” and answer, not as yourself, but as Barak Obama would, that is, if you purposely tried to answer so as to appear Emotionally Stable, Extroverted, Conscientious, and high in Openness (and moderately Agreeable), the page will give you a graph of your personality along with Obama’s — and here’s the really cool part — as rated by personality psychologists David Winter, Sam Gosling, Dan McAdams, and Samuel Barondes! We have always wondered about the trait scores of President Obama and this web page appears to provide an answer. We’re not making any claims about the reliability or validity of the tests on this page, but we’re pretty sure you’ll find something here to spark the interest of your students (if only to inspire their own critical thinking!).

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. New TOPSS Unit Lesson Plan: Personality

The APA Education Directorate and the Teachers of Psychology in the Secondary School (TOPSS) Committee are pleased to announce a new unit lesson plan on Personality written by Simine Vazire. The unit plan includes a content outline, classroom activities, critical thinking and discussion questions, references and suggested readings, and two appendices. The six lessons cover An Introduction to Personality, Assessment of Personality, Psychodynamic Theories of Personality, Trait and Social-Cognitive Theories of Personality, Humanistic Theories of Personality, and Personality: Culture, Work, and Health.

3. How Mindfulness Works

C. Nathan DeWall writing for the “APS Observer” on “Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science” describes two exercises which illustrate how mindfulness works based on the research of J. David Creswell and Emily Lindsay (2014). Posted January 2015.

4. Talkin’ About Your Generation

Science examines how pivotal events and cultural trends shape individuals and entire birth cohorts in this article from the “APS Observer”, January 2015.

5. Nature or Nurture? The New Role of Epigenetics

In this lecture from August, 2014, Eastern Illinois University psychologist Jeffrey Stowell, PhD, discusses epigenetics, including a look at genetics and behavior and epigenetic mechanisms. From his APA Pre-Convention Workshop for Introductory Psychology Teachers. Runs 30 minutes, 24 seconds.

6. Celebrity Types

This page lists the 16 Myers-Briggs Types along with famous (and infamous) “celebrities” who exemplify each personality type. You can find your own type by taking their 44-item survey.

7. Is Jungian Typology Scientific?

The blog portion of CelebrityTypes.com takes up the question of whether the Jungian Typology is “scientific”. Here, they answer some of the criticisms of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

8. Freudian Personality Types Test

This 48-item test purports to measure the classic Freudian adult personality types of oral receptive, oral aggressive, anal expulsive, anal retentive, phallic aggressive, phallic compensative, classic hysteric, and rententive hysteric. Though little information is given about the test’s validity and reliability, the questions and results do illustrate Freud’s idea and may spark class discussion.

9. A Double Life

Psychologist Nancy Segal has spent her career studying what makes identical twins unique — and what the pairs can teach us about the role genes and environment play in shaping ourselves. From the APA “Monitor”, volume 46, number 1, January 2015.

10. Early Bird or Night Owl, Your Sleep Schedule Says a Lot About Your Personality

ASAP Science presents this animated graphic presentation on sleep patterns. “Early birds tend to display more positive social traits, such as being proactive and optimistic, and are less prone to depression or addictions to nicotine, alcohol, and food,” Mitchell Moffit, co-creator of the series, says in the video. “Night owls exhibit significantly less white matter [in their brains], and as a result, there are fewer pathways for feel-good hormones such as serotonin or dopamine to travel through, but it’s not all bad for the late-nighters. In fact, they tend to be much more creative, have been found to have higher cognitive abilities, and are known to be risk-takers.” Runs 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

11. Self-Esteem and Flirting

The “Science of Relationships” website presents this two part series on self-esteem and flirting. This first link is on how self-esteem affects how people flirt; this second one is on how self-esteem affects when people flirt.

12. Are American Becoming Less Secure?

The “Science of Relationships” website reports “In a recent meta-analysis, researchers combined data from 94 different samples, involving more than 25,000 American undergraduate students, collected between 1988 and 2011. In 1988, 49% of people said they had a secure attachment style (51% were insecure in one form or another). By 2011 there was a 7% decline in security, with 42% reporting that they were secure (vs. 58% insecure).” Posted December 2014.

