Annotated Links

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 Persistent Myths about Introverts and Extroverts PsychCentral presents this list of myths from introverts are shy and don't make good public speakers to extroverts are shallow and don't like quiet time.

23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert From the website: Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who's hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the "social butterfly" can just as easily have an introverted personality according to this illustrated article from The Huffington Post, August 29, 2013.

31 Unmistakable Signs That You're An Introvert BuzzFeed put together this entertaining series of gifs illustrating what it's like to be an introvert.

America's Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude Using personality test data from over one million people, researchers have identified three distinct personality regions in the country. Here, each state is colored by the region it belongs to and shaded according to how strongly its personality matches that profile. Features a map of the United States identifying which states are Friendly and Conventional, Relaxed and Creative, and Temperamental and Uninhibited along with 10-item survey which lets visitors discover which state most closely matches their personality. From Time Magazine, October 22, 2013. See a summary of the original research by Rentfrow and colleagues here.

Antidepressants Can Change Personalities Taking an antidepressant can lead to significant personality changes, likely for the better, a new study finds. The study looked at the effects of taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are widely used to treat depression today, and found that those who took these antidepressants experienced more positive emotions, were more outgoing and more emotionally stable in the long-term. "Our findings lead us to propose a new model of antidepressant mechanism," said Tony Z. Tang of Northwestern University in Chicago. "Our data suggests that modern antidepressants work partly by correcting key personality risk factors of depression" according to this summary in Live Science'', December 7, 2009.

Are Extroverts Really Happier? Arnie Kozak redefines what happiness is for extroverts and introverts for Psychology Today, November 2013.

Are Extroverts Happier Than Introverts? Yes, But . . . Susan Cain reflects on different meanings of happiness. While extroverts may define happiness as something more like exuberance, introverts may define happiness on other ways including flow, gratitude, solitude, melancholy, and meaning. From Psychology Today, December 2011.

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 in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, and summarized here on the Association for Psychological Science research blog, December 17, 2013.

Are You Too Pessimistic About Your Personality? New research finds friends think we're less neurotic and more conscientiousness than we imagine according to this summary from PsyBlog, November 22, 2010.

Bloggers' Personalities and Their Use of Words According to a content analysis of 694 blogs by Tal Yarkoni, people use different words depending on their personality. More neurotic bloggers used more words associated with negative emotions; extravert bloggers used more words pertaining to positive emotions; high scorers on agreeableness avoided swear words and used more words related to communality; and conscientious bloggers mentioned more words with achievement connotations. This summary from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest Blog, July 12, 2010, original article published as: Yarkoni, T. (2010). Personality in 100,000 Words: A large-scale analysis of personality and word use among bloggers. Journal of Research in Personality, 44 (3), 363-373.

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

Caring for Your Introvert: The Habits and Needs of a Little-Understood Group Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Read about what life is like as an introvert by Atlantic writer Jonathan Rauch (published March 2007). Then check out this blog from October 2007 to see the specific Do's and Don'ts advocated by Danny, an introvert. Includes links to the reader-proclaimed introvert anthem Every Word You Say in versions by Jesse Winchester and Jerry Garcia (lyrics can be found here).

Chimpanzees' Personas Seem More Complex Than People's Using the same techniques as the early (human) trait theorists did, Hani Freeman and her colleagues found evidence that chimpanzee personality consists of 6 dimensions. These include extroversion, agreeableness and openness, shared by humans, but also reactivity (related to the human trait of neuroticism, perhaps?), dominance and methodicalness which are not. Their research was published in the American Journal of Primatology and summarized here in The Economist, June 15, 2013.

Comedians' Personality: Funny in the Head Does it take a special personality to be a stand-up comedian? Despite some notable exceptions, comedians are not more Neurotic than other people. They are, however, more Open to Experience and less Agreeable according to research by Gil Greengross and Geoffrey Miller summarized here.

The Conscientiousness of Kidspeak The likes and you knows ubiquitous in the language of 12-14 year olds is not, as parents bemoan, due to sloppy indifference but rather to undue scrupulousness. According to research by linguists at the University of Texas, youth high in Conscientiousness use these markers to signal that they have left out the details of what they are relating for the sake of economy. By Adam Gopnik for The New Yorker, July 20 2014.

Current Research The site provides an overview of various models of infant, child and adult temperament, from the early work of Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess, and colleagues involved in the New York Longitudinal Study from the 1950's to current researchers, including FAQ's, Q&As, assessments, application, and downloads.

Chinese Personality at Work Research Project. From the website: This project examines the use of personality assessments, highlights the benefits of such methodology and introduces a program of international research that has taken place to develop and examine the reliability and validity of a number of workplace personality assessments that are used in Asia. Includes background research, five factor model, indigenous personality, personality in Asia, and results.

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.

Dog People vs. Cat People: Who’s More Outgoing? More Intelligent? "Dog people" and "cat people" really do have different personalities. People who said they were dog lovers in the study tended to be more lively — meaning they were more energetic and outgoing — and also tended to follow rules closely. Cat lovers, on the other hand, were more introverted, more open-minded and more sensitive than dog lovers. Cat people also tended to be non-conformists, preferring to be expedient rather than follow the rules. This, according to research by Denise Guastello and colleagues and summarized here for LiveScience, May 27, 2014.

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

e-Textbook From the electronic textbook created for undergraduate and graduate courses in Personality Theories by George Boeree of Shippensburg University.

Extroverts Don’t Belong on Mars A new study by Suzanne Bell and colleagues and summarized here for The Atlantic, finds that Extroverts, with their outgoing personalities may not be suited for long, isolated voyages. Better go with the strong, silent, Introverts instead. Posted June 13, 2014.

Extroversion and Neuroticism: The Personality of Chronic Fatigue Studies suggest that chronic fatigue may not only have the power to change a person’s personality on traits like extroversion and neuroticism but that certain personality traits may also put a person at higher risk of developing chronic fatigue according to this summary of two research studies by Julnar Issa of BrainBlogger, October 22, 2010.

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.

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

Five Factor Model An overview and history of the five factor model by various theorists.

The Five Factor Model and Luckiness Are some people really luckier than others, or is it all in their heads? According to Michael Shermer in the April 2006 issue of Scientific American, the answer is a bit of both. Lucky people do tend to be higher in Extraversion, lower in Neuroticism and higher in Openness than non-lucky people according to research by Richard Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire in England

Five Factor Model: Room With a Cue. The way you adorn your bedroom or office speaks volumes about your personality. Writer Robin Poultney summarizes the work of Sam Gosling et al. From Psychology Today Magazine, July/Aug 2002

Five Factor Model: Betrayed by Your Desk. From your choices in cube-decor to the number of "post-its" on your monitor—the contents and appearance of your desk speaks volumes about your personality. Writer Jennifer Drapkin summarizes the work of Sam Gosling et al. From Psychology Today Magazine, Jul/Aug 2005.

Five Factor Model: Messiah give you chills? That's a clue to your personality According to research by Emily Nusbaum and Paul Silvia in the October issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science and summarized by Brian Alexander in this blog, people who are high in in the trait of Openness are more likely to experience chills while listening to music, regardless of musical genre.

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.

How to Find the Best Workout for Your Personality By taking account of a person's BAS and BIS or traits like introversion, extroversion, and neuroticism, people can find a workout which best matches their personality leading to long term habits of exercise. Or, in the words of one of the researchers, Physical activity is just another expression of our personal preferences and style.

How to Manage Both Extroverts and Introverts Introverts and extroverts both bring assets to the workplace. Understanding what they are and how to manage them can help managers run a more productive and happy workplace. From Business Insider, July 10, 2014.

The Introvert's Corner: How to live a quiet life in a noisy world Writer Sophia Dembling writes this blog filled with personal experiences, interviews with experts, and helpful suggestions about living as an introvert. Recent entries include: standing up for rights, surviving parties, friendships and more. Excellent way for extroverts to understand how the other half lives; good advice and insights for introverts.

