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Lycoming College psychology professor Dr.
Kathryn M. Ryan presented It’s Just
Personality, a talk on personality traits, on Wednesday, April 3 in the College
library archives. The presentation was given to the local chapter of the
National Organization for Women as well as students, faculty, staff and the
her presentation, Ryan discussed her 2011-12 sabbatical research on
contemporary personality theory and research. Her talk incorporated the history
of research and the importance of psychometrics – or reliability and validity –
to the field of personality theory. Her talk focused on three specific traits: superconfident,
frequently anxious and outgoing personalities, of which she drew character
sketches for her audience.
talk also included the announcement of the book she is writing based on her
research and these three personality traits. Ryan stated that personality is a
growing area of research and psychology is now focusing more on “abnormal” and
“brain” psychology, where she would like to focus on the normal, individual
differences that create a unique personality.
traits are influenced by learning and experience, as well as temperament,” Ryan
said. “Many traits also change over time. I believe that people could get along
better if they understood their own and others’ personalities. I am writing the
book because books in the popular press are not representative of the field.”
also a professor of women’s and gender studies, earned her Ph.D. in personality
and social psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Much of her research has
focused on relationships and aggression, including a focus on sexual and
physical aggression, playful aggression and how people define relationship
violence. She is a board member of the Eastern Colleges Science Conference.
College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated
to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic
program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful
student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a
Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located
near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one
of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit