A compendium of resources for the teaching of personality psychology
Assignments, Exercises and Activities
Louis Sergent, 16, who is in his first year at high school, does his homework. Both he and his father are determined… – NARA – 541288 by Russell Lee – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
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.
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.
Activities Guide: Teaching Ethics in the Introduction to Psychology Course The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) is pleased to announce this new resource for teachers by Ana Ruiz and Judith Warchal of Alvernia University (2013). This 23-page guide presents 17 activities related to ethics for each chapter in a typical Introduction to Psychology text as it integrates the APA Learning Goals and Outcomes for ethics into that course. For each chapter, the activity lists the student learning outcome, instructions for conducting the activity, materials needed, approximate time required, and a method of assessment. Activities most relevant to the personality class include APA Ethics code Jeopardy, Research Methods, Personality Testing, and Debating controversial topics.
Analytical Paper Marc W. Patry from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada submitted this creative assignment in which students basically have to select and digest a study related to personality psychology and to connect it to the assigned reading, to current events, and to something about yourself. Details and grading guidelines are provided.
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.
Assessing Assumptions About Gender This exercise by Amy Taylor, won Honorable Mention for the 2009 Social Psychology Network Action Teaching Award. In this activity, students read a dialog between a man and a women and report their impressions of the characters. Half the class have the genders of the characters switched. According to Taylor, the objectives of this activity are to: (1) illustrate how subtle gender biases can influence social perceptions, (2) help students recognize their own implicit assumptions about gender, and (3) explore the implications these biases may have for gender equality.
Attachment Theory: Teaching Students About the Science of Romantic Attachment Nathan DeWall and David Myers describe a series of activities to help students think about attachment and why our romantic partners may get under our skin. Includes background reading, self-assessment, an out-of-class activity, and discussion topics.
Barnum Effect Feedback Take this test to remind yourself why good personality tests should provide specific feedback…and why horoscopes are so much fun! See also this explanation of the Barnum Effect.
The Bechdel Test For Media Bias According to the Feminist Frequency website by media critic Anita Sarkeesian, The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985 . The test is: (1) Does the film have at least two [named or otherwise central character] women in it, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a man? (runs 2 minutes, 3 seconds). You and your students can use this test to see how popular movies, especially those winning Oscars or other top awards, fares. Click here for a discussion of similar tests for other types of bias in the media.
Big Five, Happiness: Beyond the Purchase From the website We know that the effects of our spending choices often last beyond the place or moment of a purchase. Sometimes those effects are beneficial, leading to enjoyment, happy memories, or feelings of belongingness. At other times those effects may be financially or emotionally detrimental. We developed Beyond The Purchase to explore happiness and the quality of life, and the outcomes of different purchasing and money-management choices, as well as the motivations behind them. Psychologist Ryan Howell and colleagues created this site to help people make more informed choices. The site features personality tests, research findings, and a special section for incorporating their ideas into your classroom including a demonstration and slides on the Big Five personality traits and teaching central tendency using the Big Five. Follow the BtP in your classroom link.
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.
Coming Out Exercise Barry A. Schreier of Purdue University developed this exercise to assist individuals with the experience of loss that is often associated with Coming Out. Loss can come in many ways from the loss of a job, the loss of friends and family members, the loss of autonomy, loss of affiliation with others, and so on. This exercise is used to access the vital emotional components of participants’ belief and attitude systems in the efforts of creating greater inclusivity in attitude and belief for people who are Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual.
Conditioning at Mickey D’s “What do parents do, at a fast food restaurant, to encourage desirable behaviors and discourage undesirable behaviors? Are the principles of operant conditioning being used?” Check out Raymond Rogoway’s clever assignment for understanding and applying principles of conditioning.
Culture: Barnga This game teaches participants about inter-cultural awareness: In Barnga, participants experience the shock of realizing that despite many similarities, people of differing cultures perceive things differently or play by different rules. Players learn that they must understand and reconcile these differences if they want to function effectively in a cross-cultural group. Essentially, the game induces feelings of culture shock in the limited (and safe) environment of a classroom. Opens in PDF. Also available here.
Cultural Identity: The Cultural Circles Exercise Phani Radhakrishnan, University of Toronto, designed the Cultural Circles Exercise to help students in her Diversity in the Workplace class become more aware of cultural identity. Students discuss their own heritage and cultural background one-on-one with others in the class and identify sources of pride in their own culture.
Debriefed Stories: How to Conduct a Debriefing Discussion According to trainer and games guru Sivasailam Thiagi Thiagarajan People don’t learn from experience. They learn from reflecting on their experience. In this interactive story, he presents six questions for debriefing which facilitators can use to help participants reflect and learn from their experience. Very useful for teachers, trainers, facilitators, group leaders, and others who like to use experiential learning in their work. From the Thiagi Gameletter , October 2014.
Defense Mechanisms Randall E. Osborne, Indiana University East, first presented these two interactive exercises for the personality psychology course at the 9th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and Innovations, in 1995. In the second exercise, What’s my Defense Mechanism?, students must guess the defense mechanism depicted in a brief skit presented by their classmates. (In the first exercise, the Personality Collage, students and someone who knows them well each create a collage of the student’s personality. Students compare and contrast the two collages by answering various questions and come to understand the differences between self-view and other’s view of themselves.) Opens in PDF format.
Defense Mechanisms John Suler, Rider University, maintains the excellent Teaching Clinical Psychology website. For learning about defense mechanisms, he offers a handout [which] I give to students that we use to discuss some of the typical defense mechanisms. After the discussion, I break the students down into small groups so that can develop role plays that demonstrate these defenses. Instructions for these role plays are described at the end of the handout.
Extroversion and Introversion: The Eysenck Lemon Juice Experiment The BBC website provides instructions and a simple way to replicate this classic experiment.
Emotions: Spot the Fake Smile Can you tell which smiles are genuine and which are fake? Take this 10-minute test, based on the research of Paul Ekman, in which you watch brief video clips of 20 people smiling.
Erikson’s 8 Stages of Development Visit this page to see classroom activities submitted by high school and college teachers. Submit your own activities for inclusion here — or elsewhere on Personality Pedagogy — to [email protected].
Erikson’s Stages of Development Ages in Stages: An Exploration of the Life Cycle based on Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Human Development. Margaret Krebs-Carter designed this activity for High School English or Developmental Psychology classes and gives this description: How does age make a difference in the way we act/think/feel? Erik Erikson, the well-known teacher and psychiatrist who popularized the term “identity crisis” claims that we are greatly affected by the developmental changes that we undergo as we mature. This curriculum unit pursues the question of age differences by focusing on Erik Erikson’s theory of human development—the eight stages. Included in this unit are: 1) brief explanations of the eight stages; 2) recommended readings—short stories, plays, and novels—that illustrate the emotional crises that occur during these eight stages; 3) activities to introduce the new concepts; 4) suggestions of theoretical material for students to read; 5) a description of how to structure the classroom in order to teach a class in which group participation is encouraged.
Erikson’s Stages of Development: The Soundtrack of Your Life Describes an activity where students identify eight major events in their lives (e.g., deaths, first car, entering high school, etc.) and find songs (music and lyrics) to correspond to these events, designing an imaginary soundtrack of their lives. Students write about the experience, submit their compilations, and/or present a song to the class with an explanation of its import. Originally designed to be a writing assignment, with some additional guidance this activity can be used to illustrate narrative psychology, the self, Erikson’s stages, and other theories of personality psychology.
Necker’s cube by Me (Stevo-88) – Own work – my representation of a well known optical illusion. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Extroversion and Introversion: The Necker Cube Experiment This brief on-line experiment, devised by the Open University in conjunction with the BBC was developed by Dr Peter Naish. Their hypothesis is that because of their varying response to stimulation, extroverts and introverts will perceive a Necker cube differently.
The Facebook Experiment: Reaction From Psychologists According to former psychology professor Michael Britt in his podcast The Psych Files : You’ve probably heard about the controversy over the Facebook manipulation of user’s News Feeds and the (possible) effect this had on user’s emotions. In the latest episode of The Psych Files I summarize the study and my conclusions about it. Also included on the website is a (large) concept map that also summarizes the study, links to references and Facebook’s official response. Also included in the map and the episode: suggestions for students regarding how a proper informed consent form might have been written and presented to students. Episode 22, July 1, 2014. Runs 33 minutes and 16 seconds.
Five Factor Model 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: 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. Click here to try it out for yourself.
Five Factor model and 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).
Freud, Sigmund: That’s My Theory! Sigmund Freud and two other personality psychologists are guests on this online game show developed by PBS. Can you discover the who the real Sigmund Freud is though the answers he gives? Can you guess who the other two guests are?
Freud, Sigmund: Wrestling with Sigmund Freud ‘Ya gotta see it to believe it.
Freud: Online Activities: Dream analysis, Word Association, Ink Blot Generator The National Museum of Science and Industry , in the UK, sponsors this amazing website on Making the Modern World , which includes learning modules on all sorts of topics. One in particular, on Measuring the Unmeasurable , aims to take the user through various aspects of psychiatry and the study of mental illness. It looks at the treatment, diagnosis and methods used in psychiatry as well as the investigation of mental illness from a historical and socio-cultural perspective. This module includes 4 pages on Sigmund Freud: Freud and Psychoanalysis, Freud’s concept of the Personality, Freud’s theory of psychosexual development, and Freudian Techniques of psychoanalysis. The module on Psychoanalysis includes online activities on dream analysis, the Word Association Test, and Ink Blot Generator.
Freudian Dream Analysis Worksheet by Chris VerWys , Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute See also the Dream Analysis Survey Results .
Gender Stereotypes: According to Jim . These days, I find that my students are a little reticent to talk about gender stereotypes, especially since my classes are often very much skewed in one direction. To help the discussion along, I like to show the episode Jim Almighty from the ABC television show According to Jim , staring Jim Belushi. In this episode Jim thinks that he can design women better than the creator did. In the course of the show, many gender stereotypes are depicted and reinforced (and some are even abandoned). I instruct my students to keep track and write down all of the stereotypes for men and for women that are mentioned in the show. I put them on the blackboard and classify them into physical, sexual, personality, social, and emotional and discuss if they are accurate, inaccurate, or an exaggeration of a true difference. I may even have the class vote on what they think the distributions look like (e.g. normal curves with a lot of overlap, a little overlap or something in between). This is a good way to set up a discussion of gender similarities and differences in personality using Hyde’s work on meta-analysis. Note that the episode, while a family situation comedy which originally aired during prime time, does make scatological and sexual references and features the actor Lee Majors playing The Almighty (stereotyped as a Texan). I offer students who think they may be offended by the set-up an alternative activity, although nobody has taken this option. In discussions with the class, even religious students find the depiction of The Almighty funny and not at all offensive, but you should review this episode before showing your class in case your students are different from mine. This episode originally aired in January of 2008, season 7 episode 1, ( S07E01 ) and is available on You Tube here (21:19). Note: If the video has been removed from You Tube, try searching for it. If you are still unable to find it, it is available for streaming from Amazon.com for $1.99 if you have an Amazon Prime Account.
