Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 11, July, 2012

July 25, 2012

Hello and welcome to the seventy-first Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,549 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month we’re catching up with our backlog of links to be added. Speaking of old(er) links, at the top of our “Why didn’t we hear about this one sooner?” list is a charming article by Psychologist James Kaufman for “Psychology Today”. He claims that characters from Charles M. Schultz’ “Peanuts” cartoon illustrate the Five Factor model. Charlie Brown? High in Neuroticism. Snoopy? A typical Extrovert. Check out the link below to find out who’s high in Conscientiousness (one who practices piano regularly?), Openness (someone who believes in the Great Pumpkin?), and Agreeableness, (or rather, one who is low in Agreeableness based on her crabbiness and penchant for moving the football just as poor Charlie Brown is about to kick it).

As you are thinking about the semester or school year ahead — or even if you are only thinking about thinking about starting up again — check out our Favorite Link Revisited for “101 Things You can Do The First Three Weeks of Class” to build rapport, foster a supportive environment, and fire students up for a semester of good learning.

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. The Charlie Brown Theory of Personality

James C. Kaufman, writer for “Psychology Today” makes the case that all you need to know about the Five Factors can be found in the comics. Read about how Charlie Brown and other members of the “Peanuts” crew illustrate each of the Five Factors. From March 2, 2010.

3. Character Traits Determined Genetically?

“Genes play a greater role in forming character traits such as self-control, decision making, or sociability, than was previously thought” according to research by Despina Archontaki, Gary Lewis and Timothy Bates published in the “Journal of Personality” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, May 16, 2012.

4. ‘Personality Genes’ May Help Account for Longevity

“Personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities” may be as important as physical health in allowing people to live to age 100 and beyond, according to research published in the journal “Aging” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily”, May 24, 2012.

5. Resilient People More Satisfied With Life

“Students who are more resilient … are also more satisfied with their lives and believe they have control over their emotions and their state of mind,” according to research by Joaquín Limonero and colleagues in “Behavioral Psychology” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily,” May 23, 2012.

6. Disagreeable People Prefer Aggressive Dogs, Study Suggests

Owners of dogs seen as more aggressive such as bull terriers or boxers are often lower in agreeableness than owners of more docile dogs. Yet, they were no more likely than other dog owners to engage in more delinquent behaviors, and are actually slightly higher in conscientiousness, suggesting that there may be some truth to the conventional wisdom that dogs match the personality of their owners, according to research by Vincent Egan and colleagues published in the journal “Anthozoos” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily,” May 22, 2012.

7. Stressed Men are More Social

Research by Markus Heinrichs and Bernadette von Dawans, published in “Psychological Science,” suggests that when under stress men may show the tend-and-befriend coping strategy often shown by women, according to this summary in “ScienceDaily,” May 21, 2012.

8. Emotionally Intelligent People Are Less Good at Spotting Liars

People high in emotional intelligence overestimate their ability to detect lies in others according to research by Stephen Porter and colleagues and published in the journal “Legal and Criminological Psychology” and summarized here in “ScienceDaily,” May 18, 2012.

9. Replication Studies: Bad Copy

“In the wake of high-profile controversies, psychologists are facing up to problems with replication”. These problem include the file-drawer problem, focusing on positive results, an emphasis on counter-intuitive findings, and lack of conceptual replication, among others, according to this article by Ed Yong for “Nature”, May 16, 2012.

10. The Merest Thought of Money Replenishes Self-Control

A brief summary of the work by Boucher and Kofos (2012) which found that people who were reminded of money performed better on tasks of self-control than people reminded of neutral concepts.

11. Already Struggling to Keep New Year Resolutions? Here’s the First Detailed Study of Daily Temptation and Resistance

Research by Wilhelm Hoffman and his colleagues suggests that “desire is a common, recurrent theme in the daily lives of modern citizens … everyday life may be an ongoing drama in which inner factors set the stage for motivation and conflict, while external factors contribute to how well people manage to resist and enact their current wants and longings.” Read the summary here in BPS Research Digest, January 3, 2012, or the original in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”

12. Personality Tests: Can they Identify the Real You?

BBC news writer Lucy Ash describes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and what it can — and can not — tell us about personality. Includes speculations on the personality type of Madonna, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Donald Trump, the Queen Elizabeth and others.

13. What Am I Like?

The BBC developed this brief personality test modeled after the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for fun to illustrate how personality type theory works. Through a series of 20 questions participants find out whether they are planners or spontaneous, more into fact or ideas, lead with their heads or hearts, or Extraverts or Introverts. The result is one of 16 personality types.

14. Preference for Solitude Scale

From Burger, J. M. (1995). Individual differences in preference for solitude.  “Journal of Research in Personality, 29”, 85-108, this 12-item scale measures individual differences in solitude, whether being away from others has a positive or negative on a person’s well-being. Opens in Microsoft Word (doc) format.