Implicit Assessment of Personality Researches have hit upon an implicit way of measuring personality, the semantic misattribution procedure. In this initial study, and two more involving nearly 300 participants ... showed that participants' scores on this test for conscientiousness, neuroticism and extraversion correlated with explicit measures of the same traits. The new implicit test also did a better job than explicit measures alone of predicting relevant behaviours, such as church attendance, perseverance on a lab task, and punctuality. The implicit scores for extraversion showed good consistency over 6 months. Finally, the new implicit test showed fewer signs of being influenced by social desirability concerns, as compared with traditional explicit measures. From BPS Research Digest, December 13, 2012.

Is it Better to be an Introvert or an Extrovert? Blogger Erik Barker summarizes research on the strengths and weaknesses of introverts and extroverts.

Kagan's View Article from the Boston Globe by Christopher Shea The temperamentalist: Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan argues that inborn temperament stays with us through our lives. August 29, 2004.

Love Makes You Strong: Romantic Relationships Help Neurotic People Stabilize Their Personality Romantic relationships can help young adults who are high in Neuroticism to become less anxious, insecure, and easily annoyed according to research by Christine Finn and colleagues in the Journal of Personality and summarized here for Science Daily, May 9, 2014.

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

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.

Study Reveals How Neurotic People View Action According to new research by Molly E. Ireland, Justin Hepler, Hong Li, and Dolores Albarracin published in the Journal of Personality and summarized here for The Huffington Post there is a relationship between Neuroticism and negative attitudes towards action and positive attitudes towards inaction. Posted April 27, 2014.

Neurotics Experience More Immersion When Watching Films People who score high in Neuroticism tend to feel more absorbed in films, both enjoying comedies more and horror and sad films less than people lower in Neuroticism. This, according to research by David Weibel and colleagues published in Personality and Individual Differences and summarized here.

Neuroticism Influences Brain Activity During Anticipation and Experience of Pain Neuroticism significantly affects brain processing during pain, as well as during the anticipation of pain, according to a new study in Gastroenterology and summarized here in ScienceDaily, September 20, 2011.

Neurotic People Might Have Better Health Outcomes When They are High in Conscientiousness. People who are high in Neuroticism and Conscientiousness experience lower levels of Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a biomarker for inflammation and chronic disease; lower body-mass index scores; and fewer diagnosed chronic health conditions. From Prevention News, November 2012.

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.

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.

Outgoing vs. Shy Summarizes research on early temperaments related to extroversion, introversion, and shyness. Includes an excellent graphic summarizing these differences. From LifeScience, September 25, 2011.

Overview A thorough review of the history of trait personality from Hippocrates to the present. Includes summaries of Jung, Eysenck, and the Five Factor Model and many, many more.

Openness: Magic Mushrooms May Permanently Alter Personality Even just one dose of hallucinogenic mushrooms can alter a person's level of Openness for more than a year according to research by Katherine MacLean and colleagues as summarized in LiveScience, September 29, 2011 by Stephanie Pappas.

Parents or Peers? The online magazine Slate often features a dialog on a controversial topic in the form of letters between two experts. In the October 28 - November 21, 1998 issue Judith Rich Harris and Jerome Kagan face off on the issue of The Nature of Nurture: Parents or Peers?.

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.

Personality Plays Role in Body Weight People who are high in Neuroticism and low in Conscientiousness are more likely than others to go through cycles of gaining and losing weight throughout their lives according to research by Angelina Sutin and Luigi Ferrucci published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and summarized here.

Persuasive Messages Tied to Personality The Eclipse Writer Blog presents a summary of the research by Hirsh et al. (2012) which found that advertising was more effective when it was tailors to the levels of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness of the target audience. Includes some interesting suggestions on how to apply these findings to advertising. See also Hirsh, Jacob, Sonia Kang and Galen Bodenhausen, Personalized Persuasion: Tailoring Persuasive Appeals to Recipients’ Personality Traits, Psychological Science, 30 April 2012.

Revenge of the Introvert Provides a good overview of what it's like to be an introvert in a fast-paced individualistic culture where talking, networking, and self-promotion is expected. Life is just different for introverts, and this essay explains some of the differences between introverts and extroverts, especially when it comes to the pursuit of happiness. Includes a list of what not to say to an introvert. Written by staff writer Laurie Helgoe, published on September 01, 2010.

