Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 11, Number 2, October 2015

October 29, 2015

Hello and welcome to the eighty-seventh Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 3,240  other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month, we bring you some fascinating links from many areas of personality, including how there may be an unintended side effect of deep brain stimulation (used to treat Parkinson’s and other diseases): personality change. Also, the “Science of Relationships” website has a fascinating psychoanalysis of sorts of Elsa and Anna, the sisters from the movie “Frozen”, suggesting that their rocky relationship may have been due to differing attachment styles. Finally, Dan Ariely, who’s psychoeconomic research always makes us think, presents a short video on how to encourage motivation at work. And at this point in the semester, who couldn’t use a little more motivation? If you’re in need of a smile, then check out the monkey selfies found under our Favorite Link Revisited.

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. Anxious-Avoidant Duos: Walking on Thin Ice in Relationships and Physical Health

Writing for “Science of Relationships”, Jena Lempke describes how Disney’s hit movie “Frozen” depicts how varying preferences for closeness in people with different attachments styles can lead to relationship problems. She describes how the friction between the sisters Elsa (with her avoidant attachment style) and Anna (with her anxious attachment style) was caused by their different attachment styles.

3. Personality Changes After Deep Brain Stimulation

“Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a well-known and accepted treatment for neurological and psychiatric diseases. In Parkinson’s disease (PD), DBS clearly improves patients’ symptoms, functionality and quality of life in the long run. Nevertheless, it seems that the electrodes do not have motor-specific functions. DBS influences mental states and personality and in some cases it can even lead to a “new personality”” by increasing impulsivity. From “Brain Blogger”, October 29, 2015.

4. What Pushes Us To Work Hard — Even When We Don’t Have To?

“Behavioral economist Dan Ariely says we work hard not because we have to, but because we want to. He examines the intrinsic values we need to feel motivated to work” in this TED talk from NPR, October 2, 2015. (runs 14 minutes and 52 seconds)

5. Erich Fromm on the Art of Loving and What Is Keeping Us from Its Mastery

“There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.” Read about Erich Fromm’s book “The Art of Loving” in this essay by Maria Popova for “BrainPickings”, October 29, 2015.

6. This Personality Trait Predicts Your Tendency to Lie and Cheat

“Researchers at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany say that a sixth personality trait,” called honesty-humility, “can predict one type of behavior that none” of the usual five-factors can: dishonesty. From “Business Insider”, June 15, 2015.

7. Tested: Whether You Can Change Your Personality At Will

According to research by Hudson and Fraley (2015) and published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, “people may be able to change their self-reported personality traits through volitional means, and represent a first step toward understanding the processes that enable people to do so.” This summary from “PsyBlog”, June 16, 2015.

8. What the Textbooks Don’t Tell You About Psychology’s Most Famous Case Study

“If you turn to many of the leading introductory psychology textbooks (American ones, at least), you’ll find the wrong answer, or a misleading account. Richard Griggs, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida, has just analysed the content of 23 contemporary textbooks (either released or updated within the last couple of years), and he finds most of them contain distortions, omissions and inaccuracies” when it comes to describing the life of Phineas Gage. British Psychological Society “Research Digest”, June 30, 2015.

9. What Holocaust Survivors Can Teach Us About Gratitude

Neuroscientists have gained new insights into how gratitude operates in the brain. Glenn Fox and his colleagues had participants read testimonies of Holocaust survivors while their brains were being scanned. They discovered that areas activated during moments of gratitude include processing reward, fairness, moral cognition, and self-reference. Published in the journal “Frontiers in Psychology”, and summarized here for “PsyBlog”, October 21, 2015.

10. Should We Genetically Screen Four-Year-Olds?

Would true equality in education mean testing children’s genetics at the age of four, so that any learning difficulties revealed can be accommodated right from the start of primary education? Hear Robert Plomin on the role genetics play in children’s success. From “The Guardian”, July 17, 2015. (audio interview; runs 42 minutes and 46 seconds).

11. Only When I Laugh: The Science of Laughter

Laughter overrides our usual vocal and physical control to make sounds we never normally hear in any other context. Read all about this intriguing response in “The Guardian”, July 6, 2015.