Genetically Engineer Your Own Child This somewhat creepy, satirical website allows visitors to create a genetically engineered child by selecting various characteristics such as gender, eye color, and sexual orientation. Once you find out the genetic code of your offspring, you can choose to have certain characteristics and disorders altered, if you are willing to spend the money. In the process, the visitor is forced to think about the value society places on certain attributes (e.g. IQ, musical ability, sexual orientation, AIDS, ADHD and others) and the ethicality of genetic engineering. The site was created as a piece of performance art and is not a real institution despite its authentic look and feel.
Genetics: Do Your Hands Have Family Traits? Check out these two projects from Science Buddies : In these hands-on genetics projects and activities, students investigate a family pedigree to see if they can determine whether traits are dominant or recessive. Do you and some (or all) of your family members share certain physical traits? Is a widow’s peak passed down from generation to generation? Find out!
Genetics: 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.
Genetics: 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.
Genetics and Gender Differences in Ideal Mate Selection. Scott Bates, Utah State University, does the following exercise to introduce the topic of Genetics to his students: On the second day of class, I collect data via a survey (these data provide good lecture material throughout the course). One of the questions that I ask is this: List the top three characteristics of an IDEAL MATE (a person with whom you would like to spend the rest of your life). Use adjectives. If you’ve already married (or found) your ideal mate, then list the three most important characteristics that attracted you to him/her. I then have a TA code the responses into categories (e.g., physical appearance, social status, etc). Then, when I get to the topic of genes/environment, or evolution, I introduce human mate-selection and present material on evolutionary/genetic influences. The compelling part is that I present students’ data, by category, by sex. Males have always listed physical characteristics (e.g., pretty, hot, nice looking) more often than women. Women have always listed loyalty (e.g., faithful, trustworthy) and social status (e.g., ambitious, good job prospects) more often than men. (from the PSYTEACH discussion list, January 22, 2009).
Happiness The October issue of the Thiagi Gameletter ( Seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants, and managers , see their homepage here ) describes an activity (which they call a jolt ) to demonstrate how our current emotions are influenced by our thoughts about the past.
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.
Hetereosexist Bias Lesson Plan and Questionnaire The Advocates for Youth website provides this lesson plan To give straight people an opportunity to experience the types of questions that are often asked of gay, lesbian, and/or bisexual people . Students answer a questionnaire and discuss the experience in small groups. Takes about 40 minutes. Includes questions for discussion.
Heterosexual Privilege The Student Counseling Center at Texas Tech University features a number of activities, handouts and other resources on their website. In this activity, students answer 32 questions that illustrate heterosexual privilege in ways straight people do not have to think about. For example, questions range from I can, if I wish, legally marry my life partner to My sexual orientation is represented in the media and I don’t feel excluded.
Homosexuality: A Values Clarification Exercise John Suler, Rider University, maintains the excellent Teaching Clinical Psychology website. To make students aware of their preconceptions and subtle attitudes towards homosexuality, he puts 10 statements on the board and students discuss the statements in a group. He then tallies the group votes and leads the class in a discussion of their own preconceptions, along with theory and research evidence.
The Grinch (That Stole Christmas) by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia
How the Grinch Stole Psychology Class After watching the 25 minute video of the classic Christmas story by Dr. Seuss, students analyze the Grinch’s personality and change of heart using theories and terms from personality including Freud, Adler, Horney, Maslow, and Rogers. A great end-of-the-semester review.
Ice Breakers and Team Builders Find tons of activities for groups for icebreaking, team building, name games, trust-building, self-awareness, multicultural awareness, and fun.
Idiogrid: Developing and managing self-report data James W. Grice of Oklahoma State University developed software for his idiographic research which he is currently offering for free to instructors and researchers. From the website: Idiogrid is software for administering, managing, and analyzing different types of self-report data [e.g. attitude scales, personality questionnaires, trait profiles, values test]. It was originally designed around George Kelly’s repertory grid technique but has been developed to include person-centered and questionnaire methodologies employed by researchers from a wide variety of domains (e.g., personality psychologists, self-concept researchers, clinical psychologists, market researchers, and sociologists). The site provides extensive support and resources for using the software for clinical, organizational and classroom demonstrations and assignments.
Intelligence Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute developed these 12 lesson plans on Human Intelligence: Theories and Developmental Origins .
I Scream, You Scream In this exercise students learn about the importance of validity and reliability by deconstructing the Ice Cream Personality Test . Miserandino, M. (2006). I Scream, You Scream: Teaching Validity and Reliability Via the Ice Cream Personality Test. Teaching Psychology. 33(4) , 265-68. Opens in PDF.
Jung: 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 reflects traits they don’t like in themselves.
Life Story When discussing intake interviews and psychotherapy, John Suler, Rider University, point[s] out that clients engage in a process of exploring their life story, usually at first by describing the most important “facts” about themselves. In this exercise, described on his Teaching Clinical Psychology website, students write down four important facts about themselves and one lie. Others in the class read each list and the class discusses patterns which they see.
Mask-Making Activity The Archdiocese of St.Louis sponsors special programs to reach out to teens. On their REAP website they describe a mask-making activity designed to help teens: recognize the masks he/she might wear, recognize the masks that others put upon him/her [and] view other students with more compassion in regards to the masks they wear.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including newer 7- and 8- stage models. Also includes links to PDF and MSWORD illustrations of the hierarchies.
- Hierarchy of Needs Original 5 stage model in PDF format.
- Hierarchy of Needs Modified 7-stage model from the 1970s in PDF format.
- Hierarchy of Needs Modified 8-stage model from the 1990s in PDF format.
- Self-test Quick self-test based on the 5-stage model of the hierarchy of needs in PDF format.
- Self-test Quick self-test based on the modified 8-stage model of the hierarchy of needs in PDF format.
Maslow, Abraham: That’s My Theory! Sigmund Freud and two other personality psychologists — Skinner and Maslow — are guests on this online game show developed by PBS. Learn about all three theorists through the answers they give.
Mind Habits According to the website: ‘ MindHabits is based on scientifically tested and demonstrated tools that help reduce stress and boost confidence of players using principles from the new science of social intelligence. Research demonstrated benefits from playing just five minutes each day. Give it a try for free and see if it works for you!’ Trial version is free.
Multicultural Activities Group activities to make people aware of the impact of the culture on themselves and others.
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.
Perceptual Style 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.
Licensed under the Creative Commons
Personality Collage Randall E. Osborne, Indiana University East, first presented these two interactive exercises for the personality psychology course at the 9th Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology: Ideas and Innovations, in 1995. In the Personality Collage students and someone who knows them well each create a collage of the student’s personality. Students compare and contrast the two collages by answering various questions and come to understand the differences between self-view and other’s view of themselves. (In the second exercise students must guess the defense mechanism depicted in a brief skit presented by their classmates.) Opens in PDF format.
Positive Psychology: 7-day unit plan for high school psychology Amy C. Fineburg, Homewood High School, Birmingham, Alabama, created this document for Teaching of Psychology in the Secondary Schools. Includes critical thinking activities (daily mood, satisfaction with life scale, creating flow experiences, measuring optimism, the hope scale and much more) interspersed with lesson plans for the high school psychology course.
Positive Psychology: Five -Ful Envelopes In this activity, by Barbara Frederickson, participants explore the positive emotions of hopeful, joyful, peaceful, playful, and thankful, and brainstorm ways of increasing the frequency and intensity of these positive emotions in their lives. From the January 2010 issue of the Thiagi Gameletter ( Seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants, and managers , see their website here ).
Positive Reinforcement: A Self-Instructional Exercise Athabasca University devised this on-line exercise to teach students the concept of positive reinforcement and also to provide an idea of the kind of self-instructional exercises used in many Athabasca University course packages
The Religious Experience: East, West, Everywhere John Suler, Rider University, maintains the excellent Teaching Clinical Psychology website. He suggests the following exercise: Many psychologists, philosophers, and theologians talk about how some people have an intense, sudden, usually unexpected experience of a “higher reality” or “higher power” beyond what we normally experience. Some say it is the experience of “God.” Here are how William James (one of the greatest American psychologists) and D.T. Suzuki (one of the greatest Japanese Zen philosophers) described religious experiences in their cultures. Are there any similarities between east and west?
The Self: The Soundtrack of Your Life Describes an activity where students identify eight major events in their lives (e.g., deaths, first car, entering high school, etc.) and find songs (music and lyrics) to correspond to these events, designing an imaginary soundtrack of their lives. Students write about the experience, submit their compilations, and/or present a song to the class with an explanation of its import. Originally designed to be a writing assignment, with some additional guidance this activity can be used to illustrate narrative psychology, the self, Erikson’s stages, and other theories of personality psychology.
Self-Esteem Games Mark Baldwin and his colleagues at McGill University have developed games to help people increase their self-esteem based on psychological research. Visit this site to play one of three self-esteem games, to participate in their online research or to learn more about what they do.
Sex and the Brain From the BBC sponsored website: Find out more about “brain sex” differences by taking the Sex ID test, a series of visual challenges and questions used by psychologists in the BBC One television series Secrets of the Sexes . Get a brain sex profile and find out if you think like a man or a woman, see if you can gaze into someone’s eyes and know what they’re thinking, find out why scientists are interested in the length of your fingers, see how your results relate to theories about brain sex.
Sexual Orientation: The Complexity of Sexual Orientation The Understanding Prejudice website has a special section on college classroom activities. In this activity, students fill out a Sexual Orientation Identification sheet (on the website) which describes the behaviors and attractions of various hypothetical people. Students must decide if the person described is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight. The items are designed to provoke differences of opinion to spark a discussion as to what defines sexual orientation: behavior, desire, self-identification, or some combination of all three. Includes discussion questions.
