Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 4, December, 2011

December 21, 2011

Hello and welcome to the sixty-fourth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,365 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we’ve been doing some housekeeping by updating our backlog of links. Below you will find a little something old as well as something new sure to spark your creativity in the classroom.

We wish you a peaceful holiday season surrounded by the people and things you love and a restful vacation that renews you for more teaching of personality psychology in the new year!

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 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 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. Social PsyClips: Ed Deci on Self-Determination Theory

Ed Deci presents an overview of self-determination theory as part of Social PsyClips, a repository of short, visually appealing HD video documentaries of classic and contemporary social psychological theories for teaching purposes (runs 25 minutes 36 seconds).

3. Social PsyClips: Ed Deci on Self-Determination Theory in Life’s Domains

Ed Deci describes the implications of self-determination theory in virtual worlds, health, education, and other life domains as part of Social PsyClips, a repository of short, visually appealing HD video documentaries of classic and contemporary social psychological theories for teaching purposes (runs 11 minutes 25 seconds).

4. Self-Handicapping

Summarizes the work of McCrea (2008) on the difference between excuse-making and self-handicapping and common ways people self-handicap.

5. What is your Emotional IQ?

A collection of articles from ”Psychology Today” on the topic of Emotional Intelligence including what it is and is not, gender differences in EQ, and alternative intelligences.

6. Intelligence

A collection of articles from ”Psychology Today” on the topic of intelligence including giftedness and genius, how to increase intelligence, gender differences, intelligence testing, and much more.

7. Male Impulsivity and Addiction Linked to One Gene

Addiction and impulsivity have a genetic link in men, according to a new study by Scott Stoltenberg, Melissa Lehmann, Christa C. Christ, Samantha Hersrud, and Gareth Davies, published in the journal ”Drug and Alcohol Dependence” and summarized here in LiveScience, November 18, 2011.

8. Nonproductive Workplace Behaviors

An overview by Eve Ash on the many forms of dishonesty in the work place and how to handle them.

9. The United States of Mind

Research by Rentfrow and colleagues on the geography of personality suggests that there are regional clusters of personality traits. This summary of their (2008) research from the journal ”Perspectives on Psychological Science” contains a link to an interactive map of states’ personality profiles with details on each state’s rankings on each of the five factors. From the ”Wall Street Journal”, September 23, 2008.

10. Monkey Hijacks Photographer’s Camera and Shots Self-Portraits

While filming macaque monkeys in an Indonesian national park, photographer David Slater lost his camera to one of his subjects. The resulting self-portraits are both comical and all too human and illustrate nicely the question of self-recognition as a uniquely human capacity.

11. The Brain Basis of Unrealistic Optimism

Discovering that an initial estimate was unduly pessimistic was associated with increased activity across the frontal lobes while being unduly optimistic was associated with reduced activity in these areas according to research by Tali Sharot and colleagues published in ”Nature Neuroscience” (2011) and summarized here in ”BPS Research Digest”, December 5, 2011.

12. Favorite Link Revisited: What is Personality?

Check out this short film (7 minutes, 35 seconds) Called ”Psychology 28 Opening Day Intro Montage” by Matt Sacks of University of the North Carolina.

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Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 5, Number 7, March, 2011

March 17, 2011

Hello and welcome to the fifty-fifth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,212 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month, we are taking time out of our Spring Break to bring you this newsletter (luckily for us, laptops travel well). In conjunction with our new feature Favorite Links Revisited, we take a multi-cultural and multi-species look at the classic mirror self-recognition test. Check out the links below including videos of elephants and dolphins trying to figure out what that red mark is and judge for yourself if this is self-referential behavior or something else.

Even if this isn’t your Spring break, spring is certainly just a few weeks away! 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 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 https://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com 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.

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. Self-Handicapping and Procrastination

Summarizes research on self-handicapping and procrastination which suggests that even though procrastination is often used as a self-handicapping strategy, they are not the same thing. While people use self-handicapping to protect their self-esteem, chronic procrastinators may just be delaying a aversive task rather than protecting themselves. Procrastinators and self-handicappers may have different motives for engaging in the same behavior.

3. Is This Your Brain on God?

According to NPR which created this interactive website: ”More than half of adult Americans report they have had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. Now, scientists from universities like Harvard, Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins are using new technologies to analyze the brains of people who claim they have touched the spiritual — from Christians who speak in tongues to Buddhist monks to people who claim to have had near-death experiences. Hear what they have discovered in this controversial field, as the science of spirituality continues to evolve.” The information is presented in five parts, each revolving around a topic such as The God Chemical, The God-Spot, Spiritual Virtuosos, The Biology of Belief, and Near-Death Experiences, including brain images and interviews with believers and skeptics.

4. 25 Strategies for Increasing Interactivity in Virtual Classrooms

The Thiagi Gameletter, produced by the Thiagi Group, Inc., which specializes in ”seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants, and managers” presents this special list of 25 fun and effective strategies to help you move away from traditional ways of providing online content. Some of their ideas include Assessment-Based Learning Activities, Brain-Pick Activity, Case Method, Interactive Video Watching, Graphics Games and much more.