13. Men and Women Process Emotion Differently

“Women rate emotional images as more emotionally stimulating than men do and are more likely to remember them. However, there are no gender-related differences in emotional appraisal as far as neutral images are concerned. These were the findings of a large-scale study that focused on determining the gender-dependent relationship between emotions, memory performance and brain activity” according to research published in January 2015 in the “Journal of Neuroscience” and summarized here by “Science Daily”.

14. Favorite Link Revisited: The Five Factor Model

Sanjay Srivastava at the University of Oregon compiled this helpful overview page of the Big Five and the various ways researchers measure them including links to many different on-line measures.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 9, May 2014

May 31, 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 2,996 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we are mourning the loss of Sandra Bem, feminist scholar and psychologist who died on May 20 just short of her 70th birthday. She will be remembered for her theoretical work and research on gender schema theory, the social construction of gender and sexuality, and her unconventional views on gender and child rearing.

Like many of our readers this month, we welcome the unofficial start of summer and the end of a semester (and school year!). We hope the summer is a time of rest and rejuvenation and we’ll be doing our best to keep the inspiration coming as you look ahead to teaching personality in a future semester.

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. Love Makes You Strong: Romantic Relationships Help Neurotic People Stabilize Their Personality

Romantic relationships can help young adults who are high in Neuroticism to become less anxious, insecure, and easily annoyed according to research by Christine Finn and colleagues in the “Journal of Personality” and summarized here for “Science Daily” May 9, 2014.

3. Rice Theory Explains North-South China Cultural Differences

From the page: “A new cultural psychology study has found that psychological differences between the people of northern and southern China mirror the differences between community-oriented East Asia and the more individualistic Western world — and the differences seem to have come about because southern China has grown rice for thousands of years, whereas the north has grown wheat.” From “Science Daily”, May 8, 2014.

4. Does Facebook Affect Our Self-Esteem, Sense of Belonging?

From the page: “With 1.11 billion users per month on average, Facebook has become a global phenomenon offering continual and direct communication with friends and family. Research into how social media websites define us socially, and the influence that social media has on our personal welfare, suggests that a lack of social participation on Facebook leads to people feeling less meaningful.” From “Science Daily”, May 8, 2014.

5. Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient

Sam Kean for “Slate” magazine provides this retelling of the Gage tale, this time with the debunking of some myths and with additional information demonstrating that “The true story of Phineas Gage is much more fascinating that the mythical textbook accounts”. Includes new computer models of Gage’s injury and how it may have affected his brain functioning.

6. I Want You To Know That I’m Tyrion Lannister

The Forer (Barnum) Effect has found a new home: The Internet Quiz. Writer Maria Konnikova suggests that the reason why we are so drawn to these obviously false personality quizzes may have to do with our fascination with the self and our fundamental need to belong. From “The New Yorker”, May 1, 2014.

7. This is the Personality Trait That Most Often Predicts Success

Writing for “Inc.” magazine, Drake Baer describes the research which demonstrates that being high in Conscientiousness will help you succeed in many domains of life across the life span. From May, 2014.

8. Teaching Sexual Orientation

Psychologist David G. Myers suggests ways of teaching controversial topics like sexual orientation by focusing on evidence-based conclusions and how psychologists might test whether social policies affect the health and well-being of gay people. From the APS “Observer”, 27(5), May/June, 2014.

9. Epigenetics 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Explaining Everything

Genetics researcher Cath Ennis wrote this primer for The Guardian newspaper explaining what epigenetics is and how it can help us understand human health and disease. Posted April 25, 2014.

10. Do we Get Nicer With Age?

Amy Kluber, for Newsy, reports on a study by Christopher Soto and colleagues which found that people who were happier at the start of the study become more emotionally stable, conscientious, agreeable and introverted as they matured over the course of the study demonstrating that personality changes with life events. Posted April 22, 2014. Runs 1 minute 34 seconds.

11. Cultivating Happiness Often Misunderstood

From the page: “The concept of maximizing happiness has been explored by researchers, who have found that pursuing concrete ‘giving’ goals rather than abstract ones leads to greater satisfaction. One path to happiness is through concrete, specific goals of benevolence — like making someone smile or increasing recycling — instead of following similar but more abstract goals — like making someone happy or saving the environment.” From “Science Daily”, April 15, 2014.

12. Outgoing Behavior Makes for Happier Humans: Across Cultures, Extroverts Have More Fun

From the page: “Happy is as happy does, apparently — for human beings all over the world. Not only does acting extroverted lead to more positive feelings across several cultures, but people also report more upbeat behavior when they feel free to be themselves.” From “Science Daily”, April 15, 2014.