Sexual Trichotomy Model An explanation of the trichotomy of sexual identity, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation. Students discuss how this trichtomy might apply to 6 hypothetical people and in the process discover how sexuality is fluid and how a person’s identity, orientation and behavior can change throughout life.
Skinner, B.F.: That’s My Theory! Sigmund Freud and two other personality psychologists — Skinner and Maslow — are guests on this online game show developed by PBS. Learn about all three theorists through the answers they give.
Teaching Students About How Simple, Positive Activities Can Increase Well-Being Nathan DeWall and David G. Myers offer their advice and guidance about teaching an area of research recently highlighted in Current Directions of Psychological Science . In this column for the May/June 2013 APS Observer they discuss numerous classroom activities to illustrate the effect—how simple activities can increase well-being—and spark discussion.
Teaching Students About the Sunny Side of Stress Nathan DeWall and David G. Myers offer their advice and guidance about teaching an area of research recently highlighted in Current Directions of Psychological Science . In this column for the May/June 2013 APS Observer they discuss how people can use arousal reappraisal to lessen the experience of stress in both mind and body.
Thematic Apperception Test 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.
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 Trait Paper Assignment: Fostering Critical Thinking in Personality Psychology . (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.
Validity and Reliability Mark Mitchell and Janina Jolley for the Research Design Explained website provide these materials for students to administer a pencil-and-paper version of the Ice Cream Personality Test to a friend. Based on Miserandino, M. (2006). I scream, you scream: Teaching validity and reliability via the ice cream personality test. Teaching of Psychology, 33 , 265-268.
Want to Be Happier Right Now? The Think Positive! Experiment Reflecting on the 3 best events over the course of a week, as opposed to the three worst, colors our overall judgement of how the week was.
What’s In A Name? First Day of Class Ice Breaker What’s in a name? John Suler, Rider University, suggests this ice breaker in his Teaching Clinical Psychology website. Students state their name, and explain how they got their name. This is an especially powerful exercise for small classes or for classes where students work closely with each other over the course of a semester.
Who Am I? – Famous Psychologists Quiz Test your knowledge of important figures in psychology with this quiz. The expert level has 13 questions, which increase in difficultly. Ten of the questions are about personality psychologists including: Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Karen Horney and Erik Erickson.
Why? A Happiness Activity The September (2008) issue of the Thiagi Gameletter ( Seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants, and managers , see http://www.thiagi.com/ ) describes a series of Happiness Activities as part of their Tool Kit to demonstrate how most of our current goals when reduced to their most fundamental form — by repeatedly asking the question Why? have happiness at its core.
Why Self-Control and Grit Matter —- And Why It Pays to Know the Difference C. Nathan DeWall , writing for the Teaching Current Directions in Psychological Science column in the APS Observer , presents this five-minute activity on the Duckworth and Gross (2014) study of Self-Control and Grit.
- Teaching Philosophy
- 3rd Annual Online Education Conference
- Play and Experimentation in the Classroom
- Web Conferencing Tools for Teaching (2)
- Professional Writing in the Classroom
- Using WordPress in the Classroom
- Peer Mentoring, a la the Futures Initiative
- Fostering the development of writing skills
- Teaching as an International Student
- TLC Workshop: Demystifying Education Technology
- More on Engaging Diverse Viewpoints in the Classroom
- Materials from Quantitative Reasoning Workshop
- Discussion Board Ideas for Introducing Primary Sources
- TED Talk Homework Ideas
- Ice-breakers and other ideas for first-day of classes
- Implicit Memory Lesson Plan
- Intelligence Testing Lesson Plan
- Short-Term Memory/Clustering Mini-lesson
- Content Acquisition Podcast (CAP) on Decision Making
- I/O Psychology Leadership Lesson Plan
- Competency Model Lesson Plan
- Personnel Selection Lesson Plan
- Work Motivation Lesson Plan
- Performance Management Lesson Plan
- Workplace Diversity Activity
- Mini Lesson: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the Workplace
- Activity for Lessons on Leadership
- Leader Member Exchange Theory (LMX) Mini Lesson
- Holland’s RIASEC Theory Mini-Lesson
- Lesson Plan – Group Dynamics (Group Polarization)
- Cognitive Biases lesson plan
- Attitudes and Attitude Change Lesson Plan
- Fundamental Attribution Error Mini-Lesson
- Attraction and Close Relationships Lesson Plan
- Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination Lesson Plan
- Attitudes Lesson Plan
- Content Acquisition Podcast (CAP) on The Bystander Effect
- Cognitive Development in Infants Lesson Plan
- Gender Development Lesson Plan
- Emotional and Social Development Lesson Plan
- Parenting Styles Mini Lesson
- Content Acquisition Podcast (CAP) on Adolescent Brain Science and Judicial Decisions
- Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders Lesson Plan
- Perceptions of Stigma in Abnormal Psychology Lesson Plan
- Schizophrenia Lesson Plan
- Clinical Interviewing and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders Lesson Plan
- Bipolar Disorders and Structured Assessment Lesson Plan
- Assessment & Diagnosis of Suicidal risk and Suicidal Ideation Lesson Plan
- Personality disorders Lesson Plan
- Mood disorders Lesson Plan
- Suicide & Suicide Risk Assessment Mini-Lesson
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Lesson Plan: Personality
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This lesson plan on personality is designed for an Introductory Psychology course (~ 75 minute class period) and includes a mini lesson about the Big 5 Personality Model . The learning objectives for this lesson are as follows:
- Outline and critique the early approaches to assessing personality
- Define and describe the Five Factor Model of Personality
- Identify the strengths and limitations of assessing and measuring personality
The detailed lesson plan and materials are attached below.
Personality Lesson Plan
Personality Mini Lesson
Mini Lesson Worksheet
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Blog de Cristina
Digital tools and ideas to transform education, 10 games and activities to practise personality adjectives..
Ten entertaining ways to practise personality adjectives with activities for all ages and levels . In this post, you’ll find listening,writing, speaking activities and games to help students master this vocabulary.
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Ask students to work in pairs and write down as many personality adjectives as they can in two minutes.
On the board write three columns: positive, negative and neutral adjectives and ask students to provide adjectives for the three columns. Have students choose one adjective from each column to describe their personality and in pairs talk about how these adjectives they have chosen are representative of their personality. Ask students to elaborate on their answers and provide examples to support their choice of adjectives.
Roleplays Prepare cards with a personality trait written on it (talkative, cheerful, arrogant, stubborn, immature, possessive…etc). Give students a card telling them this is their personality. Pair up students and ask them to start a conversation and act the way the card says until their partner guesses what adjective they were given. Ask students for example to talk about buying a present for the teacher or deciding on what do at the weekend.
Reading your signature.
What does your signature say about you? According to handwriting analysts, signatures reveal a lot about your personality.
- Ask students to write the sentence Write soon on a piece of paper and then sign under the sentence.
- Ask them to work in pairs and look at their partner’s signature and explain what it means. See interpretation here
- Ask them to discuss whether they agree with their partner’s interpretation and why or why not.
What’s your job?
Research has shown that different personality traits tend to have distinct preferences in their choice of careers. On the board write the jobs below. Ask students in pairs to choose five and discuss what personality types the jobs would attract and why. Then discuss their choices with another pair:
Tax inspector Teacher politician computer programmer librarian
Actor fashion model psychologist entrepreneur judge
Prepare cards with personality adjectives. Divide the class into 2 teams. For each team’s turn, set a time (1 minute).
On the board write the sentence : I want to go to the cinema tomorrow .
Team 1 begins and choose a player to sit at the front of the class. The player draws a card and acts out the phrase according to the adjective on the card. When the team guesses correctly, he can draw another card. He continues until the time is up. The timer is set again for the other team, and turns continue until all the slips are gone. Count the slips and give those points to their teams.
On the walls of the class stick the following quotes. Students in threes stand up and discuss what the quote means and whether they agree or disagree with them.
- Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it. Bruce Lee.
- It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not. André Gide.
- If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am
- Beauty attracts the eye but personality captures the heart.
- Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
- It’d never too late for what you might have been. George Elliot.
Guess who. A speaking or writing activity.
Speaking. Before the class, prepare a set of pictures of famous people with very clear personality traits. For this activity the students are sitting in pairs, one student (A) facing the board and the other (B) with his back to the board. Display the photo of a celebrity and ask student A to describe this person in general terms focusing on his personality.
Writing. Before the class, prepare a collage with pictures of famous people with very clear personality traits. Ask students to write a description of one of them focusing on their personality without saying their names. Descriptions are read aloud and students will need to determine the identity of the person being described.
The four big questions.
Tell students you’re going to analyse their personality by asking them four key questions to which they should answer using three adjectives for each question. Adjectives cannot be repeated. 1. Choose a colour, the first colour that comes to mind. Once you have that colour, list three adjectives that describe it.
2. Choose an animal, the first animal that comes to mind. Once you have selected an animal, list three adjectives that describe it.
3. Choose a body of water like a river, ocean, sea, or lake. Once you have chosen a body of water, list three adjectives that describe it.
4. Let’s say you are in a white room with no windows no doors, list three emotions that you are feeling.
When you are done answering those questions, highlight the following to get your results: your colour represents what you think of yourself, the animal represents what you think of other people, the body of water represents your love life, and the white room represents what you will feel like when you are about to die.
Do you think birth order has any influence on our personality?
Ask students to work in groups of 4. Tell them they are going to see a video where personality is related to birth order. Assign each person in the group the task of writing down information they can gather from the video about either first borns, middle children, last borns or only children.
Whole class discussion. Starting with “first-borns”, write on the board all the information the students learnt from the video. Start a class discussion where first borns in the class will say whether they agree or disagree with the content in the video. Repeat procedure for middle children, last borns and only children.
Tic Tac Toe
Tic Tac Toe. also known as noughts and crosses or Xs and Os is a game for two players, X and O , who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 (3×4 in this game) grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
In this game, to place their mark they’ll need to talk for about two minutes about the question in the box.
17 thoughts on “ 10 Games and Activities to Practise Personality Adjectives. ”
Great. Let me know how it goes and which ones you have used!
Great activities, I will be trying some of these this weekend.
There is one but HUGE problem with these ideas: I can’t decide which one to choose as they are all terrific! 🙂 Thank you so much!