The Role of Personality and Psychology in Healthy Eating Can an understanding of personality and the five factors in particular help people to eat healthier? Patrick Fagan writing for PsychCentral thinks so. Posted June 12, 2014.

The Secret to Longevity: It's About Character, Not Just Calisthenics Science writer Melanie A. Greenberg summarizes the results of Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin's reanalysis of the Terman data identifying the psychosocial predictors of longevity, including strong social ties. From Psychology Today, April 8, 2011.

Secrets of A Super Successful Introvert: How to (Quietly) Get Your Own Way Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts describes her own personal realization of the power of introverts and explains why even social butterflies can benefit from drawing on their soft-spoken side. Includes 6 strategies for nursing the unique strengths that come from your quieter reaches. From O, The Oprah Magazine, February 2012.

Sheldon's Somatotype Theory. A good overview of William H. Sheldon's somatotype theory and description of endomorphs, ectomorphs and mesomorphs.

Temperament Theory A review of various theories of temperament by Peter Heineman, University of Omaha.

This is the Personality Trait That Most Often Predicts Success Writing for Inc. magazine, Drake Baer describes the research which demonstrates that being high in Conscientiousness will help you succeed in many domains of life across the life span. From May 2014.

This Personality Trait Is The Most Important Driver Of Creative Achievement According to research, the factor of Openness and its four constituent factors of explicit cognitive ability, intellectual engagement, affective engagement, and aesthetic engagement are related to creative work. From Business Insider, July 7, 2014.

Those With A Sweet Tooth Usually Have a Sweeter Personality People who have a preference for eating sweet things tend to have sweeter dispositions [higher in Agreeableness] and are more likely to help people in need, compared to those who opt for savory foods or nothing at all, researchers from North Dakota State University and Gettysburg College reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and summarized here in Medical News Today, October 12, 2011.

Traits and Scientists: What Made Carl Sagan Great? Science helps us understand the essential tension between orthodoxy and heresy in science according to Michael Shermer in this Scientific American article from May 2002 summarizing research on the five factor model and the balance between tradition and change. Researcher Frank Sulloway theorized what traits are shared by great scientists. In the case of Carl Sagan, he says, it was a balance between conscientiousness and openness.

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

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.

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

U. S. regions exhibit distinct personalities, research reveals Americans with similar temperaments are so likely to live in the same areas that a map of the country can be divided into regions with distinct personalities, according to new research by Peter Rentfrow and colleagues summarized here in Science Daily, October 17, 2013. Click here for a map and a 10-item survey which lets visitors discover which state most closely matches their personality.

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.

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.

What Kind of Person Blogs? Using the Five-Factor Model, Rosanna Guadagno and colleagues asked over three hundred students about their blogging habits They found a relationship between blogging and the trait of Openness and, for women only, a correlation between blogging and aspects of Neuroticism.

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.

What Your Facebook Photos Say About Your Personality According to research by Azar Eftekhar and colleagues, extroverts and people high in Neuroticism upload significant numbers of photos. However Extroverts tend to change their profile cover photos while people high in Neuroticism upload more photos per album. From Live Science, August 5, 2014.

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 publish in the British Psychological Society Research Digest, August 1, 2013.

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.

World of Warcraft: Why People Play is Linked to their Personality John Grohol reviews research by Graham and Gosling (2013) which found that people play World of Warcraft for different reasons linked to their personality and that the experience of playing is different for people depending on their levels of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Posted March 18, 2013.

Assignments, Exercises, and Activities

Assessing Personality via Social Media Postings TruthSerum.com claims to assess personality though people's social media posts. Users can analyze their own personality and see how they compare to Barak Obama, Mitt Romney, Abraham Lincoln, the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and some 135 other famous people on Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy (aka, Psychoticism).

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.