12. Favorite Link Revisited: Monkey Selfie

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.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 10, Number 1, September 2015

September 30, 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 3,221 other interesting links related to personality psychology, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Did you know that September 18 was “Jeans for Genes Day”, a campaign by this British charity to raise awareness of genetic disorders? As part of their educational campaign, they started a web page loaded with information and resources for teachers about genetics and genetic disorders. To celebrate with them, check out the links below and our Favorite Link Revisited.

Presidential hopefuls are often subject to name calling in the press, but have you heard about Donald Trump as “Narrcissist-in-Chief”? A touch of narcissism may actually be a helpful trait for the U.S. President…or at least a presidential hopeful according to research reviewed in the New York Times (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 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. Raising Awareness of Genetic Disorders: Jeans for Genes Day

As part of their mission, Jeans for Genes Day, which raises awareness of genetic disorders and money for people with genetic disorders, created “five minute films that are narrated by children who are either affected by a genetic disorder themselves or have an affected sibling. Each film is accompanied by a teacher fact sheet and a number of resources that can be used in the classroom.”

3. Six creative ways to teach genetics

A selection of creative ways to help students of all ages and abilities understand genes and genetic disorders. From “The Guardian”, September 7, 2015.

4. Your Family Health History: A DNA Day Activity

This PDF describes how to create a family tree or pedigree documenting medical conditions which may run in families, but you can easily adapt the activity to focus on personality traits.

5. Science says these 2 personality traits predict whether you’ll be a successful leader

“Every organization, from Apple and Google to the US government, demands different skills and personal qualities in its leadership. But research suggests there are two traits that are common to the majority of successful leaders: extroversion and conscientiousness”. According to a meta-analysis by Timothy Judge and colleagues as summarized here for “Business Insider”, July 14, 2015.

6. What does your selfie reveal about your personality?

According to research by Lin Qiu and colleagues published in “Computers in Human Behaviour” “[P]eople who scored higher in agreeableness (similar to friendliness) were more likely to show positive emotion in their selfies and to hold the camera in a lower position; high-scorers on conscientiousness were less likely to reveal a private location in the background (presumably because of concerns about privacy); people who scored higher in neuroticism (suggestive of emotional instability) were more likely to pull a duck face; and finally, higher scores in openness-to-experience correlated with showing more positive emotion. Levels of extraversion were not correlated with any of the cues, perhaps because so many people attempt to appear outgoing in their selfies.” From “BPS Research Digest”, August 11, 2015.

7. This personality test can signal if you have selfish or manipulative tendencies

“Do you deceive other people for your own benefit, see others as weak and untrustworthy, and ignore moral codes? If so, you may be” a high Mach according to this summary presented in “Business Insider”, August 27, 2015.

8. Machiavellianism Scale

This is an interactive version of the MACH-IV test of Machiavellianism.

9. The Narcissist in Chief

Writing for the “New York Times”, Gerard DuBois summarizes research on the kind of leaders narcissists make with an eye toward evaluating presidential candidates.

10. Research Tool Demonstrates How Your Facebook Likes Reveal Your Personality

Eric Ravenscraft, writing for “LifeHacker”, discusses a tool developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge to analyze your Facebook like to reveal what people can learn about you. This link takes you directly to the tool should you wish to try it out for yourself.

11. How Changeable Is Gender?

Richard A. Friendman, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College writes about how research in neuroscience suggests that gender identity and how it exists on a continuum in this thought-provoking essay. From “The New York Times”, August 22, 2015.

12. Here’s a Quick Way to Figure Out What You Should Do With Your Life, Based on Your Personality

Check out this colorful flow chart, based on the work of John Holland, which asks a series of questions to help you find your ideal career. From “The Muse”, July 13, 2015.

13. 6 Sample Questions Employers Ask to Assess your Personality

These 6 questions may be questions you are likely to see the next time you apply for a job. From “Business Insider”, July 16, 2015.

14. The Good Habit Which Boosts Self-Control

Research by Pilcher et al. (2015) and published in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience” finds that good sleep habits like going to bed at the same time every night, can boost attention, improve decision-making, and strengthen the ability to resist impulses. From PsyBlog, July 10, 2015.

15. This Obvious Happiness Strategy Really Does Work, Study Finds

According to research by Catalino et al. from the journal “Emotion”, explicitly trying to feel happier as well as paying too much attention to how happy you feel have both been linked to feeling worse. The secret to happiness appears to be “prioritizing positivity”. From PsyBlog, July 3, 2015.

