Variations in Psychological Attributes Notes

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Variations in Psychological Attributes Notes

Psychology deals with the study of the mind and behavior. Psychology is an interesting subject and more students are opting for psychology courses abroad and subject in CBSE or other school boards in India. This blog will explore in-depth variations that are found in the psychological attributes of human beings and variations in psychological attributes notes which will without any doubt ensure utmost clarity.

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Individual Differences in Human Functioning

The first topic of variations in psychological attributes notes is individual differences in human functioning. The world around us is diverse and has a lot of variations. The physical attributes vary among individuals with respect to height, weight, etc. The personal attributes of individuals show variation like some people around us are motivated. Some are demotivated while some are dull and some are intelligent. The distinctiveness and variations found in the personality of people are called individual differences. Situationism talks about the impact of situations on our personality and according to it, personality is a result of both internal and external factors.

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Assessment of Psychological Attributes

Psychological assessment is done to understand and evaluate various qualities, attributes, behavioral patterns of an individual by the use of systematic and standardized ways of testing. The 5 main domains of Psychological Assessment are explained in variations in psychological attributes notes:

  • Intelligence is defined as an individual’s capacity to understand the world, and the ability to make the best use of whatever a person has.
  • Aptitude is defined as an individual’s potential and capability to learn and acquire skills and aptitude tests give us a clear picture of what a person is capable of doing.
  • Interest refers to the preference of an individual in what kind of activity he/she would like to engage in himself/herself and that is relative to others.
  • Personality refers to relatively enduring characteristics of a person that make him/her distinct from others
  • Values are enduring beliefs about an ideal mode of behavior 

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Assessment Methods

Different tests and interviews are conducted as a medium of the assessment method. Several methods other methods for psychological assessment are mentioned in variations in psychological attributes notes:

  1. Psychological Test is an objective and a standardized way of measuring and evaluating a person’s psychological attributes like intelligence, values, and these tests are conducted for various purposes like career assessment, Placement Of Students, etc
  2. An interview is a purposeful activity conducted to derive information from a person on a particular subject on one basis
  3. Observation is a powerful and effective method of psychological inquiry for understanding particular phenomena occurring in real-time
  4. A case study is an in-depth study of a particular case/subject. It can be of great help in developing a clear understanding of the feelings, emotions, beliefs, mindset of a person
  5. Self Report is a method in which an individual provides information about himself/herself, beliefs, opinions, etc

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Alfred Binet defined intelligence as the ability to judge well, understand well, and reason well. Wechsler denied intelligence as the global and aggregate capacity of an individual to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with his/her environment. Check out the various theories of intelligence:

Theories of Intelligence

Psychometric Approach– It considers intelligence as an aggregate of abilities. It expresses the individual’s performance in terms of a single index of cognitive abilities. Various theories of intelligence based on this approach are as follows:

Theory of Primary Mental Abilities

  • This theory was proposed by Louis Turnstone
  • This model of intelligence comprises 7 primary mental abilities
  • Verbal comprehension-understanding meaning of words, concepts
  • Numerical ability- accuracy in solving numerical
  • Spatial ability- understand images and patterns
  • Perceptual speed- perceiving information
  • Memory-learning and recalling information
  • Inductive reasoning- Based on facts to derive results
  • Word fluency-speaking words fluently
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Unifactor Theory of Intelligence

It was proposed by the psychologist Alfred Binet who was the first psychologist who coined the term intelligence. As per this theory, there is a particular set of abilities likeability to judge, reason, and understand well and on the basis of its differentiation between less intelligent and more intelligent individuals.

Two-Factor Theory

  • The psychometric argument for intelligence as a general ability was first advanced by British Psychologist Charles Spearman
  • Intellectual performance is partially determined by the General Intelligence/G factor and partly by specific abilities
  • G-Factor-Existence of broad mental capacity that influences performance on cognitive mental abilities
  • S-Factor –Ability to excel in certain areas or specific Intelligence.

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Arthur Jensen’s Model of Intelligence

It was proposed by Arthur Jensen. This model of intelligence is conceptualized in two levels:

  1. Level 1 is about associative learning and here output is more or less similar to the input. For Example- rote learning
  2. Level 2 primarily focuses on Higher Order Thinking Skills. For example- Creative Learning

Structure Of Intellect Model

It was proposed by J.P. Guilford. Three main aspects of intelligence are classified as follows:

  1. Contents refer to the material which the respondent has to learn and grasp. For Example – information about people’s behavior, semantic Words, etc
  2. Operations refer to performing cognitive tasks like knowing, understanding, memorizing in order to learn the contents which have been chosen to learn
  3. Product is the form in which information is processed. For example- classification of the information which we have learned

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Information Processing Approach 

It describes the processes people use in intellectual reasoning and problem solving and its major focus is on how an intellectual person acts. Some of the theories based on the Information processing approach are described as follows:

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence

Variations in psychological attributes notes also include the Triarchic theory of intelligence. It was proposed by Robert Sternberg. It focuses on both the psychological processes that underlie intelligent behavior and the diverse forms that intelligence can take. The three types of intelligence:

  1. Componential Intelligence is defined as the ability to think analytically and critically to solve problems. It has three components. First is Knowledge Acquisition Component is responsible for learning and acquisition of the ways of doing things. Meta component involves planning what to do and how to do it. Performance Component involves actually doing things
  2. Contextual Intelligence includes those skills which are needed to cope up with everyday demands and manage oneself and other people effectively
  3. Experiential Intelligence comprises the mental skills which are needed to deal with novel problems in an effective manner
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Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Moving on in variations in psychological attributes notes is Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence.Traditionally, intelligence has been defined as mental competence but as per Gardner’s point of view, this approach is narrow as it fails to include a broad range of human capabilities and adaptations. As per Gardner, there are 8 distinct varieties of adaptive abilities:

  • Linguistic Intelligence – It refers to the ability of a person to use words and language well to express one’s point of view. For example – writers, poets
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence – Ability to reason well mathematically as well as logically and have a high mathematical aptitude and scientific temper. For example, mathematicians, scientists
  • Spatial Intelligence- It refers to the ability to solve spatial problems well and can easily present the spatial world easily in the mind. For Example- Sailors, Architects
  • Musical Intelligence- The ability to perceive pitch and rhythm and to understand and produce music. For Example – Music Composers
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence- The ability to control body movements and skillfully and flexibly move their body. For example- Dancers, Athletes
  • Interpersonal Intelligence- Ability to understand and relate well to others by seeing their point of view, opinions, etc. For example – Counsellors, Politicians
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence- The ability to understand oneself well and being skilled in self-awareness. For example- Spiritual Gurus
  • Naturalistic Intelligence- It is the ability to detect and understand phenomena in the natural world. For example- Zoologist, Travellers
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PASS Model of Intelligence

  • It was proposed by J.P. Das, Kirby, Jack Negleiri in 1994
  • Intelligence is an interdependent function of those neurological brain units responsible for planning, attention, and simultaneous and successive processing
  • Attention is basic to all humans and important stimuli grab our attention. The optimum level of attention helps us to focus well on important aspects of a task
  • Simultaneous Processing is about establishing relationships between different topics in order to come up with something unique and meaningful whereas successive processing is about remembering information properly in a serial order
  • After the information has been attended and processed focus on planning is done which helps in devising a course of action, implement them and evaluate results
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Nature v/s Nurture 

  1. Nature signifies the genetic factors/heredity which plays a crucial role in shaping the personality and intelligence of an individual
  2. Nurture signifies the environmental factors which like nature shape up the intelligence and personality of an individual
  3. Genetic factors play an important role in determining what kind of environment people select for themselves
  4.    With respect to the role of the environment, children from disadvantaged homes adopted into families who have higher socio-economic status exhibit a larger increase in their intelligence scores as rich nutrition, quality schooling, provision of relevant facilities help in increasing their IQ
  5.   It is a popular perception of psychologists that intelligence is the product of nature and nurture

Assessment of Intelligence

Assessment of intelligence means proper understanding and evaluation of the intelligence of a person. The intelligence of a person is assessed with the help of Intelligence Quotient(IQ) which was first proposed by William Stern in 1912.

  • IQ is defined as mental age upon chronological age multiplied by 100
    IQ= MA/CA*100
  • If mental age is higher than chronological age then the person has high intelligence and vice-versa.

Variations of Intelligence

Intellectual Deficiency- Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period- American Association On Mental Deficiency(AAMD). There are further four types. Let us explore this variation in Psychological notes:

  • Mild Retardation(IQ 55-69) is Marked by slow development as compared to peers, requires mild care, and can hold families, jobs, etc
  • Moderate Retardation(IQ 40-54).People with moderate retardation require moderate supervision and face difficulty in language and motor skills
  • People with Severe Retardation(IQ 25-39) and Profound Retardation(IQ Below 25) require constant care and supervision throughout their life and they can’t live independently in their life

Intellectual Giftedness – In variations in psychological attributes notes next is intellectual giftedness. It was first thoroughly examined by Lewis Terman in 1925 by conducting a case study on 1500 children with IQ above 130 to examine the role of intelligence in all areas of life. Giftedness means the exceptional ability of an individual to perform well in a wide variety of areas and it is often confused with Talent. Talent and Giftedness are separate as talent means remarkable ability in a specific field like sports, academics, etc. Giftedness broadly includes 3 main characteristics-

  1. High Creativity
  2. High Ability
  3. High Commitment
  • Signs of giftedness during childhood are:
  1. Exceptional Concentration
  2. Preference for Novelty
  3. Large Attention Span
  4. Good Memory
  • Important features of Giftedness:
  1. Exceptional Rational Thinking and Problem Solving.
  2. High Motivation.
  3. High Self-esteem.
  4. Independent and Non-Conformist thinking.