Art and Personality Does the art you enjoy match your personality? Research by Stian Reimers in conjunction with the BBC suggests that there is a relationship between the kind of art people prefer (e.g. Impressionism, Abstract, Japanese, Islamic, Northern Renaissance, and Cubism) and one's personality (emotional intelligence, the five-factor model, and sensation-seeking). Click here to read more about the findings, art, personality, or to participate in this online research.

Big Five Questionnaire James W. Pennebaker maintains this page of a dozen or so online research projects. Most of them involve taking a brief survey or by completing short exercises. Feedback and insight into one’s personality is provided. Topics include TAT, Big Five questionnaire, perceptual style, spirituality, depression and more.

Five Factor Model Kenneth Locke at the University of Idaho designed this homework assignment for his psychology of personality class. Students take a 60-item version of the NEO, score it, and think about what it means.

Fostering Critical Thinking in Personality Psychology: The Trait Paper Assignment. (Also available here). Hittner, J. B. (1999). Fostering critical thinking in personalty psychology. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 26, 92-97. From the abstract: A personality trait-based term paper assignment that is appropriate for use in personality psychology courses and that is designed to foster critical thinking skills is introduced. The extent to which the trait questions correspond to generic critical thinking questions is considered, the specific thinking skills induced by each trait question are discussed, and potential limitations of the assignment are noted. Preliminary data are also presented which suggest that the trait-based term paper assignment stimulates critical thinking and enhances knowledge about personality traits. It is hoped that the ideas presented and issues discussed in the present article will encourage academic psychologists from all subdisciplines to develop writing assignments that foster critical thinking skills. This assignment is not rooted in a particular model of traits and so is adaptable to any model.

Personality and Musical Preferences People Into Music: The Research Web Site about People and their Musical Preferences. Adrian North, from Heriot-Watt University, maintains this website which supports his research into personality and musical preferences. You can participate in his research by taking his questionnaire here.

Participate in Online Research The Social Psychology Network, maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University, lists over 150 web-based experiments, surveys, and other social psychological studies. Click on the section labels Personality and Individual differences to find links to studies on various topics such as the Five Factor Model, birth season, motivation, anxiety and more.

Self-Other Agreement in Personality judgements.pdf. Seth Kaplan, Alicia Stachowski and Jill Bradley-Geist describe a classroom activity in which students judge each other using the five factors. The exercise can be use to illustrate the five factors, personality testing, interpersonal judgement, and self-awareness, as well as serve as a lively ice breaker exercise.

Traits and Taste in Music From the website: What does your taste in music say about your personality? Find out with this quiz! This psychology test will tell you how other people see you based on what types of music you listen to. Results are instant, free, and anonymous Created by Jeff Potter based on the work of Samuel Gosling and his own on-going research.

e-perceptions The You Just Get Me website asks visitors Do you get people, even if you just met them? Do the people in your life truly get you? Using the Five-Factor model, respondents answer 43 questions about their personality and try to guess the personality of other visitors. Based on the research of Vazire & Gosling (2004).

Case Studies

Grant Study Men: Interview With Two Participants. Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and historian Donald Cole reflect on their lives, careers, and experiences as participants in the Grant Study. (Ben Bradlee was known as Frederick in Vaillant's book ``Adaptation to Life'').

The Five Factor Model: Johnny Carson Marianne Miserandino, Arcadia University, noticed that the obituary of Johnny Carson is filled with personality descriptors making it a useful illustration of the five factor model of personality, personality stability, personality change, and personality coherence. (For the full description of how to utilize this obituary as a case study see Miserandino, M. (2007) Heeeere’s Johnny: A Case Study in the Five Factor Model of Personality, Teaching of Psychology, 34(1), 37-40. See also this NPR interview with documentary filmmaker Peter Jones Johnny Carson: 'King Of Late Night,' A Man Unknown. May 14, 2012 (runs 9 minutes, 33 seconds).

Nicholas Claus: Big Five for the Big Guy Heather A. Haas wrote this humorous "case study" of Santa Claus using the big five. Find out whether the big guy is high or low on Extraversion Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness and the "evidence" she used to make her judgements in Dialogue, the newsletter of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, volume 19 (1), Spring 2004, p. 24-25, 21.