Found so useful
Thank you so much! That is amazing!
Great activities? thank you from the bottom of my heart.
thank you so much. Great ideas to energize the class.
My pleasure. Thanks for your comment!
Great ideas, all of the activities are really useful. Thanks for sharing!
Thank u so much! I loved the signature activity.
That’s great!!! Thanks so much for your great feedback!
P.S. – Of course, I will have to adapt them to fit my students, but most would work 🙂
I loved these activities and looking forward to trying them out with my young learners.
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17 Self-Awareness Activities and Exercises (+Test)
In terms of psychology, self-awareness is often defined as the ability to engage in some kind of reflective awareness.
As you develop an awareness of the self, you begin to connect with your own unique identity. As you focus on yourself and start evaluating your current behavior, in comparison to your internal standards and values, you become self-conscious, and you become an objective evaluator of yourself.
There are many exercises and activities you can do to develop this self-awareness, from questions you can ask yourself to simple exercises.
In this article, we will take a look at some of those self-awareness tools.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Self-Compassion Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will not only help you increase the compassion and kindness you show yourself but will also give you the tools to help your clients, students, or employees show more compassion to themselves.
This Article Contains:
What are self-awareness activities and exercises, common self-awareness techniques, 23 self-awareness questions to ask, 2 self-awareness activities for adults, 2 self-awareness training activities for youth and students, 3 self-awareness activities and exercises for kids and toddlers, 4 employee activities for the workplace, 2 self-awareness worksheets (incl. pdf), can we measure and test self-awareness, 2 useful tests, a take-home message.
Self-awareness activities and exercises are tools that can help you to not only reach your goals but also to discover who you are at core level and what you want out of life.
The more you ‘peel the onion’ per se, the more you will discover what lies underneath. Self-awareness and self-improvement go hand in hand.
Becoming more self-aware can help you understand your wants, needs, and desires as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
Self-awareness is also an important tool for success. Those internal mental processes guide how you behave and how you act. When you become more self-aware, you begin uncovering those destructive thought patterns and unhealthy habits.
- Mindfulness Meditation.
- Grounding techniques, and reconnecting to the Earth.
- Tai Chi, Qigong, or Yoga.
- Strength Assessments , such as the Values in Action Strength Test, from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Having a Personal Vision.
- Observing others.
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These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you to help others create a kinder and more nurturing relationship with themselves.
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While there are probably hundreds of questions you could ask yourself, in terms of self-awareness, there are a few that stand out.
Self-awareness questions on values and life goals
- What does your ideal “you” look like?
- What kinds of dreams and goals do you have?
- Why are these dreams or goals important?
- What is keeping you from these dreams or goals?
- Rank 5-10 of the most important things in your life in your career, family, relationships and love, money, etc.
- Now think about the proportion of time you dedicate to each of these things.
- What would you recommend to your children to do or not to do?
Self-awareness questions on personality
- Describe yourself in three words.
- Ask yourself if your personality has changed since childhood.
- Is your personality like either of your parents?
- What qualities do you most admire in yourself?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What is your biggest strength?
- What things scare you?
- Do you make decisions logically or intuitively?
- How would you complete the question: “What if?”.
Self-awareness questions on relationships
- Describe your ideal intimate relationship.
- How satisfied are you in your current relationship?
- Who would you call if you only had a few minutes to live? What would you say?
- Who have you loved the most?
- Of all the relationships you have had, describe the best moment.
- Describe a devastating moment in terms of relationships.
- Ask yourself if you treat yourself better than others?
These questions are designed to make you think. Answering these questions is a powerful method of self-discovery.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Derived from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is an awareness that arises through paying attention to the present moment, in a non-judgmental manner.
In mindfulness meditation, you learn to focus on the present moment in the same way.
Harvard researchers studied mindfulness and found that it seemed to change the brain in depressed patients. Studies have also shown some fantastic benefits of mind-body practices, such as lower blood pressure in hypersensitive patients after relaxation-response training.
Learning how to do mindfulness meditation is relatively simple.
Here is an excellent technique to get started:
- Find a place where you won’t be disturbed. You may sit in a chair or on the floor. Be sure to keep your back and neck straight.
- As you begin, try and stay focused on the present moment. Don’t think about the past or the future.
- Develop an awareness of the breath, and focus on the feeling of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe in and out. Notice your belly rising and falling, as the air enters your nostrils and leaves your mouth. Notice how each breath is a little different.
- Notice every thought that comes and goes. You can even name your thoughts. If you are worried, acknowledge that and let it go. Don’t ignore your thoughts, but make a note of them, using your breath as an anchor.
- If you have trouble staying focused on the present moment, bring your focus back to your breathing and don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Strive for a minute or so initially and work your way up to longer periods.
2. Grounding Techniques
According to Dr. Sara Allen, a psychotherapist, grounding is a wonderful way to calm down quickly, and it’s also an excellent tool for developing self-awareness.
Grounding is another term for connecting with the Earth and bringing your focus into the present moment, similar to mindfulness.
One simple grounding technique is called the Grounding Chair. (Allen, 2019)
- Find a comfortable chair to sit in and close your eyes. Make sure your feet can touch the floor.
- Start breathing in and exhaling to the count of 3.
- Bring your focus to your body next. Notice how your body feels and how your legs and feet feel. Notice how your back feels against the chair or surface. Notice the texture of the fabric and how the seat feels.
- Next, imagine your feet are pushing down into the ground. Picture your energy draining down from your mind, and out through your feet into the Earth.
- As the energy drains from your head, notice how heavy each part of your body feels as you relax those muscles.
- Feel this sense of heaviness going down your legs, through your feet and down into the ground.
You can do this same technique outside, with your shoes off. Something is compelling about connecting with the Earth in this manner.
There are many enjoyable self-awareness activities for youths and students as well.
One of these is the Sparks: Peer-to-Peer Interview worksheet. The basis of this exercise is the exploration of a child’s passions, interests, and talents, otherwise known as sparks.
The worksheet has six simple questions that can help someone delve into these ideas.
- What is one of your sparks (passions, interests, talents)?
- How did you discover that this is one of your sparks?
- How do you feel when you are doing your spark?
- Think of somebody who is really into their spark/passion. Describe what you see.
- Do you have a spark champion (an adult who helps you explore and develop your self-awareness skills )? If yes, describe how this person helps you.
- Do you set goals and make plans to get better at your spark/talent? If yes, give me an example.
This worksheet is also available on the actforyouth.net website . This kind of simple questioning can help someone identify and build upon his or her strengths.
Another great resource is the self-awareness worksheet for kids, available on the understood.org website for learning and attention issues.
The self-awareness worksheet has seven questions that can help a child to self-advocate. This worksheet can also be done with the child, to help them build an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.
While a child this age may not be entirely self-aware, they do know how to create a mental picture in their mind.
As their self-awareness develops, so does their self-identity. For children of this age, self-awareness is more about noticing the differences and discovering their bodies and emotions.
Engaging in activities that help support this can go a long way to helping them learn and grow.
1. Same Versus Different Activity
Children of this young age do recognize the similarities and differences, which includes things like skin color and other physical characteristics that set them apart from others.
A fun way to do this is to have kids try on different color socks or knee-high nylons, representing different skin colors. As they do this, you can emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of all the different colored skin.
According to childhood specialist Barbara Biles, this kind of simple activity can help a child learn to appreciate their skin color and the skin color of others.
2. Physical Awareness Activity
Physical self-awareness also expands with age. Growth activities are a great way to help promote this. Growth activities help a young child better understand and accept their developing body.
These kinds of encouraging, positive, interactive growth activities can be very helpful. Things like hanging a height and growth chart on the wall or having a child point to various body parts by looking in the mirror, are fun activities. Children can also draw an outline of their body or their hands and feet.
This kind of activity can help promote physical awareness and self-acceptance for a young child.
3. Self-Responsibility Activity
Teaching responsibility can also be considered a self-awareness activity. Young children frequently leave toys around the house without realizing any sense of responsibility.
Making a young child responsible for his toys or possessions in a fun and interactive way can go a long way to teaching them the necessary skills.
According to child educator Jean Warren, this kind of activity can also help a young child attain self-worth and group identity.
These activities and more are available on the healthfully.com website .
Daniel Goleman, a psychologist specializing in self-awareness and emotional intelligence, suggests that people with a solid sense of self-awareness generally have more self-confidence , and they have a more realistic assessment of themselves.
Some activities that can help improve self-awareness include practicing how you feel throughout the day, considering how your negative emotions impact others, thinking about ways you can better manage your emotions as well as taking an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses.
According to Goleman, it’s essential to recognize that emotions can be fleeting, and they shouldn’t be the foundation of decision-making or communication.
As you consider how your negative emotions impact others, like your boss or your co-workers, you also begin to realize how emotions like anger, jealousy, or frustration have a negative impact. Building self-awareness can help you acknowledge the fallout and the repercussions of such behavior.
Learning to manage your emotions better can also make a big difference. Doing so can help you avoid knee-jerk reactions or saying things you don’t mean.
All of this requires taking an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. You can do this by looking at past performance reviews or asking for feedback from someone you trust like your peers or from your boss. When you do this, you can actively work on improving those weak areas.
The questionnaire contains 35 questions which lead a person into self-discovery and can be seen as a fun way to become more self-aware.
As a sample, questions include:
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- What is your greatest regret?
These questions can help build self-awareness and strengthen defense systems against harmful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
The Setting Valued Goals worksheet is another useful tool to help someone identify what they want out of life, based on personal values.
Using this type of tool can also help motivate someone who may be struggling in life. Identifying goals can help someone be more self-aware as they start to get an idea of what it will take to achieve this goal.
The reader is prompted to reflect on personal values, with questions such as:
- What do you consider most important in life?
- What makes you feel energized?
- What makes you happiest, most satisfied, and most fulfilled?
Rouge test (self-recognition test) – Geert Stienissen
Dispositional self-awareness can be conceptualized in different ways, including insight, reflection, rumination, and mindfulness. (Sutton, 2016)
According to the research, self-awareness is typically associated with positive psychological wellbeing with varying outcomes.
Self-awareness is generally defined as the extent to which someone is consciously aware of their internal state as well as their relationships or interactions with others. (Sutton, 2016).
This idea can be further broken down into situational self-awareness and dispositional self-awareness.
Situational self-awareness is an automatic process that helps you know where you are and what you can do. It enables you to compare your current actions to your internal standards helping you foresee if you need to make any adjustments. (Silva & Duval, 2001).