13. Biological Evidence of Positive and Negative People in the World

From the page: “The ability to stay positive when times get tough — and, conversely, of being negative — may be hardwired in the brain, finds new research.” From “Science Daily”, April 2, 2014.

14. Computer Maps 21 Distinct Emotional Expressions — Even “Happily Disgusted”

From the page: “Researchers have found a way for computers to recognize 21 distinct facial expressions — even expressions for complex or seemingly contradictory emotions such as “happily disgusted” or “sadly angry.” The study more than triples the number of documented facial expressions that researchers can now use for cognitive analysis.” From “Science Daily”, March 31, 2014.

15. Favorite Link Revisited: The Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI)

According to the site: “The Bem Sex Role Inventory was developed in 1971 by Dr. Sandra Lipsitz Bem. It characterizes your personality as masculine, feminine, androgynous, or undifferentiated. The BSRI is based on gender stereotypes, so what it’s actually measuring is how well you fit into your traditional sex role. Thus, your score may say as much about how our cultural expectations have changed over the last 35 years as it does about your personality.” You can take the original 60-item scale and receive your scores automatically online here.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 8, April, 2013

April 17, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eightieth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,767 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we have a lively mix of topics from smelling personality to the narcissism epidemic to a look at Nietzsche’s famous quip “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. Funny, but that just about sums up the end of the semester around here! Here’s hoping the semester ends productively and smoothly (and not too smelly) where you are!!

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. The Internet “Narcissism Epidemic”

Could the Internet be making us more narcissistic? Read about how social media — including Facebook activity — correlates with Narcissism.

3. How to Make Love to a Stranger?

One of the quickest ways to gain the benefits of positive emotion is to share a moment or “positivity resonance” with another person, even if that person is a stranger. Researcher Barbara Fredrickson wants us to expand our definition of love and science writer Daniel Tomasulo tells us how in this piece for the “PsychCentral” blog, April 9, 2013.

4. Do Men Have More Varied Personalities Than Women?

“A huge study involving over 12,000 participants across 51 cultures […] has concluded that men tend to have more varied personalities than women. […] men’s personalities showed more variation for four of the Big Five traits: extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. The exception was neuroticism, which tended to vary more widely in women” according to research published in the “Journal of Research in Personality” and summarized here in “BPS Research Digest”, March 25, 2013.

5. Ground Down

Was Nietzsche correct when he said “That which does not kill me makes me stronger”? Apparently not, according to research by David Almeida and colleagues published in 1995 and summarized here in “The Economist”, April 13, 2013.

6. Pursuing Purpose: A Cause or Result of Feeling Connected?

Writing for the “Positive Psychology News Daily”, Genevieve Douglass muses about purpose in life and how it might relate to the three needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. She reviews research which suggests “that a sense of meaning might be embedded in the basic need of relatedness, which both contributes to and results from prosocial behaviors.”

7. Believing Self-Control Predicts Success, Schools Teach Coping

In one DC school, “The boot-camp expectations, the behavioral charts, the pinnies, all point to a calculated attempt to teach students self-discipline, focus, accountability — ultimately, self-control. Schools across the country are responding to a growing body of research that suggests a definitive and disturbing link between low levels of self-control in childhood and serious problems later in life” according to this article from “The Washington Post”, April 11, 2013.

8. How Childhood Hunger Can Change Adult Personality

According to a study published in the “Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry” a sample of children who suffered severe starvation as infants were more anxious, less sociable, less open, and more hostile than those who were more well-nourished. From “Time”, April 11, 2013.

9. Academics Question the Reliability of Neuroscience Research

“New research has questioned the reliability of neuroscience studies, saying that conclusions could be misleading due to small sample sizes.” This according to new research published in “Nature Reviews Neuroscience” and summarized here in “Medical News Today”, April 12, 2013.

10. Aaron Beck On The Future of CBT

“In this video from a recent CBT workshop at the Beck Institute, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the theory and practice of Cognitive Therapy. He discusses the ways in which the core theory and the therapy have changed since the 1960s and how he believes they will expand and extend in the future. He also discusses how other disciplines, such as neurobiology, have contributed to CT, referencing one of his own studies in 1961 and a 1999 study by researchers in Great Britain. According to Dr. Beck, the future of CBT will likely involve an expansion of the core theory of CT in conjunction with neurobiological findings.” Published by the Beck Institute, February 27, 2013 (runs 7 minutes, 26 seconds).