16. The Personality Trait Linked To The Strongest Immune System

Outgoing, sociable people also have the strongest immune systems according to a study by Vedhara et al. (2014) published in the journal “Psychoneuroendochrinology” and summarized here in PsyBlog, December 14, 2014.

17. The Psychological Secret to Great Exercise Habits

Here’s the secret: “It’s all about making sure there are regular cues which prompt you to automatically exercise”. The catch? These cues are likely to be different for different people. From PsyBlog, July 15, 2015.

18. Take the Narcissism Test and Find Out If You’re ’Normal’

Ames et al. (2006) created a short 16-item test for narcissism which was published in the “Journal of Research in Personality”. You can take an online version of their test here.

19. Is Life’s Happiness Curve Really U-Shaped

Evidence suggests that happiness is likely to increase as we age according to research summarized here in “The Guardian”, June 24, 2015.

20. Why CBT is Falling Out of Favour

What’s going on? “After analysing 70 studies conducted between 1977 and 2014, researchers Tom Johnsen and Oddgeir Friborg concluded that CBT is roughly half as effective in treating depression as it used to be.” Read about their results and possible explanations for this trend in this summary for “The Guardian”, July 3, 2015.

21. Favorite Link Revisited: Teach Genetics

The Genetics Science Learning Center at the University of Utah built this website as a companion to their Learn.Genetics website. Here you will find classroom activities to teach the basics of heritable traits and take-home activities to help students share what they’ve learned with their families. PDFs are available for download including instructions, student worksheets, overhead masters, and answer keys. Some of the material may be too basic for a college class (although the graphics which review the basics of inheritance would make an excellent review), the topics do include Epigenetics, gene therapy, personalized medicine, cloning, and other fairly sophisticated topics. Most of the activities can be modified to fit the needs of your students and the topic of personality.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 8, Number 4, December 2013

December 23, 2013

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 2,920 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month as the world celebrates many holidays, we bring you a shortened version of this newsletter. From all of us here at Personality Pedagogy, we wish you a new year filled with attachment, self-efficacy, self-actualization, mastery, happiness, and much, much more!

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. Twenty Tips for Interpreting Scientific claims

William J. Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman, researchers in various fields, offer this “simple list of ideas that could help decision-makers to parse how evidence can contribute to a decision” tips in “Nature” Magazine, November 20, 2013.

3. Are You a Career Adapter?

Career adaptability, the “ability to manage existing and impending career challenges” including concern for future career tasks and challenges, control and self-discipline, curiosity, and confidence is related to personality traits including extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. This research was originally published this month in the “Journal of Vocational Behavior”, and summarized here on the Association for Psychological Science research blog, December 17, 2013.

4. Famous Personality Types

If you are a fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and other similar tests of personality, then check out this graphic showing all 16 personality types with “real life successful people” from celebrities to pop icons illustrating each of the types.

5. Narcissism Unleashed: Can an Entire Culture Be Narcissistic?

W. Keith Campbell and Jean M. Twenge review recent research which suggests a cultural epidemic of narcissism. The self-centeredness, arrogance, and self-absorption of individual narcissists may actually describe quite well American culture of the present day. From the Association for Psychological Science “Observer”, December 2013.

6. Meditation Changes How Genes Are Expressed

Research by Kaliman et al. (2014) found that people who meditated, compared to control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities, showed changes in gene functioning at the molecular level, demonstrating epigenetic alterations of the genome. This link is to the original press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; this link is to a summary of the press release from “PsyBlog”.

7. You Just Have to Believe: Audacious Ambition

“Researchers Timothy Judge and John Kammeyer-Mueller have shown that people who believe they can accomplish the goals they set are more likely to accomplish them. This is because if you believe you can accomplish your goal, you are more likely to put in the energy and effort required to attain it.” From the “PsychCentral” blog, December 2013.

8. Haste Makes Waste, But Not if You’re Neurotic

Despite popular wisdom that “haste makes waste”, people who are high in neuroticism make “more accurate judgments the faster they respond” according to research by James Bell and colleagues published in “Psychology of Sport and Exercise” and summarized here in “BPS Research Digest”, November 2013.

9. Night Owls and Early Risers Have Different Brain Structures

Using brain scans, researchers found that night owls showed “reduced integrity” of while matter” in the several areas of the brain, compared to early risers.

