Introduction to Variations in Psychological Attributes
People differ from one another is obvious. We also need to know how people differ, what brings about these differences, and how such differences can be assessed. The main concerns of modern psychology has been the study of individual differences from the time of Galton. One of the most popular psychological attributes which has been of interest to psychologists is Intelligence. People differ from each other in their ability to understand complex ideas, adapt to environment, learn from experience, engage in various forms of reasoning and to overcome obstacles.
Individual Differences in Human Functioning
Individual variations are common in all species and this variation add colour and beauty to nature. According to psychologists, individual differences refers to distinctiveness and variations among people’s characteristics and behaviour patterns.
Many psychologists believe that our behaviours are influenced by our personal traits. They vary in terms of physical characteristics (such as height, weight, strength, hair, colour etc) and psychological dimensions (such as intelligent or dull, dominant or submissive, creative or not so creative, out going or withdrawn). Every individual is a typical combination of various traits and different traits exist in varying degrees in an individual.
Psychologists believed that our behaviours are influenced more by situational factors which is known as situationism. Situationism states that situations and circumstances in which a person is placed influence that person’s behaviour. For example, a person, who is generally aggressive, may behave in submissive manner in the presence of her/his top boss.
Sometimes, the situational influences are so powerful that individuals with differing personality traits respond to the situations in almost the same way. The situationist perspective views human behaviour as resulting from interaction of external and internal factors.
Assessment of Psychological Attributes
Assessment refers to the measurement of psychological attributes of individuals and their evaluation by using multiple methods in terms of certain standards of comparison. Assessment is the first step in understanding a psychological attribute.
Assessment may be formal and informal. Formal assessment is objective, standardised and organised. Whereas, informal assessment varies from case to case and from one assessor to another. Due to this variation, it is open to subjective interpretations. Psychologists are trained in making formal assessment of psychological attributes. The attribute chosen for assessment depends upon our purpose. For example, to help a weak student to perform well in examinations, we may assess her/his intellectual strengths and weaknesses.
In same way, if a person fails to adjust with members of her/his family, we may consider assessing his/her personality characteristics. Therefore, psychological assessment was a systematic testing procedure to evaluate abilities, behaviours and personal qualities of individuals.
Some Domains of Psychological Attributes
Psychological attributes are complex and expressed in terms of dimensions. They are usually multi-dimensional. For complete assessment of a person, we need to assess how she/he functions in various domains or areas, such as cognitive, emotional, social, etc. Psychological attributes are multi-dimensional. If we want to have a complex assessment of a person, we will need to assess how he functions in various areas like cognitive, emotional , social etc.
However, following are some of the important attributes which are categorized on the basis of varieties of tests used in psychological literature.
It is the global capacity to understand the world, think rationally and use available resources efficiently when faced with challenges. Intelligence tests provide a global measure of a person’s general cognitive competence (awareness) including the ability to learn from schooling. For example, generally, students having low intelligence are not likely to do so well in school-related examinations, but their success in life is not associated only with their intelligence test scores.
It is an individual’s underlying potential for acquiring skills. Aptitude tests are used to predict the ability of an individual by giving proper environment and training. For example, a person with high mechanical aptitude can profit from appropriate training and can do well as an engineer. Similarly, a person having high language aptitude can be trained to be a good writer.
It is an individual’s preference for engaging in one or more specific activities relative to others. Assessment of interests of students may help to decide what subjects or courses they can pursue comfortably and with pleasure. Knowledge of interest helps us in making choices that promote life satisfaction and performance on jobs.
It refers to relatively enduring characteristics of a person that make her or him different from others. Personality test try to assess an individual’s unique characteristics. For example, whether one is dominant or submissive, outgoing or withdrawn, moody or emotionally stable, etc. Personality assessment helps us to explain an individual’s behaviour and predict how she/he will behave in future.
These are the constant beliefs about an ideal mode of behaviour. Value sets a standard for guiding actions in life and also for judging others. In value assessment, we try to determine the dominant values of a person (e.g. political, religious, social and economical).
Methods used for Psychological Assessment
Various methods are used for psychological assessment. Following are the key features of these methods:
1. Psychological Test
It is an objective and standardised measure of an individual’s mental and behavioural characteristics. Objective tests have been developed to measure all the dimensions of psychological attributes (e.g. intelligence, aptitude, etc.) These tests are widely used for the purpose of clinical diagnosis, guidance, personal selection, placement and training.