11. See-Through Brains Clarify Connections

In what has been called “one of the most important advances for doing neuroanatomy in decades” scientists have found a way to reconstruct three-dimensional data from thin slices to create a transparent view of parts of the brain revealing the brain’s neuronal communication networks. Read about the technique here and see a video of the spectacular images it created of the brains of mice (runs 4 minutes, 17 seconds).

12. Can You Smell Personality?

“First impressions matter. This may not come as much of a surprise, but just how quickly we form impressions, and which cues we use to make such rapid judgements” — including smell — “may very much surprise you.” From “The Creativity Post”, April 10, 2013.

13. 2 People Described the Same Person to A Forensic Artist And This is What Happened

This amazing demonstration, actually part of the Dove soap ”Real Beauty” campaign is quite a powerful demonstration of how our own body image may differ from what others see when they look at us. (Runs 3 minutes, 1 second)

14. True Grit

”Getting to that finish line takes stamina and determination. Researchers are working to identify how gritty individuals get things done.” according to this article by Angela Lee Duckworth and Lauren Eskreis-Winkler for the APS ”Observer”, April, 2013.

15. Teaching Students About the Science of Romantic Attachment

Nathan DeWall and David Myers describe a series of activities to help students think about attachment and why our romantic partners may get under our skin. Includes background reading, self-assessment, an out-of-class activity, and discussion topics.

16. Favorite Link Revisited: How to Study Like A Pro: 9 Evidence-Based Study Strategies

The editor of the “Research Digest” published by the British Psychological Society compiled these 9 strategies for a special issue for students. Each of the tips are described and include a link to a summary of the published research which supports the usefulness of the strategy. Strategies include: adopt a growth mindset, sleep well, pace your studies, test yourself, and more.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 10, June, 2012

June 25, 2012

Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 10, June, 2012

Hello and welcome to the seventieth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,531 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

The theme for this month appears to be shoes. From the controversy of an ad campaign to get more young women interested in science (dancing in the lab in high heels anyone?) to what your favorite shoes say about your personality (ditch those beat up, smelly sneakers!), read all about it in this month’s newsletter!

We discovered a really fantastic graphic program to illustrate how heritability estimates may vary depending on the population under study. Using the data from the Davis, Haworth, & Plomin (2012) twin study published this month in ”Molecular Psychiatry”, the program presents data from more than 6700 families relating to childhood characteristics, including IQ, reading, mathematics, and language ability superimposed over a map of the UK. Users can explore for themselves how genetic and environmental contributions to these characteristics vary geographically, and even test their own hypotheses. The best part of all, is that researcher Robert Plomin, director of the Twins Early Development Study at Kings College, London and his colleagues have made the program and data available to anyone to download for free! The links below point you to a summary of their work and the website of the program which also includes a link to the original paper. We tested the program out for ourselves and were amazedly how easy it was to use and how vividly it illustrated large amounts of data.

Finally, we’ve added three new scales to our already over-full Tests, Measures and Scales page. Check out the web’s most extensive collections of legitimate personality measures.

By the way, if you will be teaching an undergraduate course in personality psychology, permit me one moment of shameless self-promotion. Please consider adopting this text: Personality Psychology: Foundations and Findings (See http://www.pearsonhighered.com/product?ISBN=0205738877). Written in an engaging narrative style, it summarizes the basic research findings across the various foundations of personality including genetics, traits, neuroscience, motivation, and much more. The book also features chapters which integrate information across individual foundations to help students understand resilience, sexual orientation, and how gender influences personality. The book comes with what may well be the best Instructor’s manual out there for personality psychology, featuring lecture and discussion ideas, active learning ideas, multimedia resources, web resources, and more. Check it out!

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
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2. Nature or Nurture? It May Depend on Where You Live
”In a study published today in the journal ”Molecular Psychiatry”, researchers from the Twins Early Development Study at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry studied data from more than 6700 families relating to 45 childhood characteristics, from IQ and hyperactivity to height and weight. They found that genetic and environmental contributions to these characteristics vary geographically in the UK and have published their results online as a series of nature-nurture maps.” From ”Wellcome Trust,” June 12, 2012.