And for those of you with Christmas cookies in the house . . .

10. 2 Easy Ways to Increase Willpower — Courtesy Of The Cookie Monster

Eric Barker, in his “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” blog, reviews the research on willpower and how to delay gratification using videos of kids and the Cookie Monster. Interestingly, Sesame Street actually consulted with Walter Mischel, the originator of the marshmallow test, to be sure that Cookie got his psychology correct. Cookie Monster illustrates that distraction and focus can help self-control in a charming music video. From December 2, 2013.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 12, August, 2013

August 27, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-fourth Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,837 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Special thanks go out this month to Michael Britt of “The Psych Files” podcast. In illustrating a new tool called “Storify” (see Storify.com) for the Psych News discussion list for teachers of high school psychology, he pointed out three real-world examples of how forced ranking systems for employee assessment may backfire. We have added them to “Personality Pedagogy” under Assessment.

In addition, to herald the end of summer and the beginning of a new year and a new semester, we present three new links for teaching and leaning: Teaching Chance, Teaching Ethics, and The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University and we revisit the Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning. These later two resources contain everything you need to know about teaching and learning from designing syllabi, to ideas for what to do the first day of class to how to assess students’ learning and your teaching. We hope that you will find something here to inspire you to try something new and make this year a great one!

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. Other People Matter: Three International Positive Psychology Association Tributes to Chris Peterson

Nansook Park, Barbara Fredrickson, and Martin Seligman each gave moving tributes to the late Christopher Peterson at the Third World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association. Their talks are summarized here in “Positive Psychology News Daily”, July 26, 2013.

3. 10 Easy Activities Science Has Proven Will Make You Happier

Grounded in research, these activities including practicing gratitude, controlling counter-factual thinking and others may be used to spark discussion or to introduce topics in stress, resilience, cognition, emotion, and positive psychology.

4. Optimists Better at Regulating Stress

“It’s no surprise that those who tend to see a rose’s blooms before its thorns are also better at handling stress. But science has failed to reliably associate optimism with individuals’ biological stress response — until now” according to “Science Daily”, July 23, 2013, summarizing research by Joelle Jobin and Carsten Wrosch published in “Health Psychology”.

5. Iconic Psychiatrist Carl Jung on Human Personality in Rare BBC Interview

Maria Popova of “Brain Pickings” introduces this video: “On October 22 of 1959, BBC’s Face to Face — an unusual series of pointed, almost interrogative interviews seeking to “unmask public figures” — aired a segment on Jung […] Eighty-four at the time and still working, he talks to New Statesman editor John Freeman about education, religion, consciousness, human nature, and his temperamental differences with Freud, which sparked his study of personality types”. Includes a transcript of the highlights. (Runs 39 minutes, 28 seconds).

6. 6 Things You Thought Wrong About Introverts

The “Huffington Post,” July 28, 2013, presents this list of 6 common misconceptions about introverts based on stereotypes.

7. Acceptance of What Can’t Be Changed Is Key To Satisfaction In Later Life, Research Shows

“When it comes to life satisfaction in one’s later years, the ability to accept what cannot be changed is equally important to the feeling of being able to exert control over one’s life” according to research published in the “Journal of Happiness Studies” and summaries here in the “Huffington Post”, July 12, 2013.

8. Scientific Literacy in a Psychology Curriculum Module (2013)

“The authors describe 9 scientific literacy activities to teach Introductory Psychology students how to read original research reports, critically and thoroughly evaluate secondary research reports, and analyze the utility of each. A 25-page document describes the activities without answers for instructors, a 34-page booklet provides students with the materials they need, and 148 slides contain material without answers that instructors can use in class. Versions with answers to students’ assignments are available to members after logging into STP’s website.” Find the link under the INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY category.

9. Seeing Narcissists Everywhere

Jean M. Twenge, author of “Generation Me” and “The Narcissism Epidemic” talks about her research and the high rate of narcissism today compared to earlier generations in this interview with the “New York Times”, August 5, 2013.

10. Detachment

Virginia Hughes, writing for “Aeon Magazine” describes the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, in which Romanian orphans living in orphanages were randomly assigned to foster care or to stay in the orphanage. Preliminary results suggest that children raised in foster care showed gains in IQ, healthier psychological development, better motor skills, different EEG brainwave patterns when looking at emotional faces, and more white matter than children left in orphanages. This fascinating study, begun in 2000 and continuing today, raises ethical, social, and political questions as it vividly demonstrates the power of social interaction and attachment. Published July 29, 2013.