Dispositional self-awareness, on the other hand, is the tendency for one to focus on and reflect on their own psychological processes as well as their subjective experiences and relationships with others. (Fenigstein et al., 1975)
Fenigstein also breaks this concept down further, by differentiating between public and private self-consciousness. Public self-consciousness is about how we appear to others where private self-consciousness is more about developing an awareness of our internal state.
One tool for measuring private self-consciousness is The Self-Reflection and Insight Scale or SRIS, (Grant, Franklin, & Langford, 2002)
This scale was developed as a measure of private self-consciousness, which assesses one’s internal state of awareness or insight separately from self-reflection.
Self-reflection refers to the extent to which one evaluates and pays attention to their internal state where insight is more about clarity of understanding.
By developing measures of self-awareness, we can continue expanding our awareness in these areas.
The test measures your DISC personality type:
This can help you better predict your behavior towards others as well as those things you do every day.
The test contains 28 groups of four statements. The questions are to be answered honestly and spontaneously. The test only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete.
Some of the questions include:
- People look up to me.
- I tend to be a kind person.
- I accept life as it comes.
- People say I have a strong personality.
The idea is to study all of the descriptions in each group of four, and select the one that most describes you.
You may also examine the three remaining choices, and decide which description you consider the least like you.
The full version of the test can be accessed via the 123test.com website .
The Jung Personality test can help you explore things like how you think, how you make decisions, and how you deal with others.
The test also helps you explore whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. The test is similar to the Myers-Briggs type model, initially developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers.
The Jung personality test can help answer the following questions:
- What is your personality type?
- What are your Jung types?
- How does your type fit certain kinds of jobs?
The Jung test was developed by the work of Carl Gustav Jung, who was a Swiss psychiatrist and the originator of Jungian Psychology, which breaks the personality up into four archetypes:
- The Persona
- The Anima/Animus
The Jung personality test has 60 choices. Participants choose the statement that best describes them.
Being self-aware is vital for both personal and professional success. When you are self-aware, you can choose where to focus your emotions, your energy, and your personality so that you can better direct the course of your life.
Self-awareness helps you be much more aware of your thoughts and emotions and how these things guide your life.
The best way to continually develop self-awareness is to learn to look at yourself objectively and to try and see yourself as others see or perceive you. The more self-aware you are, the more you can improve and make changes in your life.
If you enjoyed this topic, for further reading we share a short selection of the 10 Best Self-Awareness books and explore the benefits of self-awareness according to science.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Self Compassion Exercises for free .
- 23 Thought-provoking Questions To Boost Your Self-awareness. (2019, February 17). Retrieved from https://ourmindfullife.com/23-self-awareness-questions/
- Allen, S. (2019, February 13). 7 Simple Grounding Techniques For Calming Down Quickly . Retrieved from https://drsarahallen.com/7-ways-to-calm/
- Bhasin, M. K., Denninger, J. W., Huffman, J. C., Joseph, M. G., Niles, H., Chad-Friedman, E., … Libermann, T. A. (2018, May). Specific Transcriptome Changes Associated with Blood Pressure Reduction in Hypertensive Patients After Relaxation Response Training . Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29616846
- Davenport, B. (2019, March 12) Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace . Retrieved from https://liveboldandbloom.com/02/self-awareness-2/emotional-intelligence-workplace
- Fenigstein A., Scheier M. F., Buss A. H. (1975). Public and private self-consciousness: Assessment and theory. Journal of Counselling and Clinical Psychology , 43(4), 522–527.
- Grant A. M., Franklin J., Langford P. (2002). The Self-Reflection and Insight Scale: A new measure of private self-consciousness. Social Behavior and Personality , 30(8), 821–835.
- Jeffrey, S. (2019, April 20). 15 Self Awareness Activities and Exercises to Build Emotional Intelligence . Retrieved from https://scottjeffrey.com/self-awareness-activities-exercises/
- Johnston, J. (2019, January 10). Activities for Preschool-Age Children About Self Awareness . Retrieved from https://healthfully.com/512350-activities-for-preschool-age-children-about-self-awareness.html
- Nguyen. (2016, January 11). 12 Self-Awareness Exercises That Fuel Success . Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254669
- Powell, A. (2018, August 27). Harvard researchers study how mindfulness may change the brain in depressed patients . Retrieved from https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/harvard-researchers-study-how-mindfulness-may-change-the-brain-in-depressed-patients/
- Ron Tamir Nehr. (2019, July 17). Self Awareness: 10 Great Techniques . Retrieved from https://rontamirnehr.com/self-awareness-techniques/
- Sutton, A. (2016, November 18). Measuring the Effects of Self-Awareness: Construction of the Self-Awareness Outcomes Questionnaire . Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5114878/
- Wong, C. (2019, September 3). Mindfulness Meditation – How Do I Do It? Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/mindfulness-meditation-88369
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self awareness is vey important to grow your self
This is a great and comprehensive write-up.I really appreciate it.
Dear Professor Riopel,
I am allocated to a group of young people (age 18-21) who have no clue about self -awareness. It is my first time to teach it so I am very grateful to use your notes if you don’t mind me using them to explain self awareness.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Thank you! Alice
Sounds like you’ve got quite the job ahead of you! Yes, we’d be delighted for you to use these materials to help with your teaching, provided you could include a reference and citation on any printed materials.
Best of luck with it.
– Nicole | Community Manager
Written in a very interesting way and the topic gives good insight.
Great activities to work with on ourselves and in practice!
this article was extremely helpful
This was very helpful to me.
I would highly recommend that you read Merve Emre’s book, “The Power Brokers: The History of the Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing. It provides the historical perspective, the social context, the value of the MBTI and a detailed discussion of the years of highly valid and reliable validation studies.
I am loving this sentence : “Self-awareness and self-improvement go hand in hand.”
Hi Fasiha, It’s too true, right? Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 – Nicole | Community Manager
Dear Professor Riopel, I am Aya, a student at the Lebanese International University (LIU). I am pursuing my research and thesis. My topic of interest is Building leadership in KGs. We are wondering my adviser and myself about a possible collaboration with yourself on the topic. Why would like to have your preliminary opinion on the matter . We know that research is greedy by nature and please allow us to indulge on your research interests to have your input and later on your professional analysis. Hope to hear from you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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How to deal with rejection
Lesson duration 05:12
The benefits of not being a jerk to yourself - Dan Harris
Lesson duration 13:40
Who are you, really? The puzzle of personality - Brian Little
Lesson duration 15:16
How to let go of being a "good" person — and become a better person - Dolly Chugh
Lesson duration 11:49
How to build (and rebuild) trust - Frances Frei
Lesson duration 15:06
Do personality tests work?
Lesson duration 04:57
10 ways to have a better conversation - Celeste Headlee
Lesson duration 11:45
3 questions to ask yourself about everything you do - Stacey Abrams
Lesson duration 12:39
How to fix a broken heart - Guy Winch
Lesson duration 12:26
How our siblings shape who we are - Jeff Kluger
Lesson duration 21:08
The rise of modern populism
Lesson duration 06:22
Inside the bizarre world of internet trolls and propagandists - Andrew Marantz
Lesson duration 14:37
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Lesson duration 08:21
How do you teach empathy? - Jonathan Juravich
Lesson duration 10:36
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Lesson duration 12:22
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Lesson duration 12:40
What it's like to be a Muslim in America - Dalia Mogahed
Lesson duration 16:17
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Lesson duration 09:56
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Lesson duration 16:54
The profound power of an authentic apology - Eve Ensler
Lesson duration 08:24
Inside the mind of a master procrastinator - Tim Urban
Lesson duration 14:04
Grit: the power of passion and perseverance - Angela Lee Duckworth
Lesson duration 06:13
The surprising science of alpha males - Frans de Waal
Lesson duration 15:55
I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left - Megan Phelps-Roper
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5 Activities Using the Personality Puzzles for Adults
The Personality Puzzle is not only an effective tool to identify type, it’s also springboard for a number of activities to explore type. Here are just a few of these activities:
1. Meet my Opposite
Provide each participant the card with his/her own whole type description. Now flip the card and look at the type description on the other side of the card. It will be the type opposite. From this description, have the participants make up a character by identifying:
- 3 or more characteristics that describe this person
- 3 or more characteristics that they like about this person
- 3 or more characteristics that irritate them about this person
After approximately 10 minutes, ask each person to introduce the new character. More often than not, this new character is more irritating than likable! Explore the idea of opposite preferences in this context.
2. Love Thy Opposite
Given the new character described in Meet My Opposite , talk about how you would get along with such a person. What if she were your boss? Your significant other? Your co-worker? What strategies would you use to smooth the interaction with someone who sees the world quite differently than you?
3. Exploring the Dominant Function
Ask the participant to take the preference card for their own dominant preference (S,N,T,F). For example, an ENFP would use the Intuition card. Explore the following questions:
- How does this preference help me in my work, communication, and problem solving? How does it work against me?
- How does it help others? How does it cause concern when interacting with others?
- How and when do I use this function well?
- How do I compensate for this function when it is ineffective?
- How do I feel when someone notices this weakness in me? What do I do?
- How would you motivate the individual?
- How would you have to flex your natural style to connect with the other individual to create energy?
The following sites are Internet sites that teachers might want to consider as they develop their courses in introductory psychology. Some of the sites are themselves listings of sites or demonstrations while other sites are specific demonstrations. Some of the demonstrations will require you to download other software players, such as those needed to play Shockwave , Flash , or Mathematica .
Finally, if you find specific sites that are particularly great, or that are not functioning, please contact Dr. Timothy Bender .
General Resource Sites
- The APS Teaching Resources site, maintained by John Krantz.
- The APS Teaching Psychology
- The Society of the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2) site.
- The Teaching of Psychology in Secondary Schools site.
- PsychScholar is John Krantz’s mega-page at Hanover College. If you scroll down from the first page, you will find nice list of links to psychology tutorials .
- The Internet Psychology Lab is a good site from Leonard Trejo and Gary Bradshaw. It currently has demonstrations in Visual and Auditory Perception, as well as Cognition. It continues to be developed, so keep checking back. Most of the demonstrations are designed to be completed by individual students rather than as in-class demonstrations.