It involves seeking information from a person on one to one basis. It can be seen where an employer selects employees for his organisation or a journalist interviews important people on issues of national and international importance.
3. Case Study
It is an in-depth study of the individual in terms of her/his psychological attributes and psychological history in the context of her/his psychological and physical environment. Case studies are widely used by clinical psychologists.
Case analysis of the lives of great people can also be highly illuminating for those willing to learn from their life experiences. Case studies are based on data generated by different methods. For example, interviews, observation, questionnaire, psychological tests, etc.
It involves employing systematic, organised and objective procedures to record behavioural phenomena occurring naturally in real time. Certain phenomena such as mother-child interactions can be easily studied through observation. The major problems with observational methods are that the observer has little control over the situation and the reports may suffer from subjective interpretations of the observer.
It is a method in which a person provides factual information about herself/himself and/or opinions, beliefs, etc. that she/he holds. Such information may be obtained by using an interview schedule or a questionnaire, a psychological test or a personal diary.
Intelligence is a key construct employed to know how individuals differ from one another. It also provides an understanding of how people adapt their behaviour according to the environment they live in.
According to Oxford Dictionary, “intelligence is the power of perceiving, learning, understanding and knowing”. Psychological notion of intelligence is different from the common sensical (meaningful) notion of intelligence. Intelligent person has attributes like mental alertness, ready wit, quickness in learning and ability to understand relationships.
Psychologists’ View about Intelligence
- Alfred Binet was one of the first psychologists who worked on intelligence. He defined intelligence as the ability to judge well, understand well and reason well.
- Wechsler understood intelligence in terms of its functionality i.e. its value for adaption to environment. Intelligence test of Wechsler are most widely used. He defined intelligence as the global and aggregate capacity of an individual to think rationally, act purposefully and to deal effectively with her/his environment.
- Gardner and Sternberg have suggested that an intelligent individual not only adapts to the environment, but also actively modifies or shapes it.
Theories/Approaches of Intelligence
Several theories and approaches have been proposed by psychologists which can be broadly classified as either representing a psychometric /structural approach or an information-processing approach.
It considers intelligence as an aggregate of abilities. It expresses the individual’s performance in terms of a single index of cognitive abilities.
It describes the processes that people use in intellectual reasoning and problem solving. The major focus of this approach is on how an intelligent person acts. Information-processing approaches emphasise on studying cognitive functions underlying intelligent behaviour rather than focusing on structure of intelligence.
Uni or One Factor Theory
Alfred Binet was the first psychologist who tried to formalise the concept of intelligence in terms of mental operations. Prior to him, we find the notion of intelligence described in general ways in various philosophical treatise available in different cultural traditions.
Binet’s theory of intelligence was rather simple as it arose from his interest in differentiating more intelligent from less intelligent individuals. Alfred Binet conceptualised intelligence as consisting of one similar sets of abilities which can be used for solving any or every problem in an individual’s environment. This theory is known as uni or one factor theory of intelligence. This theory came to be disputed when psychologists started analysing data of individuals, which was collected using Binet’s test.
In 1927, Charles Spearman proposed this theory employing a statistical method called factor analysis. He showed that intelligence consisted of a general factor (g-factor) and some specific facts (s-factors).
G-factor includes mental operations which are primary and common to all performances. S-factors includes some specific abilities which are present in some people in addition to g-factor. For example, excellent singers, architects, scientists and athletes etc. have both ‘G’ factors and ‘S’ factors. These specific abilities or S factors allow them to excell in their respective domains.
Theory of Primary Mental Abilities
Louis Thurnstone proposed theory of primary mental abilities. It states that intelligence consists of seven primary abilities, each of which is relatively independent of the others. These primary abilities are :
(i) Verbal Comprehension (grasping meaning of words, concepts, and ideas).
(ii) Numerical Abilities (speed and accuracy in numerical and computational skills).
(iii) Spatial Relations (visualising patterns and forms).
(iv) Perceptual Speed (speed in perceiving details).
(v) Word Fluency (using words fluently and flexibly).
(vi) Memory (accuracy in recalling information).
(vii) Inductive Reasoning (deriving general rules from presented facts).
Under the theory of primary mental abilities, two models were proposed i.e. Hierarchical Model and Intellectual Model by Arthur Jensen and JP Guilford, respectively.