11. Who Feels Treated Unfairly After Taking An Assessment?

Researchers Laura Honkaniemi, Taru Feldt, Riitta-Leena Metsäpelto, and Asko Tolvanen identified three personality types who differ in their Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness. They found that people hold different perceptions of the fairness of personality testing depending on their personality type: Overcontrolled, Undercontrolled, Resilient, or Bohemian according this summary published in the “British Psychological Society Research Digest”, August 1, 2013.

12. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Worksheets

Free downloadable cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) worksheets, formulations, and self-help resources including blank formulations, thought records, cognitive restructuring worksheets, diaries/data gathering sheets, mechanisms, information sheets, techniques/procedures, useful tools, forgiveness tools, and formulations for specific disorders, all in PDF format.

13. Stacked (Forced) Ranking

From Michael Britt at “The Psych Files”: “Here’s a sound byte from an episode of TWIT (This Week in Technology: http://twit.tv/twit) podcast in which Leo Laporte and John Dvorak discuss the negative effects of a performance appraisal system often called Stacked or Forced ranking. Psychologists refer to scales like this as ordinal scales”. From July 15, 2012, show #362. (This audio clip runs 1 minute, 55 seconds).

14. Forced Ranking: The Poisonous Employee-Ranking System That Helps Explain Microsoft’s Decline

Writing for “Slate Magazine”, Will Oremus, on August 23, 2013 claims that “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer oversaw a system called “stack ranking,” in which employees on the same team competed directly with one another for money and promotions. Critics say this rewarded brown-nosing and sabotage”.

15. Microsoft’s Lost Decade Due to Forced Ranking Appraisal Systems

Kurt Eichenwald argues that a forced ranking system may have had negative effects on Microsoft’s corporate culture. From “Vanity Fair”, August 2012.

16. Chance

J. Laurie Snell of Dartmouth College presents this page of resources for teaching a course in probability and statistics including videos, audios, syllabi, activities, computer simulations, data sets, links to internet resources, and a Teacher’s Guide for teaching a quantitative literacy course.

17. The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation

The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University presents this extensive online resource which features resources to help new and established faculty design and teach a course, incorporate technology, assess teaching and learning, apply principles of teaching and learning, and more.

18. Teaching Ethics to Undergraduate Psychology Students (TEUPS)

TEUPS is a centralized location for faculty looking for ideas for activities, articles, books, associations, videos, films, lectures, and other resources that are related or could be useful in incorporating ethics into the undergraduate psychology curriculum. This website will be an invaluable resource for those interested in following APA recommendations regarding the teaching of ethics as presented in the Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology (2011) and the Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major (2007).

19. Favorite Link Revisited: U.C. Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning

U.C. Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning presents this compendium of classroom-tested strategies and suggestions designed to improve the teaching practices of all college instructors, including beginning, mid-career, and senior faculty members. The page features links to teaching tools that cover both traditional practical tasks–writing a course syllabus, delivering an effective lecture–as well as newer concerns such as technology and online learning.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 7, Number 9, May, 2013

May 12, 2013

Hello and welcome to the eighty-first Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,781 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to my Personality class. It seems that we fell into an interesting habit last semester (I usually have the same students for this two-semester sequence of Social and Personality psychology). At the request of one of the members, before every exam we went around the room and each person said something encouraging out loud to the next person about how they were going to do well on the exam. They said things like, “I don’t know your name, but you’ve never missed a class, you’re going to do great” or “I hear the scritch-scratch of your pencil behind me so I know you’re taking good notes”. It seemed to calm everybody down. Well, research published this month suggests that self-affirmations can increase problem-solving abilities! So, my class was onto something even before the research evidence was in.

Also, this month, we feature a veritable grab-bag of topics, most of them on the newest research findings in personality psychology: everything from personality changes and weight gain, to the 10 most narcissistic US presidents, to making the world a kinder place. There’s a little something for everyone here, including links to the effect named for the man who made a living on that philosophy: P.T. Barnum.