5. Build An Online Experiment for Free

Michael Britt, of ”The Psych Files” Podcast, created this video presentation of how to use Wix.com and Google Forms to create an online experiment for free. Perfect for class projects; may not be powerful enough for more extensive projects. Britt presented this work at the 2010 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science.

6. Seven Billion: Are You Typical?

In the year 2011, the worldwide human population will reach 7 billion people. As part of their year-long series on world population, ”National Geographic Magazine” put together this 2 minute, 55 second video identifying the typical person and inspiring us all to think about how our choices affect others on the planet.

7. On Road to Recovery, Past Adversity Provides a Map

”New research suggests that resilience may have at least as much to do with how often people have faced adversity in past as it does with who they are — their personality, their genes, for example — or what they’re facing now. That is, the number of life blows a person has taken may affect his or her mental toughness more than any other factor” according to research by Roxane Cohen Silver and colleagues, published in the ”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” (2011) and summarized in this ”New York Times” article January 3, 2011, by Benedict Carey.

8. Kye Allums: Transgender man playing NCAA women’s basketball

Kye Allums, a biological female, took the bold step of changing her outward identity — her name and use of masculine pronouns — to match her inward feelings of being a man. George Washington University’s Women’s basketball team has accepted his decision and NCAA rules allow him to continue to play. Read about his story in this summary from ”OutSports.com”, November 1, 2010.

9. Cross-Cultural Reflections on the Mirror Self-Recognition Test

The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog urges caution when extrapolating Western research findings to other cultures. While early studies suggested that children in non-western cultures were delayed in self-recognition, better-designed research found that they were merely more compliant or timid than western children, failing to question the researcher’s intentions by marking their foreheads in a such a strange manner.

10. Dolphins In The Mirror

Diana Reiss at the Baltimore Aquarium illustrate the intelligence — and self-recognition behavior — of dolphins in this brief documentary explaining the work of Reiss and her collogues with dolphins and elephants (runs 5 minutes, 8 seconds).

11. Self-Recognition in Dolphins

Three movies showing dolphins engaging in self-directed behavior after mirror exposure and markings. From Diana Reiss and Lori Marino (2000). Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: A case of cognitive convergence. ”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(10)”, 5937-5942.

12. Self-Recognition in Elephants

Three movies showing Patty, Maxine, and Happy, three elephants, engaging in self-directed behavior after mirror exposure and markings. From Joshua M. Plotnik, Frans B. M. de Waal and Diana Reiss (2006) Self-recognition in an Asian elephant. ”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(45),” 17053-17057.

13. Favorite Link Revisited: When The Self Emerges: Is that Me in The Mirror?

An overview of the mirror test which remains the best experiment yet developed for examining the emergence of self-concept in infants according to Jeremy Dean in PsyBlog.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 8, April, 2010

April 20, 2010

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Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 8, April, 2010

Hello and welcome to the forty-fourth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Have you done your spring cleaning yet? Here at Personality Pedagogy, we’ve been doing some cleaning up of our own. This month we have (finally!) posted some interesting links that we’ve been meaning to get to, on all sorts of topics from Narrative Psychology to Neuroscience to Viktor Frankl to Barbie (!). We even found some new links to personality tests to feed what may already be the largest collection of links to legitimate personality tests on the internet! All in all, this is our biggest issue this year.

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: https://personalitypedagogy.wordpress.com/ You can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted.

Cheers,
Marianne

Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. How to Interpret Brain Imaging Studies

The Neuroethics Learning Collaborative, of the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, created this video on Brain Imaging: Reality and Hype. Jeff Aguirre presents this talk on the basics of neuroimaging, focusing on how scientists go from tracking neural activity to making an inference about human behavior. Describes how PET scans and fMRIs work, and how to interpret results from fMRI studies. The talk was given on March 2, 2010 and runs 47 minutes and 10 seconds.

2. The Voodoo Debate

On the heels of the famous Ed Vul, Nancy Kanwisher and Hal Pashler paper ”Voodoo Correlations in Social Neuroscience,” Matt Lieberman and Piotr Winkielman continued the debate at the annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Social Psychologists (SESP) in 2009. The first link is to the video of their debate; this link to background information about the original paper which started the controversy.

3. Viktor Frankl

Article from the ”MacMillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying” by James W. Ellor (2003) on the life and work of Viktor Frankl.

4. Viktor Frankl ”Man Alive” (1977)

Frankl discusses his theories and his message of hope as an antidote to the problem of meaninglessness in this two-part interview from the 1977 TV program ”Man Alive” in Part 1 (4:28) and Part 2 (4:23).

5. Barbie says: ”Math class is tough”

This video presents the original 1992 Teen Talk Barbie saying the controversial phrase ”Math class is tough”. The company later dropped the phrase and apologized after criticism from the American Association of University Women in its report on how schools shortchange girls. This link is to the original story in The New York Times, October 21, 1992.