1. Hierarchical Model of Intelligence : This model was proposed by Arthur Jensen. It consist of abilities operating at two level i.e. Level I and Level II:
(i) Level I is the associative learning in which output is more or less similar to the input (e.g. rote learning and memory).
(ii) Level II, called cognitive competence involves higher-order skills, as they transform the input to produce an effective output.
2. Structure of Intellectual Model : JP Guildford proposed this model which classifies intellectual traits among three dimensions:
(i) Operations : These include cognition, memory recording, memory retention, divergent production, convergent production and evaluation.
(ii) Contents : These refer to the nature of materials or information on which intellectual operations are performed. These include visual, auditory, symbolic (e.g. letters, numbers), semantic (e.g. words) and behavioural (e.g. information about people’s behaviour, attitudes, needs, etc.)
(iii) Products : These refer to the form in which information is processed by the respondent. Products are classified into units, classes, relations, systems, transformations and implications.
Since this classification (Guildford, 1988) included 6x5x6 categories, therefore, the model has 180 cells. Each cell is expected to have at least one factor in ability; some cells may have more than one factor.
Each factor is described in terms of all three dimension. The above mentioned theories are representations of psychometric approach to understand intelligent behaviour.
Theory of Multiple Intelligence
1. Linguistic (Skills involved in the Production and Use of Language)
It is the capacity to use language fluently and flexibly to express one’s thinking and understand others. Linguists are persons included in this type of intelligence. They are ‘word-smart’ which means they are sensitive to different shades of words meanings, are articulate and can create linguistic images in their mind. Poets and writers are very strong in this component of intelligence.
2. Logical-Mathematical (Skill in Scientific Thinking and Problem Solving)
Persons included in this type of intelligence can think logically and critically. They engage in abstract reasoning and can manipulate symbols to solve mathematical problems. Scientists and Nobel Prize winners are likely to be strong in this component.
3. Spatial (Skill in Forming Visual Images and Patterns)
It refers to the abilities involved in forming, using and transforming mental images. The person included in this intelligence can easily represent the spatial world in the mind.
Pilots, sailors, sculptors, painters, architects, interior decorators and surgeons are likely to have highly developed spatial intelligence.
4. Musical (Sensitivity to Musical Rhythms and Patterns)
It is the capacity to produce, create and manipulate musical patterns. Persons included in this type of intelligence are very sensitive to sounds and vibrations and in creating new patterns of sounds.
5. Bodily-Kinaesthetic (Using Whole or Portions of the Body Flexibly and Creatively)
This consists the use of the whole body or portions of it for display or construction of products and problem solving. Athletes, dancers, actors, sportspersons, gymnasts and surgeons are likely to have such kind of intelligence.
6. Interpersonal (Sensitivity to Subtle Aspects of Other’s Behaviours)
It is the skill of understanding the motives, feelings and behaviours of other people so as to bond into a comfortable relationship with others. Psychologists, counsellors, politicians , social workers and religious leaders are likely to possess high interpersonal intelligence.
7. Intrapersonal (Awareness of One’s own Feelings, Motives and Desires)
It refers to the knowledge of one’s internal strengths and limitations and using that knowledge to effectively relate to others. Persons included in this type of intelligence have finer sensibilities regarding their identity, human existence and meaning of life. Philosophers and spiritual leaders present examples of this type of intelligence.
8. Naturalistic (Sensitivity to the Features of the Natural World)
This involves complete awareness of our relationship with the natural world. It is useful in recognising the beauty of different species of flora and fauna and making indefinite discriminations in the natural world. Hunters, farmers, tourists, zoologists, botanists and bird watches, etc possess more of naturalistic intelligence.
Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
This theory was proposed by Robert Sternberg in 1985. He views intelligence as “the ability to adapt, to shape and select environment to accomplish one’s goals and those of one’s society and culture”.
According to this theory, there are three basic types of intelligence i.e. componential, experiential and contextual:
1. Componential Intelligence/ Analytical Intelligence
It has three components:
(i) Knowledge Acquisition :It is responsible for learning and acquisition of the ways of doing things.
(ii) Meta or Higher Order Component : It involves planning and concerning what to do and how to do it.
(iii) Performance Component : It involves actually doing things.