- ePsych is a very good site from Mississippi State. It is always growing, so keep checking back here. It is set up in an entertaining way and many of the demonstrations are very good. Most of these are designed to be completed by individual students rather than as in-class demonstrations. The amount of explanation is good.
- The Centre for Psychology Resource site from Athabasca University is a mega-listing of psychology-related sites. If you scroll down the Academic Content Sites column, you will come to the specific link to their Demonstrations and Tutorials . These are worth taking the time to explore.
- The Classroom Links for Interactive Psychology (CLIP) site from Penn State provides links to demonstrations and activities in many areas of psychology. You need to click on the drop-down menu at the top of the page for the list of areas.
- The Encyclopedia of Psychology is mostly a listing of other Internet sites. You might find something you can use, but you will need to do extensive searching.
- This extensive list of Links for Introductory and Physiological Psychology is provided by Charles Long at the University of Memphis. You will need to do some extensive exploring.
- The Exploratorium is part of the Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception in San Francisco. You will need to explore to find the sites that are related to Psychology. Some of the sites are very good and have nice explanation and some are very limited in the amount of explanation. This site is worth exploring.
- Various psychology-related demonstrations . Be sure to click on the different colored dots to move between content areas. There are more exhibits here than you might think. Psychology-related content areas include Seeing, Hearing, Mind, and Life Sciences.
- Psych Web is a mega-site created by Russ Dewey at Georgia Southern. You will need to do some exploring, but you will find some nice links here.
- AmoebaWeb: Psychology on the Web! is a mega-site created by Douglas Degelman at Vanguard University of Southern California. You will need to explore, but you will find some nice links.
- Learner.org is provided by the Annenberg Foundation. This site provides a streaming source for the Discovering Psychology video series. You need to register to get access.
- Psychology Demonstrations, Tutorials and Other Neat Stuff is from Linda Walsh at the University of Northern Iowa. Some of the links are no longer working, but others can lead you to nice information.
- PsychLabOnline helps students explore classic experiments. You will need to provide them with some help in using this site. It is provided by John Hay from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. You need Shockwave.
- ePsychlopedia presents some tutorials and videos.
- The Presentations of Science Database is a collection of on-line presentations over various topics.
- Brain and Behavior demonstrations and links from Serendip.
At the following sites, you can participate on-line in experiments. These are NOT experiments that count for the PSY 121 research requirement. Some of the experiments may be very useable and some may not. The amount of explanation will vary from experiment to experiment. If you want to have students doe some of these, I recommend that you explore the experiments first then assign specific experiments to the students.
- Internet Psychology Lab from the University of South Dakota provides mostly sensation and perception experiments and cognitive psychology experiments. Check out the system requirements and the directions. To get to the experiments you need to click on the Conduct an Experiment link.
- The Online Psychology Laboratory from the American Psychological Association (APA) contains several interactive experiments and demonstrations. The level of explanation is very good, but may require a bit of searching at times.
- PsychExperiments: Psychology experiments on the Internet from the University of Mississippi contains a wide variety of experiments. Some are designed for classroom lab use and others are designed as research experiments.
- The Web Experimental Psychology Lab presents various psychology experiments on the web - worldwide.
- Research Methods Tutorials contains tutorials written by graduate students at Cornell and maintained by Bill Trochim.
- This is the Teaching Statistics Resource Page from Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics) of the APA.
- The Resources page of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) provides several lessons, demonstration, projects, etc.
- Dr. Alan Reifman’s Intro Stat Page from Texas Tech University provides links to several site that may be of interest to students and teachers of statistics.
- StatPages.org provides hundreds of links to web pages that provide statistical calculations.
- The Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics provides many java-based simulations and demonstrations of statistical concepts.
- The Statistics Workshops from Wadsworth are tutorials of several statistical concepts.
- The VassarStats: Web Site for Statistical Computations is a good educational site. It works better with Firefox rather than Explorer.
- Illuminations provides activities and lessons in statistics and various areas of math for preK through 12 math teachers. Many of the high-school activities and lessons would work for introductory statistics at the college level.
- Classics in the History of Psychology is York University’s list of .pdf copies of several classics in psychology. If you want your students to read some of the classical original sources, here is a place to look.
- Links on the History of Psychology> from the Social Psychology Network.
- History of Psychology Archives is a list of selected biographies of historical figures in Psychology. This site is from Muskingum College.
- History of Psychology from Rutgers University.
- Today in the History of Psychology allows the user to search the APA historical database by either the date or by keywords.
- Neuroscience Animations from John Krantz at Hanover College.
- Basic Neural Processes from John Krantz at Hanover College provides this list of neuropsychology tutorials.
- Human Anatomy Online provides illustrated, interactive tutorials on various internal systems.
- Neuroscience for Kids from Eric Chudler provides several demonstrations that could be adapted for classroom use in introductory psychology.
- Dissecting a Sheep’s Brain - a presentation from the Exploratorium.
- The Whole Brain Atlas is a joint project by Keith A. Johnson (Harvard) and J. Alex Becker (MIT). This is a great source of images of various brain structures and for practicing the identification of brain structures.
- This animated study module for midsagittal structures of the brain is from the University of Alberta.
- Neuroanatomy Tutorial helps you identify different structures of the brain.
- The Human Brain Atlas is from Michigan State University.
Split Brain Demonstrations
- The Split-Brain Experiment game from Nobelprize.org is an animated demonstration of a person with a split brain being tested for his ability to report stimuli presented in the left and right visual field.
- The Split-Brain demonstration from John Chay helps the learner understand some basic functions of the two hemispheres.
- Animations: How drugs work is from PBS. This Moyers on Addiction site provides animated tutorials on the neurological impact of alcohol, cocaine, and opiates.
Sensation and Perception Links
- These Sensation and Perception Tutorials are from John Krantz at Hanover College.
- These visual demonstrations by Stuart Anstis from UC - San Diego include several short demonstrations of a variety of visual illusions and related topics.
- The Perceptual Science Group at M.I.T. offers several nice demonstrations.
- Living in a Reversed World is a classic film in visual perception.
Illusions and Related Visual Processing
- Sandlot Science presents a large number of illusions with some basic explanation and some interaction.
- Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s illusions site contains some very cool visual illusions, but very little to no explanation.
- IllusionWorks – well, actually this may be a pirated copy. The original site was shut down due to too much traffic, etc.
- 78 Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena by Micheal Bach provides examples of optical illusions and other visual events. The explanation for each is usually good. Many allow the user to adjust settings.
- Project LITE from Boston University provides interactive examples of several visual phenomena related to color, light, motion, depth, and form. Some of the demonstrations work only if you hit the Full Screen button first. Also, some include a rapid flashing light that may bother some people.
- See For Yourself is provided by Dale Purvis from Duke. It includes interactive examples of visual phenomena in the areas of lightness/brightness, color, lines and angles, motion, and music.
- Shapiro Lab is provided by Arthur Shapio (Bucknell). It includes interactive examples of various visual phenomena including lightness, motions, contrast, and others.
- This is a collection of illusions , but no explanations.
- Illusions from Wolfram Math World is a link to several illusions. You also can download Mathematica Player, then download several interactive illusions. These allow you to manipulate different variables to see what affects the illusion. While the explanation may be a bit limited in some cases, the interactive demos may be of use.
- These visual illustrations by Donald Hoffman from the University of California - Irvine presents several illusions. There is very little to no explanation. However, the illusions work well.
- The How and Why of Optical Illusions was created by David Eustis while a junior at Brown University studying computer science and math. The site contains tutorials with explanation on various illusions.
- Grand Illusions is another site with several interesting illusions. I recommend you play the dragon video.
- A very cool motion illusion combining color after images with apparent motion. I also recommend you look at the site for Magni-Phi .
- MagniPhi is a great site for the demonstration of the Beta and Phi Phenomena (apparent motion and shape and apparent motion only!). Also good for showing that common definitions are often wrong!
- Mark Newbold Java Stuff site contains several interesting graphics images and links to graphics software, along with demonstrations of the waterfall effect (Counter-Rotating Spirals), an animated Necker cube, the Fechner color illusion, and the Pulfrich illusion. This site may work better using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer.
- Planet Perplex by Stephan Van den Bergh provides several fun visual illusions, hidden images, etc. Be sure to check out the motion illusions. However, some of the “Fun” illusions are not politically correct.
- The Illusions Gallery by David Landrigan at the University of Massachusetts Lowell provides several demonstrations of visual illusions and related concepts.
- The Colour Perception in Everyday Life Tutorial is provided by Rae Kokotailo and Donald Kline from Calgary University.
Change Blindness Sites, Etc.
- This Change Blindness demonstration from University of South Dakota presents the user with a set of change-blindness photos. The user can control different variables by right-clicking on a stimulus.
- Eye Movements and Scene Perception is ePsych’s explanation of change blindness and visual integration. This is a very good demonstration and explanation.
- The Visual Cognition Lab has several videos demonstrating change blindness and inattentional blindness.
- http://nivea.psycho.univ-paris5.fr/ASSChtml/ASSC.html is one more discussion and set of examples for change blindness.
Motion Perception and Illusions
- bmlWalker from Bio Motion Labs demonstrates how the biological motion of people walking provides information regarding gender and mood. Nicely interactive.
- Motion Perception by George Mather from the University of Sussex provides several demonstrations of motion perception and related illusions. Very nice site.
- The Motion, Form, and Mid-Level Vision tutorial by Josh McDermott and Ted Adelson is a very nice set of tutorials and demonstrations regarding the interaction of form and motion.
- Motion-Induced Blindness from Yoram Bonneh, Alexander Cooperman, and Dov Sagi.
- Motion Perception: A web tutorial by Fauzia Mosca and Nicola Bruno (University of Trieste) presents a discussion of how structure affects the perception of motion.
- Auditory demonstration CDs lists several sources for purchasing CDs of auditory stimuli and illusions.
- The Ear page from Nobelprize.org presents a tutorial and quiz on the structure of the ear.
- Musical Demonstrations from Diana Deutsch at UC San Diego. Music-related sites from the Exploratorium
- Shepard Tones and Tritones Demonstration from the Exploratorium
- A quiz on aging by Linda Woolf at Webster University.
- Classically condition a dog to salivate at John Chay’s demonstration of conditioning of a dog’s salivation response to light, sound, or both. No directions, but can be used to demonstrate Kamin’s blocking study.
- The Pavlov’s Dog game from Nobelprize.org allows the user to try to train a dog to salivate.