6. Gender and Race Equity in Math, Science, and Technology

Patricia B. Campbell, of Campbell-Kibler Associates, does research and evaluation to increase gender and race equity in math, science, and technology education. She has turned her findings into user-friendly reports, brochures, and pamphlets available on their site to view, download, print, and share with parents, educators, and children. Topics include Myths, Stereotypes, and Gender Differences; No Virginia, There is No Math Gene; Making It Happen: Pizza Parties, Chemistry Goddesses and Other Strategies that Work for Girls and Others; and much, much more.

7. The Snyder (1974) Self-Monitoring Scale

Mark A. Whatley, Valdosta State University, has posted selected personality tests for his Self and Identiy class. About the Self-Monitoring Scale he says: ”Developed by Mark Synder (1974), the Self-Monitoring (SM) Scale measures the extent to which you consciously employ impression management strategies in social interactions. Basically, the scale assesses the degree to which you manipulate the nonverbal signals that you send to others and the degree to which you adjust your behavior to situational demands. Some people work harder at managing their public images than do others. ” Scale and scoring instructions available here.

8. Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ; 1978)

Mark A. Whatley, Valdosta State University, has posted selected personality tests for his Self and Identiy class. About the Personal Attributes Questionnaire he says: ”Devised by Janet Spence and Robert Helmreich (1978), the PAQ assesses masculinity and femininity in terms of respondents’ self-perceived possession of various traits that are stereotypically believed to differentiate the sexes. The authors emphasize that the PAQ taps on limited aspects of sex roles: certain self-assertive or instrumental traits traditionally associated with masculinity and certain interpersonal or expressive traits traditionally associated with femininity. Although the PAQ should not be viewed as a global measure of masculinity and femininity, it has been widely used in research to provide a rough classification of participants in terms of their gender-role identity.” Scale and scoring instructions available here.

9. Self-Handicapping Scale

Mark A. Whatley, Valdosta State University, has posted selected personality tests for his Self and Identiy class. About the Self-Handicapping Scale he says: ”Self-handicapping refers to people’s engagement in behaviors that hinder performance in an effort to provide an excuse if they fail. Rhodewalt, Saltzman, & Wittmer (1984) have used this scale to effectively predict the performance of competitive athletes. You and others should find the responses to the items on this scale interesting. Question 4 on the scale must be reverse scored. Higher scores indicate greater self-handicapping. High self-handicappers compared to low self-handicappers are likely to engage in activities that protect themselves from an attribution that they are failures. If they do fail, then they can attribute their failure to the situation and not to their ability. ” Scale and scoring instructions available here.

10. Psychological Tests for Student Use

Ron Okada, York University, Toronto, maintains this handy page for his students conducting research. It contains scales and scoring instructions for many tests relevant for both social and personality psychology. The tests are available in PDF or Word 2002 formats for the downloading. Tests available include the Attitude Towards Women Scale, Authoritarianism-Rebellion Scale, Body Esteem, Loneliness Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Personal Attributes Questionnaire, Procrastination Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Aggression Questionnaire, Trust Scale and much more.

11. Evolution: What Does it Mean to Be Human?

This web page provides background information for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s exhibit ”What Does it Mean to Be Human?” Describes ongoing research projects and evidence on the evolution of human behavior and physical characteristics. The site features a 3D interactive image library of fossils and artifacts, interactive walk-through of the exhibit, and resources for educators including lesson plans for 6-12 on human evolution, genetics, and more.

12. 10 Steps to Conquer Perfectionism

”Here are 10 techniques I use to break out of the prison of perfectionism in order to live and create as freely as I can in an imperfect world” according Therese Borchard, for PsychCentral.

13. Mating Strategies Not Universal

Summarizes the results of a cross-cultural study which found ”that men and women in monogamous societies, such as Pitcairn Islanders, and some polygynous societies, including the Aka in the Central African Republic, have overlapping ranges of number of offspring.” This finding suggests that there is greater variation in reproductive strategies than was once thought, so the tendency for men to be promiscuous and for females to be selective may not be universal. From Science News, May 23, 2009.

14. Genetic Risk for Anxiety Does Not Have to Be Destiny

Gene-by-environment interactions that place some people at risk for depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse may not be the whole story. Monkeys with a gene which puts them at risk for aggression and anxiety were raised either in small or large group cages. While the monkeys raised in small groups were more likely to be aggressive and anxious, monkeys reared in large, social cages were protected from developing these problems. From ”Science Daily”, May 3, 2009.

15. Meditation May Increase Gray Matter

”Certain regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger than in a similar control group. Specifically, meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the hippocampus and areas within the orbito-frontal cortex, the thalamus and the inferior temporal gyrus — all regions known for regulating emotions”. From ”Science Daily”, May 13, 2009

16. What’s Your Story? The Psychological Science of Life History Research

Jesse Bering describes life history research in which ”how we “spin” our self-narratives can reveal our hidden personalities” in this essay for ”Scientific American”, May 5, 2009.

17. Don’t!

Describes the classic work of Walter Mischel on delay of gratification research, including interviews with the now grown-up participants of the original marshmallow studies. ”Children who are able to pass the marshmallow test enjoy greater success as adults.” ”The New Yorker”, May 18, 2009, by Jonah Lehrer.