3. spACE Visualization Program to Explore Variation in Genetic and Environmental Influences Across the UK
The Twins Early Development Study, King’s College London, has made the data from the Davis, Haworth, & Plomin (2012) ”Molecular Psychiatry” paper available in this special open source version which can be downloaded for free. The program, ”spACE”, uses statistical and visual analysis of their massive twin data set to present heritability and environmentally estimates for numerous characteristics such as reading ability, verbal ability, mathematical ability, languages, and IQ superimposed over a map of the UK. Users can explore how the relative contributions of nature and nurture vary for each dependent variable depending on where in the UK one lives.

4. Girls! Be a Scientist! You Too Can Dance In the Lab In High Heels!
The European Commission released a teaser video to recruit young women into science by making it appear sexier and more fun (e.g., images of make-up to illustrate chemistry and materials science and very attractive women scientists). The video was quickly pulled due to sharp criticism. ”Knight Science Journalism Tracker” writer Deborah Blum comments on the buzz the video created along with a link of the original 53-second video. This video and the surrounding controversy would be a good way to introduce the idea of gender stereotyping, gender expectations, and gender differences in personality to your students or for a possible debate on the pros and cons of presenting science and scientists in this manner. Posted June 22, 2012.

5. What Your Choice of Shoe Says About You
Observers agree and are quite accurate in judging people’s Agreeableness, age, gender, income and attachment style from the pair of shoes people wear most often, but are not so accurate when it comes to judging Extroversion, Conscientiousness and political ideology, according to research by Omri Gillatha and colleagues and summarized here in ”BPS Research Digest,” June 19, 2012.

6. More Money Can Mean Less Happiness for Neurotics
There is a difference between how people high and low in neuroticism respond to a pay increase, depending on where there are on the pay scale to begin with. While increasing income makes poor neurotics happier, it makes well-paid neurotics unhappier than their non-neurotic peers, according to research by Eugenio Proto and Aldo Rustichini and summarized here in ”LiveScience,” June 11, 2012.

7. Morning People Are Actually Happier Than Night Owls
Not only are morning types happier than night owls during the teen and young adulthood years, but they are also happier in older adulthood as well. This, according to a study by Renee Biss and summarized here in ”LiveScience,” June 11, 2012.

8. Freud’s Theory of Unconscious Conflict Linked to Anxiety Symptoms
”An experiment that Sigmund Freud could never have imagined 100 years ago may help lend scientific support for one of his key theories, and help connect it with current neuroscience . . . A link between unconscious conflicts and conscious anxiety disorder symptoms have been shown, lending empirical support to psychoanalysis” according to research by Shevrin and colleagues summarized here in ”ScienceDaily,” June 16, 2012.

9. Who’s Stressed in the US? Adult Stress Levels from 1983-2009
”Results show women report more stress, stress decreases with age, and the recent economic downturn mostly affected white, middle-aged men with college educations and full-time jobs” according to research by Sheldon Cohen and Denise Janicki-Deverts published in the ”Journal of Applied Social Psychology” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily,” June 11, 2012.

10. Flourishing Scale
The Flourishing Scale by Diener, et al. (2009), ”is a brief 8-item summary measure of the respondent’s self-perceived success in important areas such as relationships, self-esteem, purpose, and optimism. The scale provides a single psychological well-being score.” The scale is available for downloading in English, Chinese, Hungarian, and Turkish.

11. Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE)
The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience by Diener et al. (2009) ”is a 12-item questionnaire includes six items to assess positive feelings and six items to assess negative feelings. For both the positive and negative items, three of the items are general (e.g., positive, negative) and three per subscale are more specific (e.g., joyful, sad).”

12. CERQ: Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire
The CERQ by Nadia Garnefski and Vivian Kraaij is a 36-item ”multidimensional questionnaire constructed in order to identify the cognitive emotion regulation strategies (or cognitive coping strategies) someone uses after having experienced negative events or situations. Contrary to other coping questionnaires that do not explicitly differentiate between an individual’s thoughts and his or her actual actions, the present questionnaire refers exclusively to an individual’s thoughts after having experienced a negative event.”

13. Carrots, Not Sticks, Motivate Workers
”A study co-authored by Michigan State University business scholar Karen Sedatole suggests workers respond better to the promise of reward, or carrots, than they do the threat of punishment, or sticks.” Summary from ”PhysOrg”, June 20, 2012.