15. Burger (1995) Individual Differences in Preference for Solitude

Burger, J. M. (1995). Individual differences in preference for solitude. “Journal of Research in Personality, 29”, 85-108. Opens in PDF format.

16. Desirability of Control Scale

From Burger, J. M., & Cooper, H. M. (1979). The desirability of control. “Motivation and Emotion, 3”, 381‑393, this 20-item scales measures individual differences in the general desire for control over events in one’s life. Opens in Microsoft Word (doc) format.

17. Burger & Cooper (1979) The Desirability of Control Scale

Burger, J. M., & Cooper, H. M. (1979). The desirability of control. “Motivation and Emotion, 3”, 381‑393, this 20-item scales measures individual differences in the general desire for control over events in one’s life. Opens in PDF format.

18. The Perfected Self

Writer David Freedman describes how B. F. Skinner’s Behavior Modification work, once maligned by the world, is enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to smartphone apps which apply Skinner’s principles to help people lose weight and keep it off. From the “Atlantic Monthly”, June 2012.

19. Favorite Link Revisited: First Day of Class

“Beginnings are important.” says Joyce T. Povlacs of University of Nebrasks-Lincoln. This list of “101 Things You Can Do the First Three Weeks of Class” which she put together is a catalog of suggestions for college teachers who are looking for a fresh way of creating the best possible environment for learning.


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 5, Number 9, May, 2011

May 30, 2011

Hello and welcome to the fifty-seventh Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,235 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Happy unofficial start of summer!

Ah, is there anything as glorious as being curled up with a good book on a summer’s day? If you love summer reading (especially fiction) and already have a stack of titles awaiting your attention, you’ll be interested to know that what you always suspected is true: Reading fiction like ”Twilight” or ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for just 30 minutes can make people feel like they are part of an entirely different world. Researchers found that not only does this feel good, as any young Harry Potter fan can attest to, but it also changes us. Read all about it in our second link below. And dust off your library card, Kindle, or beloved old favorites from your shelves and get busy exploring new worlds . . . and yourself! But don’t stay up too late, as sleep deprivation has its own problems as you can read below.

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: 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. We Actually ‘Become’ Happy Vampires or Contented Wizards When Reading a Book
”[R]eading satisfies a deeply felt need for human connection because we not only feel like the characters we read about but, psychologically speaking, become part of their world and derive emotional benefits from the experience” according to research by Shira Gabriel and Ariana Young, published this month in ”Psychological Science” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, May 10, 2011.

3. Over 40 Playful Yet Practical Ways to Cultivate Creativity
Margarita Tartakovsky presents these ways to boost creativity to make you happier and more productive. From ”Psych Central”.

4. From the Beginning, the Brain Knows the Difference Between Night and Day
“The brain is apparently programmed from birth to develop the ability to determine sunrise and sunset, [according to] new research on circadian rhythms” by August Kampf-Lassin and Brian Prendergast and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, April 28, 2011.

5. Snooze Control: Fatigue, Air Traffic and Safety
Richard R. Bootzin presented his paper ”If Sleep is So Important, Why Do We Get So Little of It?” at the 23rd Annual APS Convention earlier this month. Read about his work inspired by some recent notable near-misses of aircraft due to fatigued air traffic controllers. The problem is not with individuals but with the recovery time between shifts for shift workers according to this summary from ”Science Daily”, April 25, 2011.

6. Peak Experiences: Big Moments
”Life can drone along at a hum for years—then break into a short but glorious chorus that changes us forever. It’s impossible to predict such peak experiences; in fact, that’s part of their charm. But it is possible to prepare for them” as Rebecca Webber explains in this article from ”Psychology Today,” September 01, 2010.

7. 10 Quick Stress Busters
Therese Borchard, editor at ”Psych Central”, has 10 tips for dealing with stress (e.g., simplify, prioritize, laugh, exercise, etc.). Borchard readily admits that she uses an average of 5 per day, and as much as all 10 on a truly bad day.

8. The Healing Power of Laughter
Theresa Borchard outlines the stress-busting and healing power of laughter in this essay from ”Psych Central”.

9. The Psychology of Cells
”New techniques are allowing researchers to measure how the environment affects gene expression, leading to some remarkable insights, including the finding that loneliness primes the immune system to turn on its inflammatory response — a risk factor for disease.” according to research summarized in this article by Beth Azar for the APA ”Monitor”, May 2011.

10. 7 Tips for Giving Effective Praise
Gretchen Rubin distills much of the research on praise to these 7 tips including be specific, be sincere, and more, in this article from ”Psych Central”.

11. Happiness Has A Dark Side
”It seems like everyone wants to be happier and the pursuit of happiness is one of the foundations of American life. But even happiness can have a dark side […] people who strive for happiness may end up worse off than when they started” according to research by June Gruber, Iris Mauss and Maya Tamir published this month in ”Perspectives on Psychological Science” and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, May 17, 2011.