Richard III: Psychopath or Mere Control Freak? Psychologists Weigh In Was England's King Richard III (1452–85) a murderous psychopath? Thanks to Shakespeare's play, the hunchbacked monarch has gone down in history as the heartless ruler who ordered the murders of the brother and young nephews who stood between him and the throne. However, psychologists Mark Lansdale and Julian Boon of the University of Leicester re-analyzed Richard's character using biographies and other written accounts. They conclude that the king likely suffered from anxiety, not psychopathy. in this summary from the APA Monitor on Psychology, June 2013.

Current Researchers and Research Teams

Shyness Research Lab of Jonathan Cheek at Wellesley College, where he and his colleagues study shyness, self-concept (including narcissism and the Imposter Phenomenon), and identity orientations.

Gosling Lab Sam Gosling's lab at the University of Texas is exploring everyday manifestations of personality: in offices, in choice of music, and in choice of environments...even web environments and in animals. Visit here for summaries of his research, PDFs, questionnaires, and a chance to participate in online research.

Electronic Texts

Chaplin, Phillips, Brown, Clanton, & Stein (2000). Chaplin, W. F., Phillips, J. B., Brown, J. D., Clanton, N. R., & Stein, J. L. (2000) Handshaking, Gender, Personality and First Impressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(1), 110-117. (in PDF format).

Ramírez-Esparza, Gosling, Benet-Martínez, Potter, & Pennebaker (2006) Ramírez-Esparza, N., Gosling, S. D., Benet-Martínez, V., Potter, J. P, & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Do bilinguals have two personalities? A special case of cultural frame switching. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 99–120. (in PDF format)

Church & Katigbak (2002). The Center for Cross-Cultural Research in Personality at the Western Washington University sponsors this on-line paper Studying Personality Traits Across Cultures: Philippine Examples by A. Timothy Church and Marcia S. Katigbak which discusses “whether traits are used in all cultures to understand persons and their behavior, the universality versus culture-specificity of traits, the validity of imported and indigenous measures of personality traits, and the meaningfulness of trait comparisons across cultures” From Church, A. T., & Katigbak, M. S. (2002). Studying personality traits across cultures: Philippine examples. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 6, Chapter 2), Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington USA.

McCrae (2002) The Center for Cross-Cultural Research in Personality at the Western Washington University sponsors this on-line paper. McCrae, R. R. (2002). Cross-cultural research on the five-factor model of personality. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 6, Chapter 1), Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington USA.

Vazire & Gosling (2004): e-perceptions. Vazire, S., & Gosling, S. D. (2004). e-Perceptions: Personality impressions based on personal websites. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 123-132.

Examples and Illustrations

Confessions of an introverted traveler and Six tips for introverted travelers You don't have to be an extrovert to enjoy travel. Sophia Dembling, writer for the travel blog World Hum which believes that Travel is a state of mind, suggests that while some people travel to meet people, introverts don't. She blogs about how extroverted and introverted travelers see the world differently. In the second link, she describes strategies that introverts might try while traveling to enhance their experience and to counteract the myth that introverts are just not cut out for traveling.

Introversion Explained via Cartoons Introvert Chuck Schallhorn, at Teaching High School Psychology, posted these resources about what introverts are like in real life. Included are these 10 visuals and cartoons describing in an often humorous way what it introversion is, and how to interact with introverts if you are an extrovert.

Outgoing vs. Shy Summarizes research on early temperaments related to extraversion, introversion, and shyness. Includes an excellent graphic summarizing these differences. From LifeScience, September 25, 2011.

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.

Theorists Table See how the work of 32 major personality theorists -- from Adler to Zuckerman with Freud, Maslow, McAdams, and Skinner in between -- relates to the Five Factor Model. Includes references and links.

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

Lecture Notes

Lecture Notes by Chris VerWys, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Slide Presentations

Traits: Beyond the Big Five Peter Harms, University of Nebrasksa, created this slide presentation which explores research on the Five Factor model and considers traits beyond the Big Five including the HEXACO six factor model. Opens in Power Point format (if the presentation doesn't open directly for you, paste the link into Google.com and open the html link).