14. Genetics By The Numbers: 10 Tantalizing Tales
”LiveScience” summarizes these interesting facts about genes and inheritance including the length of human DNA, the number of genes in the human genome, the percent of our genome which is noncoding DNA, and more. Published online June 11, 2012.

15. Animal Code: Our Favorite Genomes
”LiveScience” presents this slide show of their 10 favorite projects mapping the genomes of various animals — including humans — such as the cow, turkey, orangutan, rhesus monkey, and others. Genome sequencing can explain unusual animal traits, lead to disease-resistant animals, shed light on evolutionary processes, and much more. Published online May 30, 2012.

16. Human Connectome Project
A joint project of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles, The Human Connectome Project aims to ”construct a map of the complete structural and functional neural connections in vivo within and across individuals.” Read about the details of their work and see their amazing pictures of neural connections within the human brain.

17. Damaged Connections in Phineas Gage’s Brain: Famous 1848 Case of Man Who Survived Accident Has Modern Parallel
The personality changes noted in Phineas Gage after his famous brain injury may have been due more to a disruption in connections between the left frontal cortex and the rest of the brain, than due to injury of the cortex itself. Jack Van Horn and colleagues studied the wiring of the brain and the severing of these connections which made neuroscience’s most famous case study ”no longer Gage.” Their research, part of the Human Connectome Project (see previous entry) was published in ”PLoS ONE” and is summarized here in ”ScienceDaily,”  May 16, 2012.

18. More TV, Less Self-Esteem, Except for White Boys
According to research published in the journal ”Communications Research” white boys may be the exception to the usual finding that children’s self-esteem generally goes down as TV watching goes up. From ABC news, May 30, 2012.

19. Is Self-Esteem the Key to Success?
”Self-esteem is more likely to influence success than vice versa” according to research by Ulrich Orth and colleagues, published in the ”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” and summarized here, October 2011.

20. Favorite Link Revisited: Where the Hell Is Matt Dancing?
Matt, a 31-year old self-proclaimed deadbeat from Connecticut, was once told by his friend while traveling in Hanoi, ”Hey, why don’t you stand over there and do that dance? I’ll record it”. The rest is, as they say, Internet history. In 2005, 2006 and 2008 Matt traveled around the world dancing and spreading joy. The brief video montages from his travels are sure to make you smile even as they introduce cultural differences (clothing, housing) and cultural universals (dancing, smiling, music, positive emotions, and camaraderie) to your students. Update: In his newest (2012) and possibly most inspirational video yet, Matt shares dances with people in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, the Gaza Strip, North Korean, and strife-ridden Syria (with their faces blurred for their own safety). Watch to the end to see how far this former deadbeat has come.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 6, February, 2012

February 15, 2012

Hello and welcome to the sixty-sixth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,395 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

The big news this Valentine’s Day is that the APA filed briefs in the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the Montana Supreme Court that support the legal rights of same-sex couples. The brief drew on psychological research suggesting that forming intimate relationships and parenting healthy children is not bounded by sexual orientation.

Does being an introvert stink? This month, the meek shall inherit the earth … or at least four links in this month’s newsletter. Susan Cain’s just-released book ”Quiet: The Power of Introverts” has attracted quite a bit of media attention. In it, she suggests that there are advantages to being an introvert. Also, new research suggests that extroverts may bias self-report studies by their cheerfulness and — in one of those strange-but-true-studies — raters can accurately judge how outgoing or dominant people are from how they smell!

Finally, we discovered a series of articles in ”Psychology Today” which nearly doubles our size of resources on the topic of Narrative Psychology. We are always on the lookout for valuable resources, so if you have one you’d like to see us include, just send us the link!

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. APA Files Two Briefs In Support of Same-Sex Couples

According to this press release, ”APA has filed two friend-of-the-court briefs–—one in the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and one in the Montana Supreme Court–—that support the legal rights of same-sex couples. The cases are significantly different in their arguments before the court, but the briefs rely on the same social science research showing that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality and that same-sex couples are not any less fit or capable than heterosexual parents and that their children are no less adjusted.”

3. Some Personality Traits Affect How You Smell

New research suggests that people can assess how outgoing, anxious, or dominant people are based on their body odor. Read the summary here in ”LiveScience”, December 2, 2011.