2. Experiential/ Creative Intelligence
It is involved in using past experiences creatively to solve novel problems. It is an ability to integrate different experiences in an original way to make new discoveries and inventions. Persons included in this types of intelligence quickly find out which information is crucial in a given situation.
3. Contextual/Practical Intelligence
It is the ability to deal with environmental demands encountered on a daily basis. It may be called street smartness or business sense. Persons included in this type of intelligence easily adapt to their present environment or select a more favourable environment than the existing one and modify the environment to fit their needs. Therefore, they turn out to be successful in life.
Planning, Attention-Arousal and Simultaneous-Successive (PASS) Model of Intelligence
This model was given by JP Das, Jack Naglieri and Kirby in 1994. According to this model, intellectual activity involves the interdependent functioning of three neurological systems, called functional units of brains. These PASS processes operate on a knowledge base developed either formally (by reading, writing and experimenting) or informally from the environment. These processes are interactive and dynamic in nature yet each has its own distinctive functions.
State of arousal is basic to any behaviour as it helps us in attending to stimuli. It enables a person to process information. An optimal level of arousal focuses our attention to the relevant aspects of a problem. Too much or too little arousal would interfere with attention.
For example, when you are told by your teacher about a test which she/he plans to hold, it would arouse you to attend to the specific chapters. Arousal forces you to focus your attention on reading, learning and revising the contents of chapters.
Simultaneous and Successive Processing
Simultaneous processing takes place when you perceive the relations among various concepts and integrate them into a meaningful pattern for comprehension. For example, in Ravan’s Progressive Matrices (RPM) test, a design is presented from which a part has been removed.
You are required to choose one of the six options that best completes the design. Simultaneous processing helps you in grasping the meaning and relationship between the given abstract figures.
Successive processing takes place when you remember all the information serially so that the recall of one leads to the recall of another. Learning of digits, alphabets, multiplication tables, etc are examples of successive processing.
This is an essential feature of intelligence. After the information is attended to and processed, planning is activated. It allows us to think of the possible courses of action, implement them to reach a target and evaluate their effectiveness. If a plan does not work, it is modified to suit the requirements of the task or situation.
For example, to take the test scheduled by your teacher. You would have to set goals, plan a time schedule of study, get clarifications in case of problems and if you are not able to tackle the chapters assigned for the test, you may have to think of other ways (e.g. give more time, study with a friend, etc) to meet your goals.
Individual Differences in Intelligence
Intelligence : Interplays of Nature and Nurture
The evidence for hereditary influences on intelligence comes mainly from studies on twins and adopted children. The intelligence of identical twins almost correlates (i.e. 0.90) who grows up together. Twins separated early in childhood show considerable similarity in their intellectual personality and behavioural characteristics.
The intelligence of identical twins reared in different environments correlate 0.72, those of fraternal twins reared together correlate almost 0.60, and those of brothers and sisters reared together correlate about 0.50, while siblings reared apart correlate about 0.25. The evidence of adopted children shows that children’s intelligence is more similar to their biological rather than adoptive parents.
Children from disadvantaged homes adopted into families with higher socio-economic status exhibit a large increase in their intelligence scores. There is evidence that environmental deprivation lowers intelligence which rich nutrition, good family background and quality schooling increases intelligence.
With respect to the role of environment, studies have reported that as children grew in age, their intelligence level tends to more closer to that of their adoptive parents.
There is a general view among psychologists that intelligence is a product of a complex interaction of heredity (nature) and environment (nurture). Heredity sets a range within which an individual’s development is actually shaped by the support and opportunities of the environment.
Assessment of Intelligence
In 1905, Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon made the first successful attempt to formally measure intelligence. In 1908, they gave the concept of Mental Age (MA) which is a measure of a person’s intellectual development related to people of her/his age group. A mental age of 5 means that a child’s performance on an intelligence test equals that average performance level of a group of 5 years olds.
Chronological Age (CA) is the biological age from birth. A bright child’s MA is more than her/his CA and for a dull child, MA is below than her/his CA. Retardation was defined by Binet and Simon as being two Mental Age years below the Chronological Age. In 1912, William Stern , a German psychologist devised the concept of Intelligence Quotient (IQ). IQ refers to mental age divided by chronological age and multiplied by 100.
IQ = (MA/CA) x 100
The number 100 is used as a multiplier to avoid the decimal point. When the MA equals the CA, the IQ equals 100. If MA is more than the CA, IQ is more than 100.