Types of Intelligence Tests

  1. On the basis of Administration Procedure
  • Individual tests are administered on a single individual and the test administrator is required to adjust with feelings, the mood of the subject
  • Group tests are administered on a group of individuals and it is not necessary for the test administrator to adjust to the mood of the subjects
  1. On the basis of the nature of items used
  • Verbal Test – The subject is required to give responses either oral or written.
  • Non-Verbal Test- Requires use of pictures as test items. For example, Raven’s Progressive Matrices(RPM)
  • Performance Test- Requires movement of objects/materials. For example, block activity
  1. On the basis of Culture
  • Culture fair tests are culturally appropriate and are suitable to test the intelligence of all types of cultures
  • Culture Biased Tests are not culturally appropriate and it is not suitable to test the intelligence of all types of cultures

Culture and Intelligence

  1. Culture is a collective system of ideas, opinions, attitudes which is observed among a wide number of people
  2. An important aspect of intelligence is that it helps people in adapting to their environment and thus, makes them dynamic
  3. As per the Russian Psychologist Vygotsky, culture provides a social context in which people learn, live, and grow
  4. In technologically advanced societies children are fostered with skills of Generalisation, abstraction and this can be included under technological intelligence in which attention is mainly given to cognitive processes like attention, memory, observation, etc
  5. In the Indian context, intelligence is evaluated on holistic grounds and attention is given to both cognitive and non-cognitive processes and their integration as well
  6. Intelligence in the Indian Context is defined in a broad way and is called buddhi
  7. 4 facets of integral intelligence are as follows-
  • Cognitive competence includes a cognitive ability and skills like decision-making, analysis, etc
  • Social competence includes social skills like communication skills, empathy, cooperation.
  • Emotional Competence focuses on self-regulation and having a regular check on one’s emotions and thoughts.
  • Entrepreneurial Competence includes qualities like commitment, dedication, determination, perseverance, etc

Emotional Intelligence 

This concept of emotional intelligence was first introduced by Salovey and Mayer. Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that underlie accurate appraisal, expression, and regulation of emotions. It is expressed in terms of EQ(Emotional Quotient).


Aptitude is defined as an individual’s potential and capability to learn and acquire skills and aptitude tests give us a clear picture of what a person is capable of doing. The aptitude of an individual is measured with the help of aptitude tests which are of two types:

  • Independent (Specialized) aptitude tests include Typing Aptitude test, numerical aptitude test, etc
  • Multiple (Generalized) aptitude tests include differential aptitude tests battery, general aptitude test battery which measures intelligence in separate yet homogeneous areas

Relationship Between Creativity and Intelligence

Creativity refers to the ability of a person to think and ponder upon novel and innovative solutions to the given problem and divergent thinking which refers to thinking in a broad and open-minded manner is a crucial part of creativity. For example- if a student who is intelligent and academically bright doesn’t mean that he/she will possess creative ability like an artist or writer and vice-versa is true as well that if a person has the creative ability like that of an artist or writer that doesn’t mean that he/she will be academically bright. 

Creative fields like filmmaking do require both intelligence and creativity for better problem solving and decision-making. For example- a writer or a filmmaker must have some intelligence to understand the field and what kind of content is required in the modern era and creativity along with that helps them to come up with something unique and out-of-the-box.

 In a nutshell, we can say that creativity focuses on being open-minded whereas intelligence mainly involves coming up with the correct solution to the issue. Some of the famous psychologists who have developed creativity tests are Guilford, Torrance, etc.

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Variations in Psychological Attributes Class 12 NCERT Solutions

How do psychologists characterize and define intelligence?

Alfred Binet defined intelligence as the ability to judge well, understand well, and reason well whereas Wechsler denied intelligence as the global and aggregate capacity of an individual to think rationally, act purposefully, and deal effectively with his/her environment.

Explain briefly the multiple intelligences identified by Gardner.

Multiple intelligences identified by Gardner are Linguistic Intelligence, Bodily Kinaesthetic Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, etc.

How is creativity related to intelligence?

Creative fields like filmmaking do require both intelligence and creativity for better problem solving and decision-making.


What are the psychological attributes?

Psychological traits are separate from physical things with specific locations in the brain and relate to the mental equilibrium of people immersed in their social interactions as robust attractors inside complicated dynamic processes with emergent qualities.

What are the five domains of psychological attributes?

Mental and Physical Health
Social and Personality

What do you mean by assessment of psychological attributes?

Assessment: This phrase refers to the assessment of psychological characteristics of people and their evaluation, frequently employing a number of approaches in relation to benchmarks for comparison. Formal evaluation is organised, objective, and standardised.

What is psychological variation?

the existence of qualitative distinctions in shape, structure, behaviour, and physiology among members of a community, whether resulting from environment or inheritance.

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