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. Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving Under Stress

Research suggests that the identifying and thinking about one’s most important values can increase individuals’ problem-solving abilities. This, according to research by J. David Creswell and colleagues published in “PLOS ONE” and summarized here in “Science Daily”, May 3, 2013.

3. The Biology of Kindness: How it Makes Us Happier and Healthier

Summarizes research by Barbara Fredrickson and colleagues which finds that people who engage in Loving Kindness meditation show great responsiveness of the vagus nerve which plays a role in regulating glucose levels, immune responses, altruistic behavior, and how we connect and bond to one another. From “Time”, May 9, 2013.

4. Bonding with Avatar May Alter Perception of Virtual Reality

“When individuals create their own avatar and modify it, the difficult situations faced by their alter egos may influence the perception of the virtual environment” according to research by Shyam Sundar and colleagues summarized here for PsychCentral, May 6, 2013.

5. Six Ways to Separate Lies From Statistics

Public Policy professors Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers present these ways in which non-experts can separate useful statistics from the lies in this article for “Bloomberg”, May 2, 1013.

6. You’ll Never Learn: A New Marshmallow Test?

Is resisting a “blinking inbox or a buzzing phone” the new marshmallow test of self-discipline? Read about new evidence on self-discipline and multitasking in this article from “Slate”, May 3, 2013.

7. Weight Gain Linked With Impulsively-Related Personality Trait Changes

“People who gain weight are more likely to give in to temptations but also are more thoughtful about their actions, according to a new study” published by Angelina Sutin and colleagues in “Psychological Science” and summarized here, May 6, 2013.

8. The 10 Most Narcissistic U.S. Presidents

“Scott Lilienfeld and his student Ashley Watts recently found evidence that a personality trait called “grandiose narcissism” predicts greatness in U.S. presidents—and also malignancy” in a new study published in “Psychological Science” and summarized here, May 8, 2013.

9. Nice Guys Finish Last. Really? What Does The Research Say?

Eric Barker of the “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog weighs the evidence to see if there is any truth to this old adage. When it comes to money, dating and marriage, leadership and life in general, it all depends on what aspect of life you are looking at. Published May 10, 2013.

10. The Times and Troubles of the Scientific Method

“Science is working tirelessly night and day to disprove its own theories about how the universe works (or at least, that’s what science thinks it’s doing). Hank tells us a quick history of how we came to create and adopt the scientific method and then gives us a vision of the future of science (hint: it involves a lot more computers and a lot less pipetting)”. Posted by SciShow, April 29, 2013. (runs 11 minutes, 8 seconds)

11. National African American Photographic Archive

Collects, scans, and makes available to the public “photographs and informative metadata illustrating the daily and work lives and social activities of African Americans.”

12. Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?

“What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work”. This TEDx talk was Posted April 10, 2013 and runs 20 minutes, 27 seconds.

13. Do You Fear Missing Out?

Obsessive checking of Twitter and Facebook to see what your friends are doing may have led to a new type of fear: FoMO. The fear of missing out is the “concern that others may be having more fun and rewarding experiences than” we are. Read all about it in this summary from “Science Daily”, April 29, 2013.

14. The Fear of Missing Out

Are you of those people who need to check social media constantly to see what their friends are up to? Take this brief test to see how you compare to others in this new fear that others “may be having more fun and rewarding experiences than we are”.

15. Emotional Intelligence Trumps IQ in Dentist-Patient Relationship

IQ may predict who does well in dental school, but EQ predicts who will make the best patient-friendly dentists. This according to research by Kristin Victoroff and colleagues published in the “Journal of Dental Education” and summarized here in “Science Daily”, April 22, 2013.

16. Risk Factor for Depression Can Be Contagious

A particular style of thinking which makes people vulnerable to depression — interpreting the causes of negative events as internal and stable — may actually infect roommates making them more vulnerable to depression six months later. This, according to research published by Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames in the journal “Clinical Psychological Science” and summarized here in “Science Daily”, April 18, 2013.

17. People Present Themselves in Ways That Counteract Prejudices Toward Their Group

“Individuals from stigmatized groups choose to present themselves in ways that counteract the specific stereotypes and prejudices associated with their group”. This, according to a study by Rebecca Neel and her colleagues published in “Psychological Science” and summarized here in “Science Daily”, April 17, 2013.

