Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 3, November, 2013

November 30, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-fifth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at For more about the links below and approximately 2,905 other interesting links related to personality, please visit:

As we in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving by reflecting on all that we are thankful for, it only seems fitting that we here at Personality Pedagogy share our gratitude with you. This month we are particularly grateful for new scales to add to our extensive online collection of legitimate personality questionnaires, Google (and their “doodle” honoring Herman Rorschach in particular), selfies, a certain fox who says things, and, of course, you, our loyal readers.

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


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. The Personality Pedagogy Monthly Newsletter

Sign up here to receive this newsletter delivered to your e-mail inbox once a month! We promise never to share your information with anybody else or to use it for any other purpose than Personality Pedagogy.

2. Scholarly Reflections On The ‘Selfie’

Oxford dictionaries choose ’selfie’ as their Word of the Year 2013. To celebrate, several scholars from different fields shared their thoughts selfies including psychologists Robert Arkin and Mark R. Leary.

3. Psychoanalytic Perspective Illustrated: Bless You Hawkeye

Jill Payne, George Mason University via the PsychTeach discussion list, suggested that the episode of the TV series M*A*S*H titled “Bless You Hawkeye” (1981) “nicely illustrates some Freudian constructs. The tone of the episode is serious–not derisive–and emotional as well.” In this episode (Season 9, Episode 17), Hawkeye develops a sneeze, which cannot be explained by an allergy or other medical condition. Eventually, the psychiatrist, recurring character Sidney Freedman, is brought in to talk to him and they discover the root of his problem lies in an event from childhood triggered by a specific smell. The episode illustrates Freudian concepts such as reaction formation, psychosomatic symptoms, importance of childhood memories, slips of the tongue, repressed memory, stream of consciousness, and talk therapy. The entire episode runs about 24 minutes, but you could cut the first two scenes (before the Psychiatrist interviews Hawkeye) and the final scene (the Poker game) if time is an issue. If the link above does not work for you, try searching for it elsewhere on the Internet. See a synopsis of the episode here:

4. Openness to Experience and Creative Achievement

Summarizes research by Scott Barry Kaufman, identifying four factors of Openness/Intellect: Affective Engagement, Aesthetic Engagement, Intellectual Engagement, and Explicit Cognitive Ability. Each factor relates slightly differently to creative achievement in arts and sciences. He concludes that “These results support the need to separate different forms of cognitive engagement when trying to predict creative achievement. Different forms of engagement are related to different modes of information processing. What’s more, people differ in their drive to engage in various aspects of the human experience, and these drives are related to different forms of creative achievement.” From “Scientific American”, November 25, 2013.

5. The Evolution of Beauty

Back in 1959 geneticist Dmitry Belyaev started an experiment in Russia in which he bred silver foxes to make them tamer, and thus easier to raise for their prized fur. However, selecting for friendly behavior had the unanticipated result of also selecting for certain facial features. The result is that the same hormones which regulate behavior also regulates physical development. But even more amazing is the implication that beauty and an even temperament and friendliness also co-occur in humans. Read all about the findings in this fascinating article from “The Economist”, November 16, 2013.

6. The Paradoxical Traits Of Resilient People

Entrepreneur Faisal Hoque, writing for “Leadership Now” argues that resilient people, those who are able to bend but not break during adversity, possess the paradoxical traits of control, acceptance, and using adversity to change for the better.

7. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS-X)

The PANAS-X, contains 60 items measuring general positive and negative affect and 11 specific affects including fear, sadness, guilt, hostility, shyness, fatigue, surprise, joviality, self-assurance, attentiveness, and serenity. This link is to the manual by David Watson and Lee Anna Clark (1994). Opens in PDF format. Also available in a Japanese version here:

8. The Gratitude Questionnaire — Six Item Form (GQ-6)

“The GQ-6 is a short, self-report measure of the disposition to experience gratitude. Participants answer 6 items on a 1 to 7 scale (1 = ‘strongly disagree’, 7 = ‘strongly agree’). Two items are reverse-scored to inhibit response bias. The GQ-6 has good internal reliability, with alphas between .82 and .87, and there is evidence that the GQ-6 is positively related to optimism, life satisfaction, hope, spirituality and religiousness, forgiveness, empathy and prosocial behavior, and negatively related to depression, anxiety, materialism and envy. The GQ-6 takes less than 5 minutes to complete, but there is no time limit.” From McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The Grateful Disposition: A conceptual and Empirical Topography. “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82”, 112-127.

9. Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT) Revised and Short Forms

According to Watkins et al. (2003), “A grateful person would not feel deprived in life, they would have a sense of abundance […] acknowledge the contribution of others to their success and well-being, […] appreciate life’s simple pleasures, and […] acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude. Their conceptualisation of gratitude was shown to correlate with measures of subjective well-being and positive affect. The revised GRAT consists of 44 items measuring these characteristics. The short-form GRAT consists of 16 items. Both scales are rated on a nine point scale from I strongly disagree to I strongly agree with the statement”. From Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationship with subjective well-being. “Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 31”, 431-452.

10. Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test (GRAT)

Watkins, P. C., Woodward, K., Stone, T., & Kolts, R. L. (2003). Gratitude and happiness: Development of a measure of gratitude, and relationship with subjective well-being. “Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 31”, 431-452. Opens in PDF format.

11. Herman Rorschach’s 129 Birthday Google Doodle

On November 8, 2013, “Google” honored Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach with a shape-changing doodle reminiscent of the famous personality test with his name (and controversial validity and reliability).

12. Measurement Instrument Database for the Social Sciences.

Maintained by the National University of Ireland, Galway, this site is “designed to be a repository for instruments that are used to collect data from across the social sciences. Please use the site to discover instruments you can use in you own research. We now have more than 500 instruments concerned with a wide range of topics (e.g. autism, health, pain). You can use the search function above to search the database using pre-identified key words, or generate your own terms to search the instrument titles.” Researchers are welcome to submit any scales, questionnaires, and instruments that they have developed in an easy to use wiki-like format. See the site for details.

13. Sense of Belonging Increases Meaningfulness of Life

“[B]elonging to a group provided meaning over and above the value of others or the help they could provide. It’s more than just bonding, therefore, but really feeling like you are fitting in with others which is associated with higher levels of meaningfulness. Just the reverse effect has been shown in previous studies. People who feel excluded from social groups tend to feel that life has less meaning”, according to new research by Lambert et al. (2013) and summarized here in “PsyBlog”, November 25, 2013.

14. 10 Things You Should Know About Goals

“Your brain is a goal-setting machine, and research is illuminating why”, according to this article in “Psychology Today”, October 22, 2013.

15. You’re So Self-Controlling

Is our sense of time, not our lack of willpower, the real issue? While we generally think that delay of gratification is a good thing, research on decision making by Joseph Kable and Joseph McGuire suggests that since the timing of real-world events is often unpredictable, giving up can be a rational response to a time frame that is off. From “The New York Times”, November 16, 2013, by Maria Konnikova.

16. Favorite Link Revisited: Five-Ful Envelopes

In this activity, by Barbara Frederickson, participants explore the positive emotions of hopeful, joyful, peaceful, playful, and thankful, and brainstorm ways of increasing the frequency and intensity of these positive emotions in their lives. From the January 2010 issue of the Thiagi Gameletter (Seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants, and managers, see their website:

Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 4, Number 2, October, 2009

October 28, 2009

Hello and welcome to the thirty-eighth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at

What’s new this month? Well, it would be hard to top last month’s issue between the lost book of Carl Jung, the 100th anniversary of Freud’s visit to America, and the fMRI of the dead salmon. But just in case you missed these, the big news this month is that you can read old newsletters, comment on newsletters, view the current newsletter or you can even re-read what you missed in last month’s newsletter by checking out our new blog: You can even receive Personality Pedagogy newsletters via an RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) feed as soon as they are posted.

In other news, have you ever wondered what happened to Little Albert, the baby who was conditioned by John Watson to fear a white laboratory rat? Well, psychologist Hall P. Beck does some sleuthing and discovers who psychology’s most famous research participant actually was.

In old news, the updated 6th edition of the APA style manual which came out over the summer is riddled with errors and typos . . . and many corrections have been issued, including an unprecedented reprinting of the entire manual!

If you’re new to all the fuss, our links below should help you straighten things out. The corrections include four pages of “nonsignificant typographical errors” and five pages correcting errors in content and problems with sample papers in the book. The APA also released four corrected sample papers in their entireties.

And, according to John Foubert who started a Facebook group called Boycott the APA Manual 6th edition, “I have just received word that After November 2, call APA at 1-800-374-2721, ext. 5510. Ask for instructions on how to go on-line and print a mailing label you can use to return your copy and receive a corrected copy. I don’t know for sure that this will work, but it sounds as though we may have won a victory.”

As ever, please pass this newsletter on to interested colleagues and invite them to sign up for future issues. We hope you get many treats (a new style manual perhaps?) and not too many tricks (typos) this month!


Marianne Miserandino
miserandino “at” arcadia “dot” edu

1. APA Manual Corrections: Overview of corrections (opens in PDF format)

Corrections to the First Printing of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (July 2009). “Corrections to the first printing of the manual have been organized into four categories in an effort to group like changes together: Errors in APA Style Rules, Errors in Examples, Clarifications, and Nonsignificant Typos. In the first three categories, each correction is followed by a brief explanation of the change that directs users to the relevant APA Style rule or section in the manual to provide context. Items in the fourth category, Nonsignificant Typos, are simply listed with no explanation, as the majority of these have no direct APA Style implications.” Also includes links to the corrected sample papers.