4. Are Extroverts Ruining Psychologists’ Surveys?

According to a recent study, ”Extroverts answer survey questions more enthusiastically than do introverts” Is their tendency towards hyperbole getting in the way of scientific objectivity? Do extroverts really experience the world more intensely, or are they just less hesitant to say so? Read all about it in this summary from ”LiveScience,” August 19, 2011.

5. Quiet: The Power of Introverts

Susan Cain, author of ”Quiet: The Power of Introverts” appeared recently on the radio program ”Radio Times” with host Marty Moss-Coane. From the website: ”In a world that celebrates the loudest, most outlandish, extroverted personalities, a new book makes the case for quieter types –– those who shy away from the limelight and who like to spend time alone. Writer Susan Cain says there are advantages to being an introvert, including being a reflective thinker and a good listener. Cain also highlights some well-known introverts like Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Gates and Gandhi, who famously said, ”In a gentle way you can shake the world.” She tells Marty about the science behind introversion and the biases that shy people face.” Runs 49 minutes, 6 seconds, including calls from listeners.

6. Secrets of A Super Successful Introvert: How to (Quietly) Get Your Own Way

Susan Cain, author of ”Quiet: The Power of Introverts” describes her own personal realization of the power of introverts and explains why even social butterflies can benefit from drawing on their soft-spoken side. Includes 6 strategies for ”nourishing the unique strengths that come from your quieter reaches”. From ”O, The Oprah Magazine”, February 2012.

7. Reliability — The Foundation of Any Good Personality Test

Michael Brit, former professor of psychology, broadcasts a podcast about psychology called ”The Psych Files”. In this video episode (Episode 168), he describes the concept of reliability in a concrete and enjoyable way through the classic, but invalid, Ice Cream Personality Test, the Distorted Tunes Test of musical perception, and a test of Achievement Motivation (runs 12 minutes, 6 seconds).

8. Validity — How Can You Tell a Good Test From a Bad One?

Michael Brit, former professor of psychology, broadcasts a podcast about psychology called ”The Psych Files”. In this video episode (Episode 169), he describes the concept of validity in a concrete and enjoyable way through the classic, but invalid, Ice Cream Personality Test, the Distorted Tunes Test of musical perception, and others. ”High validity is what separates the many fun-to-take but essentially meaningless tests you’ll find on the web, and a truly solid test of your personality” (runs 14 minutes, 40 seconds).

9. Writing and Revising

Looking for a thorough writing guide for you or your students? ”Over the past 20 years of teaching, writing, and editing, I have compiled a set of tips, tricks, and pet peeves that I share with students and colleagues. I’ve decided to make this writing guide more widely available in case others will find it useful. The emphasis is on scientific writing, but the same principles apply to most non-fiction (including journalism).”

10. The Human Brain: Hardwired to Sin

Read about what neuroscientists have discovered about how the brain processes lust, gluttony, sloth, pride, wrath, and greed using brain scanning techniques. From ”Focus Magazine”, February 2012.

11. In Mental Illness, Women Internalize and Men Externalize

According to recent research, ”Women are more likely to develop anxiety and mood disorders such as depression, while men’s mental health issues are more likely to involve antisocial personality and substance abuse disorders.” Read the summary here in ”LiveScience”, August 19, 2011.

12. What Makes You Happy? It May Depend on Your Age

According to recent research, ”People’s happiness levels change with age, an idea reflected in personal experiences and public opinion polls, but a new study shows that much of that change may boil down to how people define happiness itself. Whereas happiness in younger people is often related to excitement, for older people, contentment was associated with a happy existence, the researchers found.” Read all about it in this summary from ”LiveScience,” August 2, 2011.

13. Facebook is Not Such a Good Thing for Those With Low Self-Esteem

”In theory, the social networking website Facebook could be great for people with low self-esteem. Sharing is important for improving friendships. But in practice, people with low self-esteem seem to behave counterproductively, bombarding their friends with negative tidbits about their lives and making themselves less likeable, according to a new study” in ”Psychological Science” and summarized here in ”ScienceDaily,” February 1, 2012.

14. Cloning Fido: Playing ”God” With ”Dog”

This brief episode from the ABC News program ”Night Line” describes how a woman had her beloved pet cloned by a South Korean company. With a high failure rate of clones and the questionable treatment of laboratory animals, the piece raises important questions, including: Do identical genes make for an identical dog? How are surrogate dogs treated after they give birth? Is it ethical to swap one animal’s life for another? Does the high number of failed attempts justify the few successful ones? Originally aired January 6, 2012 (runs 5 minutes, 48 seconds).