Tests, Measures, and Scales

ASPIRES Spiritual Transcendence Scale According to creator Ralph L. Piedmont, Spiritual Transcendence (ST) represents the ability of an individual to stand outside of his/her immediate sense of time and place and to view life from a larger, more objective perspective. Take this 9-item test to see where you fall on this personality variable. Includes scoring instructions, interpretations, and group norms.

Eysenck Personality Mini Test See where you fall on Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Psychoticism in this test posted by George Boeree of Shippensburg University.

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

Five Factor Model The Big Five Personality Test Site by Oliver P. John at UC Berkeley. Find out how you score on the Five Factor Model and participate in on-line research at the same time! This site includes a special section for twins and for friends to rate each other.

Five Factor Model Based on the International Personality Item Pool, you can participate in this project by William Revelle of Northwestern University on An Internet Study of the Basic Dimensions of Personality.

Five Factor Model and Politics From the site: This interactive survey is designed to assess your personality within the framework of the Big Five personality traits. It also assesses your perception of George W. Bush's and John Kerry's personalities. The page will summarize your personality, as well as the personalities of these political candidates. The survey takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Maintained by R. Chris Fraley at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of YourPersonality.Net.

The Five Factor Model: The Newcastle Personality Assessor (NPA) David Nettle, writing for The Guardian, March 7, 2009, describes the Five factor model and presents his Newcastle Personality Assessor (NPA), a 10-item measure of the traits of extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness. Scoring instructions and interpretation are provided.

HEXACO Personality Inventory Revised Learn about Kibeom Lee and Michael Ashton's 6-factor model of personality: Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience. Includes descriptions, history, references, books, and a downloadable version for research.

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. Find the full text of Leary's original 1957 paper here.

NEO Personality Inventory an online version of the IPIP representation of the NEO personality inventory. Includes both the original and a short version.

Shyness Scale The revised version of the original scale by Cheek, J.M., & Buss, A.H. (1981). Shyness and sociability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41, 330-339.

Temperament An on-line self-test for adults.

Ten Item Personality Measure (TIPI) The measure itself, as well as the original article is available here in PDF format. Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. B., Jr. (2003). A Very Brief Measure of the Big Five Personality Domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 504-528.

Multimedia Resources

Before he Cheats Carrie Underwood sings about taking revenge on her cheating boyfriend. You might well wonder what he'll do when he sees the wreck she's left of his truck. The song vividly illustrates how people directly and indirectly evoke anger and upset in their partners. (Wonder where she falls in terms of agreeableness and conscientiousness).

Clips for Class From the website: We launched an extensive search for videos on the internet that could be used both in class and by students at home. The videos range from news clips, to popular television shows, to student projects, and represent many psychological fields of study. This collection of creative videos for all areas of psychology includes these notable ones on personality: individualism vs. collectivism, psychosexual stages explained in the spirit of High School Musical, Self-Efficacy Theory (a la Masterpiece Theatre), a clip from the MTV show room raiders to illustrate the Five Factor model, and others.

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

The Five Factors Erica Melkonian put this montage together as an independent study project in her AP Psychology class in May of 2011. In it, she defines and illustrates people who are high and low on each of the five factors including the famous and infamous like Curios George and Adolph Hitler. (runs 3 minutes, 38 seconds).

Sam Gosling: Snoop: The Secret Language of Stuff Gosling, author of Snoop, presents an overview of his research to the Commonwealth Club of California in this video. Topics include creativity and openness, Facebook profiles, faking a personal space, and much more. The site includes a biography of Gosling, highlights of the talk, transcript, and the entire talk (1 hour; 7 minutes).

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

The Power of Introverts In February 2012, Susan Cain gave this moving TED talk on the power of introverts (from the website): In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated. (runs 19 minutes, 4 seconds).

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

George Vaillant Video. George Vaillant, of the Grant Study of Harvard graduates, describes his insights from the study in this video supplement to the ``Atlantic Monthly'' article on Vaillant, the Grant study, and the pursuit of happiness. His conclusion: Growing old is not as scary as we thought when we were younger (runs 6 minutes, 51 seconds).


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