18. Extroverts and Introverts, Make Way for the Ambiverts

When it comes to who is likely to excel in sales—Extroverts or Introverts—the surprising answer is both! Research suggests that people who have a balance between Introverted and Extroverted tendencies may have the best of both types of people and end up surpassing both at pulling in more revenue. From “Psychology Today”, April 21, 2013.

19. 7 Myths About Happiness

According to happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, “Nearly all of us buy into what I call the myths of happiness—beliefs that certain adult achievements (marriage, kids, jobs, wealth) will make us forever happy and that certain adult failures or adversities (health problems, divorce, having little money) will make us forever unhappy. Overwhelming research evidence, however, reveals that there is no magic formula for happiness and no sure course toward misery. Rather than bringing lasting happiness or misery in themselves, major life moments and crisis points can be opportunities for renewal, growth, or meaningful change. Yet how you greet these moments really matters.” From “Psychology Today”, March 9, 2013.

20. Favorite Link Revisited: The Barnum Effect

The Barnum Effect Take this test to remind yourself why good personality tests should provide specific feedback…and why horoscopes are so much fun! This online test of 47 questions plus some background demographics gives the appearance of a legitimate personality test. Respondents receive the typical Barnum feedback and rate how accurate it is. The beauty of this on-line version is that students can change some of their answers and see that their description never changes. In the words of Prof. Birnbaum at Fullerton State who developed this page, “Self-validation is no validation”, according to the explanation given here.


Personality Pedagogy Newsletter Volume 6, Number 12, August, 2012

August 6, 2012

Hello and welcome to the seventy-second Personality Pedagogy newsletter highlighting what’s new at http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu. For more about the links below and approximately 2,567 other interesting links related to personality, please visit: http://personalitypedagogy.arcadia.edu.

Personality Pedagogy this month is all about ethics. In July, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) introduced two new resources to help instructors teach students about ethics. The first one focuses on ethical issues in research and is called “Beyond Milgram: Expanding Research Ethics Education to Participant Responsibilities”. The second, “Educating Students About Plagiarism,” focuses on plagiarism and provides materials to help students and instructors recognize and respond to plagiarism. You will find links to these two resources below, along with a few other sites on research ethics, including the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, Teaching Ethical Issues Through Movies and Other Art Resources, Moral Games for Teaching Ethics, and a repeat of the link to the complete set of three videos on Protecting Human Subjects Training from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration.

This month, Personality Pedagogy is pleased to debut two new pages. We have collected so many links to assignments, exercises, activities, case studies, electronic texts, examples, illustrations, lectures, lecture notes, lecture slides, tests, measures, scales, and audio and visual resources that we had to create stand-alone pages for Happiness and for Personality Development. Until now, resources for Happiness were mixed in the general Positive Psychology page, while resources for Personality Development, including stability, change, and personality coherence, were mixed in the Trait Theories page. We hope this change will help instructors find quality resources more efficiently.

If you, like us, are savoring what’s left of the summer with one eye out on the year ahead, don’t forget to check out our General Resources page where you can find lots of ideas, from ice-breakers for the first day of class to clickers and crossword puzzles, to study strategies and online textbooks in personality theory. Whether you are new to teaching personality or an “old dog” who could use some new tricks and a little inspiration, there’s something for everybody there. 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. Beyond Milgram: Expanding Research Ethics Education to Participant Responsibilities

By Larissa K. Barber (Northern Illinois University) and Patricia G. Bagsby (Saint Louis University), this 33 page document describes participant ethics and an educational approach to participant rights and responsibilities that addresses the reciprocal nature of the researcher-participant relationship. It also provides four instructor resources: (a) websites that discuss participants’ rights and responsibilities, (b) a student learning module, (c) supplemental module resources (a Knowledge Retention Quiz, Answers to the quiz, a questionnaire to assess students’ beliefs about research ethics, and suggested discussion questions), and (d) references for additional resources and readings.

3. UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

The declaration, endorsed in 2005, addresses “ethical issues related to medicine, life sciences and associated technologies as applied to human beings, taking into account their social, legal and environmental dimensions.” Available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.

4. Teaching Bioethics: Ethical Issues Through Movies and Other Art Resources

This program takes users through UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights exploring human dignity and human rights, benefit and harm, autonomy and responsibility, respect, equality, privacy, cultural diversity and more. Each unit includes 2-5 minute video excerpts from movies (e.g., “Twelve Angry Men”) and TV shows (e.g., “Grey’s Anatomy”) to spark discussion. Also available in Spanish.