15. Powerful People Feel Taller Than They Really Are

According to research by Michelle Duguid and Jack Goncalo published in ”Psychological Science”, December 2011, participants assigned to act as a leader on experimental task increased their self-reported height by about an inch.

16. Self-Portrait in a Skewed Mirror

”You’re more than the star and author of your own life story. You’re also the spin master. How you tell your tale reveals whether you see yourself as victim or victor, even when your story veers from the life you lived”.
By Carlin Flora, for ”Psychology Today” (published on January 01, 2006 – last reviewed on January 18, 2012).

17. Your Life Story in Metaphors

Susan Krauss Whitbourne writes about the metaphors we use to describe our lives: ”Think about how you’ve gotten where you are in life, and where you hope or plan to go. What metaphor comes to mind? Does your life have a shape or a direction? Is it an arrow (upward or downward), a circle, or a series of steps? How about the life of other people you know? Is the metaphor you’d apply to yourself the same as those you’d apply to other people?” in this article from ”Psychology Today”, published May 3, 2011.

18. The Inside Story

”Telling stories is not just the oldest form of entertainment, it’s the highest form of consciousness. The need for narrative is embedded deep in our brains. Increasingly, success in the information age demands that we harness the hidden power of stories. Here’s what you need to know to tell a killer tale” in this story by Peter Guber, for ”Psychology Today”, (published on March 15, 2011 – last reviewed on January 23, 2012).

19. Why We Write

”Psychologists Jerome Bruner and Henri Zukier suggest that our minds have two general ways of taking in the world. When we perceive the world in paradigmatic mode, we act like scientists, connecting facts, looking for patterns and universal principles through which we categorize and understand our environment. The narrative mode on the other hand, is what allows us to endow life with meaning through the stories we tell about it.” Read about the power of writing our own narrative in this article by Mindy Greenstein for ”Psychology Today”, January 12, 2012.

20. A Winning Way to Get Started Writing Your Life Story

Susan Heitler provides this story-starting ideas to help you get in touch with your own life story. From ”Psychology Today”, January 18, 2012.

21. Are You The Star of Your Own Story?

Our lives are works in progress and masterpieces of story telling, so we should embrace our own biographies, according to Kim Schneiderman, in this article for ”Psychology Today”, January 2, 2012.

22. Who’s Writing Your Script? You May Be Surprised

Are you stuck in an ill-fitting role? A poorly written script? Self-reflection and questioning of where our scripts come from can help us to live more in line with our authentic selves according to this article by Kim Schneiderman for ”Psychology Today”, October 17, 2011.

23. Create Real Stories as Believable as Fiction

You can ”write more compelling creative non-fiction using novelist’s tricks” according to this article by Susan K. Perry for ”Psychology Today”, January 15, 2009.

24. Favorite Link Revisited: This Emotional Life

From the website: “The Emmy Award-winning team of Vulcan Productions and the producers of NOVA have created a three-part series that explores improving our social relationships, learning to cope with depression and anxiety, and becoming more positive, resilient individuals. Harvard psychologist and best-selling author of Stumbling on Happiness, Professor Daniel Gilbert, talks with experts about the latest science on what makes us tick and how we can find support for the emotional issues we all face. Each episode weaves together the compelling personal stories of ordinary people and the latest scientific research along with revealing comments from celebrities like Chevy Chase, Larry David, Alanis Morissette, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Richard Gere. The first episode, Family, Friends & Lovers, looks at the importance of relationships and why they are central to our emotional well-being (includes an excellent overview of Attachment theory). In the second episode, Facing Our Fears, we look at emotions that are commonly regarded as obstacles to happiness — such as anger, fear, anxiety, and despair (includes a discussion of Anger, Depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Stress and Anxiety). The last episode, Rethinking Happiness, explores happiness. It is so critical to our well-being, and, yet, it remains such an elusive goal for many of us” (includes Creativity and Flow, Forgiveness, Happiness, Humor, Meditation, Resilience). See more about the people and stories featured on the series, view selected video clips, learn more about the topics mentioned, find information about resources and support organizations, and purchase a DVD.