- Positive Reinforcement tutorial from Athabasca University.
Memory and Cognition Links
- Cognition Laboratory Experiments from John Krantz at Hanover College are mixed. The amount of explanation will vary from experiment to experiment. If you want to have students do some of these, I recommend that you explore the experiments first then assign specific experiments to the students.
Demonstrations and Tutorials
- The Memory and Cognition Demonstrations and Tutorials from Timothy Bender at Missouri State University are designed to be used as classroom demonstrations. Some fit into a 50-minute class more easily than do others. Explanation is fairly good. These are worth exploring as possible classroom demonstrations.
- Dual Task.Org at the University of California at San Diego provides some attention and sensory memory demonstrations. Some of these work much better than others. There is little to no explanation.
- The Cognition Lab from NASA contains a few demonstrations related to memory and cognition.
- Masked Priming is a short demonstration and discussion of (you guessed it) masked priming.
- Mission - Critical is San Jose State University’s critical thinking site. There is much to explore here.
- Memory sites from the Exploratorium
Psychological Disorders Links
- This personality disorders exercise from John Suler provides practice at identifying various personality disorders. You need to print off paper handouts. Shades of Abnormality exercise from John Suler provides students with a chance to estimate the severity of a set of disorders. You need to print off paper handouts
- This Shades of Abnormality exercise from John Suler provides students with a chance to estimate the severity of a set of disorders. You need to print off paper handouts
- This Transference Exercise from John Suler provides students with some practice at identifying transference.
Social Psychology Links
- This is the Teaching Resources page from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology . Once you are there, scroll down for a list of demonstrations and assignments.
The Teaching Social Psychology Activities and Exercises is a mega-list of demonstrations and exercise in social psychology. This is part of the Course Resources on the Web project. Some of the links may not work, so you need to explore.
Social Psychology Network
- The Social Psychology Network home page contains experiments, demonstrations, teaching resources, etc. – all geared towards Social Psychology.
- These are Online Social Psychology Studies from the Social Psychology Network. Be forewarned, “the Social Psychology Network does not endorse the content or quality of the studies.” Therefore, you should carefully examine any study before you use it.
- Project Implicit is the home page for the Implicit Association Test from Harvard.
Stanford Prison Experiment
- This is the official site for the Stanford Prison Experiment by Zimbardo.
- Understanding Prejudice educates about prejudice. It includes surveys and various tests.
- The Social-Personality Psychology Questionnaire Instrument Compendium lists various questionnaires that you might use in research or in classroom discussions.
Industrial/Organizational Psychology Links
- Bad Human Factors Designs presents – bad human factors designs.
Publishers’ Psychology Sites
- McGraw-Hill - This is McGraw-Hill’s Web Sites Related to Psychology
Open Source Software and Free Software
- PXLab is a collection of Java classes and applications for running psychological experiments. This is provided by Hans Irtel in Denmark.
- SurveyBuildR is open source software for creating surveys to run on the Internet.
- PsychLab allows the user to run classic experiments from cognitive psychology.
- Apply online
- Request information
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Psychology & Personality
All our Psychology and Personality ESL activities, games and lesson plans! Enhance or replace your lesson plans, review useful vocabulary and functional language or just to do something fun related to Psychology, Personality and People to practice English for adults. ZOOM-friendly and designed for the online classroom, but also work great as printables!
ESL Discussion Worksheet: Saving Silence
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Personality Traits Speaking Activity
ESL Personality Matching Activity
Describe Your Personality Activity
Personality Traits Vocabulary Activity
Organize a Self-Help Workshop
ESL Discussion Worksheet:Jerusalem Syndrome
Adjectives and Prepositions Activity
Physical Descriptions Activity with AI
ESL Discussion Worksheet: Being a Good Listener
Giving Advice – Board Game
Online Friendly ESL Discussion Worksheet: Procrastination
Present Perfect Before and After Writing Activity
Present Perfect Time Expressions Game
Present Perfect Interview Questions
Talk about Fear ESL Game
Guess Who with Irregular Verbs
Irregular Biographical Verbs Activity
Icebreaker: How have I changed?
Online ESL Discussion Worksheet: The Harm of Positive Thinking
Let’s Talk About the Elderly
Appearance – 4 activities for Vocab practice
Online Friendly ESL Discussion: Lateness and Punctuality
Prove it! Time Expressions with People and Psychology
Online Friendly ESL Discussion Worksheet: Tips for Finding Inspiration
Online Friendly ESL Discussion Worksheet: Fear
Online Friendly ESL Discussion: Off the Grid on a Homemade Island
Talk About Your Memories
Talking About Failure: The Secret to Success?
Pet Peeve Prison: Advanced Gerund Phrases
Online Friendly ESL Discussion Worksheet: Making Predictions: Are You a Fox or a Hedgehog?
Generational Differences Conversation Activity Pack
True You Journal
8 Easy Ice Breakers For Your Personality Workshop
- Personality in the Workplace
Do you want to warm up your employees for a morning’s team building or personality workshop event? Then be sure to include some fun-and-inclusive ice breakers. Done properly, they are a terrific way to get people interested in the activity and relax before getting to the nitty-gritty of personality test results. They are also helpful for getting people to come to the party dressed as themselves and demonstrate the value of Myers and Briggs' personality typing to people who may be skeptical about it.
The following icebreakers are designed to reveal something about personality type in real and accessible ways. You can refer back to the activities later in the workshop so participants can examine their behavior in retrospect and see how it all fits together.
1. Picture This!
Pair up the participants. Ask one person to draw a basic picture, keeping the image secret from her partner. Then, have the artist describe the basic shapes of the picture – the other person has to draw it and see how close they get to the original picture. Have participants move around the room and repeat the exercise with as many drawing partners as time allows. Ask the artists to observe how they describe the picture. What words do they use (big picture overview or nitty-gritty details)? Is communication easier with some people than with others? Did they have to change the way they described the picture to get the message across?
2. The Artist Game
Here’s another art-inspired exercise that draws out a person’s thinking and communication style. Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil. In five minutes, they must draw a picture that represents who they are without using any words or numbers. The host collects the drawings and shows them to the workshop; participants must guess who drew each picture. After this, have the artist introduce himself and explain how the work symbolizes him. What words does he choose? How does he communicate with the group?
3. Story Time Game
The host starts a story by saying a sentence. It then goes in a circle, with each participant repeating the sentence that has just been said and then adding a new sentence onto the story. This exercise is good at exposing the differences in the Sensing and Intuitive thinking style. Sensors typically will continue the story in a linear fashion whereas Intuitives will play around with ideas, adding their own interpretations as to how each of the characters might think, act and feel. How do Sensors react if the story wanders off piste?
4. Kangaroo Court Game
Choose this ice-breaker if the purpose of the workshop is to improve team effectiveness. Participants should know each other and ideally, there should have been an incident that irritated members of the group. Referring to the incident, announce that you are holding a kangaroo court to try the guilty parties. Name the defendants. Select a judge, a prosecuting attorney and a lawyer for the defense. Swear in the jury. Write up formal charges and hold your trial in whatever way your participants choose.
As you observe, make a note of each participant’s approach to law and order. Do they see the ‘crime’ in black-and-white terms or is their approach more nuanced? Do they prefer punishment over forgiveness? What type of argument sways their opinion?
5. “I Agree” Poster
Make a poster containing several statements, assumptions or cliches about a topic relevant to your business. For example, you might riff on the topic of “successful leaders” who…
- Are tough and commanding
- Must know it all
- Nurture and develop others
- Are specialists in their field
- Are born, not made
- Are empathetic
- Must have a strong vision
- Are creative and innovative
- Require a formal title and position in the company
- Are ethical and values-driven.
Ask participants to vote on the statements they agree with. You can use the results to lead a discussion on the personality components of leadership, or refer to the results later in the workshop when discussing what each personality type requires from an effective manager.
6. The Dominant Hand
Give each participant a pen and paper and ask them to sign their name. Now, ask them to repeat the exercise using their non-dominant hand. Ask the participants, which hand felt more normal and natural? Is it possible to sign your name effectively using your non-dominant hand? What would happen if you were forced to write with this hand all the time? This simple exercise shows the power of preference and is a nice way of introducing personality theory.
7. The M&M House
This perennial workshop favorite is useful for illustrating the differences between the Perceiving and Judging types; it also works well as an icebreaker. Assuming you’ve assessed everyone’s type before the workshop (this is recommended), separate participants into three groups: one comprised of Judgers, one comprised of Perceivers, and a mixed group. Give each group 10-15 minutes to construct a two-dimensional house out of M&Ms.
When the time is up, have everyone discuss how the activity went. Did the group finish? If so, it’s likely a “J” group. Is the home color-coordinated? Also likely a “J” group. Are any of the homes particularly unusual? This group was probably comprised of “Ps.” This activity shows how differently we approach tasks. Did the mixed group leverage their differences to create a better result?
8. Planning a Party
Match up two participants, an Introvert and an Extravert, and ask them to plan a party for themselves (you can use small E and I groups for larger numbers of participants). The participants typically will approach this task in opposing ways. The Introvert will want a small, intimate and close-knit party. The Extravert will expect lots of action, excitement and entertainment. Introversion/extraversion is generally considered to be the easiest dichotomy to understand, so this is a great ice-breaker exercise for really drilling home the differences in type.
What these icebreakers have in common
Ice breaker exercises are a great way to showcase the differences between the 16 personality types. As participants engage in the exercises, walk around the room, make notes, and perhaps take some photographs. Notice that:
- Extraverts will talk about the exercise aloud while taking part, often dominating the conversation.
- Introverts may take a step back for some think time (or to cringe at the prospect of participating in an icebreaker exercise!)
- EF types will use the ice breaker as an excuse to get to know every person in the room.
- NTs might well become competitive.
- Judgers will want to complete the activity, even when you ask them to stop.
- ENP types might ignore the rules; or they will not listen properly when you give the instructions!
In conjunction with test results, these tidbits of observation are invaluable to support the points you are making in your workshop presentation. They can really bring personality to life!
Jayne Thompson Jayne is a B2B tech copywriter and the editorial director here at Truity. When she’s not writing to a deadline, she’s geeking out about personality psychology and conspiracy theories. Jayne is a true ambivert, barely an INTJ, and an Enneagram One. She lives with her husband and daughters in the UK. Find Jayne at White Rose Copywriting .