5. Moral Games for Teaching Bioethics

Darryl R. J. Macer wrote this UNESCO guide for instructors teaching bioethics. Through these 43 games which spark critical thinking and values clarification as students “plan, act, monitor, evaluate, and reflect on moral choices.” Opens in PDF format.

6. Exploring Bioethics

Developed with the NIH Department of Bioethics and written by Education Development Center, Inc. this guide “supports high school biology teachers in raising and addressing bioethical issues with their students and engages students in rigorous thinking and discussions. By providing conceptual guidelines that promote careful thinking about difficult cases, it stresses the importance of presenting thoughtful and relevant reasons for considered positions on ethical issues”. The guide includes six teaching modules each with activities, masters, lesson plans, and teacher support materials. While designed for grades 9-12 most of the information is readily adaptable to college level courses. Two of the modules are particularly suitable for psychology classes (e.g., research ethics of human experimentation, genetic testing).

7. Educating Students About Plagiarism

By Marika Lamoreaux, Kim Darnell, Elizabeth Sheehan, and Chantal
Tusher (Georgia State University), this resource contains materials to help educate students about plagiarism and to help faculty understand how to handle it if it occurs. Included are an overview for faculty “Educating Students,” a slide show for a lecture “Plagiarism,” a worksheet for students “Recognizing Plagiarism,” a plagiarism contract students sign “Plagiarism Contract,” suggested answers faculty can offer to respond to common student excuses “Answers to Common Excuses,” and a flowchart showing how one university handles plagiarism reports “Academic Dishonesty Flowchart.”

8. Technology for Educators

Created by psychologist Sue Franz “finding new technologies so you don’t have to” where she shares her discoveries of technology which enhances her teaching or the learning of her students. Includes an overview and description of tech essentials, handouts from her workshops, and handy information on everything from blogging to presentations to file management and downloading videos.

9. 10 Fun Activities for Adjectives of Personality

Originally designed for English teachers to help their students understand and describe nuances of character, this site offers 10 activities exploring adjectives helping students to describe the personality of themselves and others. Includes links to positive personality adjectives and negative personality adjectives. Good for an ice breaker or as a class exercise to introduce trait theory.

10. The Shadow Exercise

As part of the “Teaching Clinical Psychology” webpage, John Suler, Rider University, includes this exercise on the shadow. Students reflect on a person they don’t like very much and consider if the traits they dislike in another reflect traits they don’t like in themselves.

11. Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: What is the “Shadow”?

Stephen A. Diamond describes how to understand the unconscious dark side of our psyche in this article from “Psychology Today”, April 2012.

12. Return of the Repressed: Is a Mysterious Outbreak of Mass Hysteria Proving Freud Right?

Stephen A. Diamond wonders if recent cases of mass hysteria may be due to the impressive power of the unconscious reasserting itself in an anti-psychodynamic, pharmacologically-indoctrinated climate. From “Psychology Today”, February 2012.

13. Childhood Memories

As part of the “Teaching Clinical Psychology” webpage, John Suler, Rider University, includes this exercise on memories. Students reflect on one or two early childhood memories and answer questions. Good for illustrating aspects of Alfred Adler’s and Sigmund Freud’s theories.

14. Timothy Leary’s Interpersonal Behavior Circle Personal Inventory

This page includes the full 128-item scale as well as scoring instructions for the Leary Interpersonal circumplex model of personality. The model uses the two dimensions of dominant-submissive and love-hate to form 16 categories. Also check out the full text of Leary’s original 1957 paper here.

15. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow” (Runs 18 minutes, 59 seconds).

16. Twins Don’t Share Everything

Scientists have discovered twins show differences in their DNA at birth due to differences in their epigenetics, the molecules that act on genes, according to this article, by Stephen Ornes, in “Science News for Kids”, July 31, 2012.

17. Favorite Link Revisited: Protecting Human Subjects Training

The complete set of three videos is available from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Modules 1 and 2: Evolving Concern: Protection for Human Subjects (22 minutes) and The Belmont Report: Basic Ethical Principles and Their Application (28 minutes); Module 3: Balancing Society’s Mandates: Criteria for Protocol Review (36 minutes)


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.