2. Little Albert: Lost and Found

Have you ever wondered what happened to Little Albert, the baby who was conditioned by John Watson to fear a white laboratory rat? Well, psychologist Hall P. Beck does some sleuthing and discovers who psychology’s most famous research participant was and writes about his experience in the American Psychologist, Volume 64(7), October 2009, 605-614. (The first link summarizes his findings, the second directs you to the published PDF version of his paper).

3. Understanding the Anxious Mind

Writer Robin Marantz Henig describes the research of Jerome Kagan and his colleagues who “put the assumptions about innate temperament on firmer footing, and they have also demonstrated that some of us, like Baby 19, are born anxious — or, more accurately, born predisposed to be anxious… babies differ according to inborn temperament; that 15 to 20 percent of them will react strongly to novel people or situations; and that strongly reactive babies are more likely to grow up to be anxious.” in this article from the New York Times Magazine, published September 9, 2009.

4. All about Projection

Psychology teacher Michael Britt created an episode for his podcast called The Psych Files which about projection: “How do the Rorschach, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the House, Tree, Person tests work? Do you reveal something about yourself when you tell stories about pictures or tell what you see in an inkblot or even when you do something as seemingly innocent as drawing a picture of a house? In this episode I try to answer these questions as well as show you how a wonderful poem called How It Will End by Denise Duhamel could be an excellent example of psychology in everyday life.”

5. How to Give a Good Talk in Psychology or Other Sciences

Kevin Grobman, “wrote the following advice primarily to help psychology graduate students improve their talks at a conference, pro-sem, or brown-bag. By speaking to lots of graduate students (and recently being one myself), I felt the most important areas to cover are developing self-confidence and knowing how to target a particular audience. Most of this advice is applicable to other speakers (e.g., undergraduates), other fields (e.g., business, physical sciences), and other medium (e.g., poster presentations).” Also includes links for a PDF file version of this essay and the 40-minute slide presentation which inspired it.

6. Resilient Kids Learn Better

“Embed lessons on optimism, assertiveness and flexibility into class instruction and you’ll improve a child’s outlook on life, curb his likelihood for depression and boost his grades, according to new research presented at APA’s Annual Convention by University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD.” according to Amy Novotney, in an article in this month’s APA Monitor on Psychology, 40(9), 32. October, 2009.

7. Epigenetics: DNA Isn’t the Whole Story

“Most people see DNA as the most significant factor in genetics, but when it comes to behavioral differences—even those as complex as mothers’ affection—researchers say we shouldn’t overlook other biochemical factors. Biologists have recently begun looking harder at epigenetics—the chemical modification to DNA that can change genes’ activity—to explain things that basic DNA transcription can’t. This year’s Neal E. Miller lecturer, Michael Meaney, PhD, explained why it’s important to psychology at APA’s 2009 Annual Convention” according to Michael Price, in an article in this month’s APA Monitor on Psychology, 40(9), 34. October, 2009.

8. All Mixed Up

“Madeline H. Wyndzen, Ph. D., a transgendered professor of psychology, discusses her personal experiences with gender dysphoria and critiques the mental illness model of “gender identity disorder” on this page called “All mixed up: A transgendered psychology professor’s perspective on life,the psychology of gender, and gender identity disorder.” Includes links to background information on transgenderism and the psychology of transgenderism, a revision of her autobiography, essays on living a transgendered life, and a discussion of transgenderism in society.

9. Resilience as a Life Skill

Writer and educator Sherri Fisher summarizes important findings from recent studies on resilience that “predict resilience and recovery from high-risk childhood, and success as adults.”

10. What Makes Us Happy?

Joshua Wolf Shenk writes: “Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.” From the Atlantic Magazine, June 2009.

11. Overview of Adult Attachment Theory and Research

From the website: “Research on adult attachment is guided by the assumption that the same motivational system that gives rise to the close emotional bond between parents and their children is responsible for the bond that develops between adults in emotionally intimate relationships. The objective of this essay is to provide people who are new to the field–or people who may simply be interested in learning more about research on adult attachment–a brief overview of the history of adult attachment research, the key theoretical ideas, and a sampling of some of the research findings.”

12. R. Chris Fraley: Research

Visit this page to learn about the research of Chris Fraley on attachment theory and close relationships, personality organization, dynamics, and development, Social cognition and affect regulation, evolutionary psychology, and dynamic modeling, simulation, and psychological methods. Includes links to sleeted publications in PDF format.