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- Emotional Intelligence
- Myers Briggs
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The Personality Factor That Can Make or Break You
Being open-minded has advantages, but new research shows its downside..
Posted August 26, 2023 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch
- Openness to experience is a trait central to understanding the basic factors of personality.
- New research on the components of openness suggests when being high in this trait can lead to trouble.
- By exposing yourself to new adventures, you take advantage of the "good" and avoid the "bad" of this trait.
Having an open mind may seem to grant you all kinds of advantages as you make your way through life. Rather than saying “no” to any kind of opportunity, as a closed-minded person might, letting in new ideas and opportunities should help you find new and previously hidden pathways to success.
Perhaps you’ve been offered a ticket from a neighbor to join them for a sporting event, one that holds zero interest to you. The ticket is free, and there’s really no cost involved in your coming along for the evening. After a little internal debate with yourself, you decide to accept. Fast forward to the game itself. Rather than finding it a complete bore and waste of time, you’ve actually had a lot of fun. Seeing the players in person rather than on a television screen made it exciting to watch, and the general atmosphere was more charged than you could’ve imagined. All in all, you’re glad you took your neighbor up on the offer.
People with a closed mind, in contrast, would have replied with a kind refusal, never giving themselves the chance to take in a new experience. They’dl miss out not only on new activities that turn out to be fun, but also remain constrained within their own little worlds.
The Openness to Experience Factor in Personality
When personality researchers embarked on the ambitious task of defining the entire scope of traits or dispositions within all people, they settled on five basic factors, forming the acronym “OCEAN” (or “CANOE”): Openness to Experience , Conscientiousness , Extraversion , Agreeableness and Neuroticism . Perhaps the least well understood of these now, some decades later, is Openness to Experience.
According to Lana Tucaković and Boban Nedeljković of the University of Belgrade (2023), “Openness to Experience is a broad and complex personality trait that describes individual differences in the tendency to be open to new and different experiences in multiple aspects of life.” One of the broadest components of personality, it’s difficult to study because “the trait encompasses divergent constructs” (p. 1).
It's not only the OCEAN or Five Factor Model (FFM) that incorporates personality openness but also the contrasting model known as HEXACO , or six factor (which adds "honesty-humility" to the mix). In both cases, the mystery in understanding personality openness comes from the fact that it involves both intellectual curiosity, if not ability, and a tendency to think outside the box. Someone high on openness might in general be able to take in a bunch of new ideas because they have larger cognitive capacity to organize and sort the information they encounter in their lives.
But the “think different” part of openness could potentially morph into what the Serbian authors call “disintegration,” or “distortions in cognition , emotions, and behavior” (p. 3). When this happens, you’re not just willing to try new things for the sake of mixing things up, but you’re also allowing your mind to wander into places that could cause you to lose touch with the what’s going on around you. If you’ve ever daydreamed yourself into a situation entirely different than the one you’re in, you know that it can be hard to reel your thoughts back in to that ongoing reality.
Testing Openness and Its Possible Pros and Cons
With this framework in mind, Tucaković and Nedeljković compiled a set of questionnaires to test on their online sample of 540 adults (ages 18 to 65). Using both the FFM and HEXACO instruments (translated into Serbian), the authors constructed a statistical model that included measures of schizotypy (tendency to have distorted experiences), Need for Cognition (the desire to know new things), subjective well-being, disintegration, and mania .
To give you a sense of the openness components in each model, here are sample questions:
- Imagination : love to daydream.
- Artistic interests: believe in the importance of art.
- Emotionality: experience my emotions intensely.
- Adventurousness: like to visit new places.
- Intellect: have a rich vocabulary.
- Liberalism: believe that there is no absolute right or wrong.
- Inquisitiveness: I enjoy looking at maps of different places.
- Unconventionality: I think of myself as a somewhat eccentric person.
- Aesthetic appreciation: I would be quite bored by a visit to an art gallery (reversed).
- Creativity : people have told me that I have a good imagination.
In keeping with the predictions of the study authors, overall openness scores in both models proved to have little relationship to the other potentially related qualities. However, digging into the individual domains produced important distinctions between the adaptive and less adaptive aspects of the trait.
Within the FFM, there was a “pure openness” subdomain related to higher levels of mania, and a “pure intellect” subdomain associated with higher levels of subjective well-being, lower tendencies toward schizotypy, and a higher need for cognition. The “pure openness” subdomain included the FFM scales of imagination, artistic interests, and emotionality and the “pure intellect” included adventurousness, intellect, and liberalism.
Among the pure intellect component of openness, it was adventurousness that proved to have higher correlations with subjective well-being, potentially due to “enjoyment in thinking, solving problems, and cognitive engagement." Similarly, from the standpoint of the HEXACO model, inquisitiveness showed positive relationships to well-being.
On the converse side, the Emotionality facet of FFM openness was positively related to mania, suggesting that individuals high in this quality are more likely to become excited, perhaps too much so. More generally, as noted by the authors, pure openness can be a risk factor for mood disorders but this can be minimized if a person is high in pure intellect. From the HEXACO standpoint, similarly, pure openness is related to the unconventionality facet, again suggesting that openness can become “too open” as a way to process experiences.
Taking Advantage of the Good of Openness, and Avoiding the Bad
As you can see from these findings, being adventurous has its benefits. Returning to the example of the sporting event you attended with your neighbor, it was definitely the right decision. Moving onto “pure intellect’s” other advantages, you might also promote your own development when you try new activities that can enhance your vocabulary or expand your appreciation of fine art
There are ample opportunities to expand your mind, whether in actual or virtual reality. Accepting invitations is certainly one route, but you can create your own “invitations” as well: Maybe a documentary shows up as a suggestion on your streaming service, and though you normally would never be interested in the topic, you decide to give it a try. There's one about a historical figure that catches your eye. To your pleasant surprise, you learned some fascinating new facts about both the person and the period that now lead you to pursue the topic in more depth. You’ve also got some new insights and ideas to talk about with your friends.
To sum up, the “right” kind of openness can open new worlds to you, both in in terms of your personality and in terms of your knowledge. The Serbian study shows that you can be too open for your own good, but not if you follow the pathway that can lead to expanding your mind.
Tucaković, L., & Nedeljković, B. (2023). Personality and affective correlates of openness to experience from Big Five and HEXACO personality models: The dual nature of Big Five openness. Journal of Personality Assessment, 105 (4), 544-554. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2022.2117047
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. , is a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment.
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5 Easy and Fun Activities for Kids to Develop their Personality
- Personality Development
Personality development in kids starts very early. Probably when they are three to five years old. It’s that stage when your child’s personality is emerging or beginning to get shaped. Also, this is the time when you can either enhance his traits or your ignorance may spoil his traits as well.
Using Art to develop Personality
Add music to their lives, public speaking is a must to develop personality, reading is the game changer, smartly engage them in different chores, parting words.
You as a parent play a very important role in personality development in kids.
Your child’s personality is unique from the day he was born. However, when the child grows up then special attention is needed to develop his personality to the maximum.
Given below are few easy and fun activities which can stimulate personality development in your child.
Art is many times a great expression of our feelings. When you can’t say something in words, you can surely art in down to the world. Your child’s personality develops a lot when he draws to express what is there in his heart.
A child’s imaginative power is better than any adult. It is a blessing to them that they can imagine the wildest thing out there. When they draw their imaginations on paper then it simply reflects their personalities.
Also, continuous practicing of the same can enhance their personalities. Later on they may develop interest in the same and then you can exclusively focus on their skills improvement. Remember many of the great artists of all time have got their interests stuck in their skills since their childhood only.
Music simply heals the soul doesn’t it? And when it comes to a child then learning music can help the child with enhanced spatial reasoning. Learning music can be a wonderful hobby for your child and it will simply increase his grasping abilities too.
Your child can start with this activity as early as their early childhood i.e. in the age of three to five years. There are various instruments to learn and also they can go for learning singing as well. Your child can actually pick from vast variety of instruments and decide the one which they want to learn the most.
You may also take help of some classes to help your child learn the music instruments and singing too.
The utmost importance of public speaking these days cannot be overemphasized. Public speaking is truly a must have kind of a skill in the present scenarios. This skill helps to finely carve the personality of an individual.
Your child should be trained for speaking in front of the crowd actually well and that too from the very beginning. Whenever you see that there is a chance to do so ask your child to take up the chance. These skills do not come overnight but they need practice of years.
You can simply utilise the little- little moments which comes in your child’s way. For example, you can ask your child to host some party at home or their friend’s or sibling’s birthday parties too. Also, you can motivate your child to participate enthusiastically in all the events of school.
The fear of stage and crowd should be eliminated at the earliest. The coming times belongs to leaders and leaders simply do not fear crowd or stage.
You know, “Once a reader, always a reader.” Reading is one of the finest hobby your child can invest his time in. Good reading habits stay forever.
This will not only make up most of the time of your little one but also help him in the later stages of his life. Reading always fills up our minds with positivity and hope. It leaves no space for bad vibes.
This hobby can also be embedded in your child’s daily routine from the very beginning itself. You can pick from age specific categories of books. No wonder there are many of them. These books can help increase your child’s concentrating power and fix his focus a lot.
Many more advantages of reading daily can be listed as better vocabulary building, better comprehension skills and improved communication skills.
It is very essential to engage your child in different chores including house chores too. The personality of your child should be such that he is capable of managing all the tasks himself and is not dependent of anyone. For this, you are the one who has to teach all the tasks to your child at first.
However, it is very obvious that your child is not going to obey the orders of doing some work. But you can smartly make the child learn these tasks while playing. After all, you are dealing with a kid.
For example, your child loves strawberry flavoured ice- cream then you can simply ask the child to clean his room with a promise of getting strawberry ice – cream in return. You can also allot points of doing household tasks and give something in return. Like five points for doing his own dishes and ten points for arranging his clothes in the wardrobe.
However, don’t make this a always habit. Otherwise, your child won’t do anything without a return gift. This may turn your personality development in kids game against you. So use the trick in limited amount of times.
The level of parental involvement in their children’s day-to-day activities has a significant impact on their personality development. Healthy way of parenting has a pre-requisite of parents being engaged with the kids. It simply help the parents in raising responsible individuals.
We really hope that you enjoyed reading the blog about personality development in kids. Also, there are various classes that are provided by podium school to enhance the skills of your child. Many of them include the skills that are being mentioned above. You can surely visit podium school once to checkout them all.
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