12. What Does Your Handshake Say About You?
While not exactly a window into the soul, handshakes do play an important part in generating a first impression. People can accurately judge a target’s extraversion and, for men only, conscientiousness, from a handshake. Given that consciousness is an effective predictor of success at work, both men and women may want to think about the impression their handshakes create, according to research by Frank Bernieri and Kristen Petty published this month in ”Social Influence” and summarized here in The British Psychological Society’s ”Research Digest”, May 13, 2011.

13. Why Extroverts are the Happiest People
”Extroverts are the cheeriest personality type, and a new study finds that the root of their happiness may be in their memories. People who are extroverted remember the past in a more positive light than other personality types” according to new research by Ryan Howell, as summarized in this article from ”Life Science”, May 3, 2011.

14. Psychologists Discover We’ve Been Underestimating the Unconscious Mind
Neurologists and cognitive psychologists once believed that we need awareness for integration of stimuli into a coherent whole. However, ”integration can happen even when we’re unaware of the stimulus […] Unconscious processes are much more sophisticated and deeper than was previously believed” according to research by Liad Mudrik, Dominique Lamy, Assaf Breska, and Leon Y. Deouell published in ”Psychological Science” and summarized here in ”Medical Xpress”, May 12, 2011.

15. I Control Therefore I am: Chimps Self-Aware
”Chimpanzees are self-aware and can anticipate the impact of their actions on the environment around them, an ability once thought to be uniquely human” according to research by Takaaki Kaneko and Masaki Tomonaga and summarized here in PhysOrg.Com, May 4, 2011.

16. Think It’s Easy to Be Macho? Psychologists Show How ‘Precarious’ Manhood Is
”Manhood is a “precarious” status — difficult to earn and easy to lose. And when it’s threatened, men see aggression as a good way to hold onto it” according to research by Jennifer K. Bosson and Joseph A. Vandello, published in ”Current Directions in Psychological Science”, and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, May 3, 2011.

17. When Self-Esteem Is Threatened, People Pay With Credit Cards
”People shop for high status items when they’re feeling low, and they’re more likely to make those expensive purchases on credit”, according to a study in ”Social Psychological and Personality Science” by Niro Sivanathan and Nathan Pettit and summarized here in ”Science Daily”, May 6, 2011.

18. Scientists Find Genetic Link to Depression
”Scientists say they have discovered the first solid evidence that variations in some peoples’ genes may cause depression […] And in a rare occurrence in genetic research, a British-led international team’s finding of a DNA region linked to depression has been replicated by another team from the United States who were studying an entirely separate group of people,” ”Reuters”, May 16, 2011.

19. Happiness Gene Located
”A gene which regulates the movement of serotonin in the brain has been labeled the “happiness gene” by researchers from the London School of Economics and reported in the ”Journal of Human Genetics”. This is the first study to demonstrate a direct link between an individual’s happiness and a specific genetic condition” according to research by Jan-Emmanuel De Neve and summarized here in ”Medical News Today”, May 7, 2011.

20. Song Lyrics Suggest Narcissism Is On the Rise
Nathan DeWall and his colleagues ”analyzed the lyrics of songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart from 1980 to 2007. They found a statistically significant trend toward narcissism in the music, with the words “I” and “me” gradually replacing “we” and “us.”” Read about his work in this article from ”Life Science”, April 26, 2011.

21. Activity: The Soundtrack of Your Life
Describes an activity where students identify eight major events in their lives (e.g., deaths, first car, entering high school, etc.) and find songs (music and lyrics) to correspond to these events, designing an imaginary soundtrack of their lives. Students write about the experience, submit their compilations, and/or present a song to the class with an explanation of its import. Originally designed to be a writing assignment, with some additional guidance this activity can be used to illustrate narrative psychology, the self, Erikson’s stages, and other theories of personality psychology.

22. Favorite Link Revisited: Review Fun: Grab That Spoon!
Educator and simulation game guru Sivasailam (Thiagi) Thiagarajan maintains a web site with tons of ideas to get participants involved and playing with ideas. Grab That Spoon! is a quick, five-minute game with a dash of friendly competition. It’s a game in which everyone participates regardless of the size of the group (5 or 500, it still works!). It’s a game that allows the learners to generate the review information, to participate in it, and to discuss their own understanding of the material learned. In other words, it’s a game in which the participants learn a lot in a little time!


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

May 1, 2011

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

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

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

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

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues and to visit the home of Personality Pedagogy: 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

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2. J. Crew Ad Showing Boy With Pink Nail Polish Sparks Debate on Gender Identity

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

3. Stress Awareness: Hardiness Quiz

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

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

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

5. Stress and Aging

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

6. What is Psychological Resilience?

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

7. Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship

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

8. The Penn Resiliency Program

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

9. Extreme Photo Retouching

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

10. Learning Through Digital Media Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy

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

11. Self-promotion on Facebook Correlates With Narcissism

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

12. Gender: Color Survey

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

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

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