Individual Differences | Individual Differences types | Role of Individual Differences | Definitions of individual differences | Skip to main content
Sxce Psychology Don

Featured post


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLASSICAL AND OPERANT CONDITIONING Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning 1.   The learner is not independent in this type of learning. 2.   Classical conditioning is restricted to animal learning only. 3.   Stimulus oriented. 4.  Learning through stimulus substitution.             5.   Behaviour is elicited. 6.   Reinforcement comes before the act. 7.   Response is forced. 8.   Developed by Russian (Pavlov) experiment. 1.   The learner is independent in this type of learning. 2.   Operant conditioning may be useful for the purpose of human learning also. 3.   Response oriented. 4.   Learning through response modification. 5.   Behaviour is emitted. 6.   Reinforcement comes after the act. 7.   Response is voluntary. 8.   Developed by American (Skinner) experiment   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Individual Differences | Individual Differences types | Role of Individual Differences | Definitions of individual differences |


Individual Differences

            The Psychology of individual differences is largely the study of group differences. This study classifies individuals by age, traits, sex, race, social class and so on, and observes the differences within and between those groups. Physical, mental, social, cultural differences etc. are being studied under individual differences.

Definition of Individual Differences

            C.V. Good - The variation or deviation among individual in regard to a single characteristics or a number of characteristics, those differences which in their totality distingnish one individual from another.
Bases of Individual Differences / Types
Freeman has pointed out that some of the major bases of Individual Differences

1. Physical: Physical differences are so obvious to the naked eye that they hardly need mention.

2. Mental: Intelligence tests have conclusively established that children differ in respect of their intelligence, their mental level.

3. Interest: Girls and boys are found differing from each other in their interest; similarly, among boys also we find differences in interests, as is the case with girls.

4. Learning: Every teacher, and every parent, knows that some children learn quickly while other learns slowly.

5. Personality: Two individuals possessing similar or even nearly identical abilities may differ in respect of their behaviour.

6. Aptitude and achievement: Children differ in their aptitudes and intelligence. Some children are very intelligent and possess great capacity for acquiring knowledge, while others are just the reverse, so they differ in their achievement.

7. Temperament: Some children appear invariable cheerful while others, seem irritable and quarrelsome. Boys and girls also differ from each other in their temperament, which changes along with their age.

8. Spatial abilities and disabilities: There are very few children possessing identical abilities in every sphere.

9. Differences in character: Every individual possess a different type of character. Some are good and some are of bad character. Some are generous and some are cruel.

10. Difference in daily achievement: Every individual differs in his achievement. Some to learn early and some late. Individuals are also differing in utilizing the achieved skill in their daily life.

11. Difference in habits: There are much differences found in the habits of individuals. Some are cooperative and some are selfish. Habit is an acquired pre-disposition to ways or modes of response, not to a particular act excepts as under special conditions, these latter express a way of behaving.
Determinants of Individual Differences
Many causes are responsible for individual differences.
1. Heredity: 
Some psychologists propound the theory that the main cause of individual differences is heredity because man obtains his physical and mental characteristics from his heredity. If the father is corrupt and feebleminded, his son is very likely to be the same because, as the saying goes, a cat gives birth to kittens.

2. Environment: 
Environment has a very profound influence upon individual differences. It has an important impact upon deterring the individual’s height, complexion, stature, behaviour and beliefs.

3. Influence of caste, race and nation:
Among the causes of individual differences is the influence of caste, race and nation, since these formulate the individual’s beliefs and modes of thought.

4. Sex:  
Men and women, in fact, all male and female creatures differ from each other in their body structure, but apart from this, men and women differ markedly in their intelligence, capacity for work, and modes of thought.

Role of Individual Differences in Education
  Limited size of the class
  Proper division of the class
  Home task
  Factor of sex
  Methods of Teaching
  Educational Guidance
  Vocational Guidance
  Individual Training

Notes By

Dr. A. Michael J Leo
Psychology Professor
St. Xavier's College of Education