IQ becomes less than 100 when the MA is less than the CA. For example, a 10-years-old child with a mental age of 12 would have an IQ of 12o (12/10 x 100), whereas the same child with an MA of7 would have an IQ of 70 (7/10 x 100). The average IQ in the population is 100 irrespective of age.
IQ score is distributed in the population in such a way that the scores of most people tend to fall in the middle range of the distribution. Only a few people have either very high or very low scores. The frequency distribution for the IQ scores tends to approximate a hell shaped curve, called the normal curve. This type of distribution is symmetrical around the central value, called the mean.
The mean IQ score in a population is 100. People with IQ scores in the range of 90-100 have normal intelligence. Those with IQ below 70 are suspected to have ‘intellectual disability’, while persons with IQ about 130 are considered to have exceptional talents. All persons do not have the same intellectual capacity; some are exceptionally bright and some are below average.
One practical use of intelligence test is to identify person at the extremes of intellectual functioning. The given table shows that about 2 per cent of the population have IQ above 130 and a similar percentage have IQ below 70.
|Classification of People on the Basis of IQ|
|IQ Range||Descriptive Label||Per cent in the Population|
|Above 130||Very superior||2.2|
|120 – 130||Superior||6.7|
|110 – 119||High average||16.1|
|90 – 109||Average||50.0|
|80 – 89||Low average||16.1|
|70 – 79||Borderline||6.7|
|Below 70||Intellectually disabled||2.2|
The persons in the first group are called intellectually gifted; those in the second group are termed intellectually disabled. Those two groups deviate considerably from the normal population in respect of their cognitive, emotional, and motivational characteristics.
Variations of Intelligence
1. Intellectual Deficiency
There are children who face enormous difficulty in learning even very simple skills. Those children who show intellectual deficiency are termed as intellectually disabled. There is wide variation among the intellectually disabled.
The American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) views intellectually disabled as sub-average general intellectual functioning. “existing concurrently with deficits in adoptive behaviour and manifested during the developmental period.” This definition points to three basic features. First, in order to be judged as intellectually disabled, a person must show significantly sub average intellectual functioning.
Persons having IQs below 70 are judged to have sub-average intelligence. The second relates to deficits in adaptive behaviour. Adaptive behaviour refers to a person’s capacity to be independent and deal effectively with one’s environment. The third feature is that the deficits must be observed during the developmental period, that is between 0 and 18 years of age.
Individuals who are categorised as having intellectual disability show significant variation in their abilities, ranging from those who can be taught to work and function with special attention, to those who cannot be trained and require institutional care throughout their lives. It is not be noted that mean IQ score in the population is 100. These figures are used to understand the categories of intellectually disabled.
The different levels of intellectual deficiency are:
- Mild (IQs 55 to 70) : The development of people with mild disability is typically slower than that of their peers but they can function quite independently, hold jobs and families. As the level of disability increases, the difficulties are strongly marked.
- Moderate (IQs 35-40 to 50-55) : The people with moderate disability lag behind their peers in language and motor skills. They can be trained in self-care skills and simple social communication skills. They need to have moderate degree of supervision in everyday tasks.
- Severe (IQs 20-25 to 35-40) and Profound (IQs below 20 to 25) : Individuals with severe and profound disability are incapable of managing life and need constant care for their entire lives.
2. Intellectual Giftedness
Intellectually gifted individuals show higher performance because of their outstanding potentialities. The study of intellectually gifted individuals was started in 1925 by Lewis Terman to examine the relationship of intelligence to occupational success and life adjustment.
Although, the terms ‘talent’ and ‘giftedness’ are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. Giftedness is exceptional general ability shown in superior performance in a wide variety of areas.
Whereas, Talent is a narrower term and refers to remarkable ability in a specific field (e.g. spiritual, social, aesthetic, etc). The highly talented are called prodigies.
Giftedness from the teacher’s point of view depends on a combination of high ability, high creativity and high commitment. Gifted children show early signs of intellectual superiority. Even during infancy and early childhood, they show larger attention span, good recognition memory, preference for novelty, sensitivity to environmental changes and early appearance of language skills. To equate giftedness with brilliant academic psychomotor ability are also gifted. Each gifted student possesses different strengths, personalities and characteristics such as :
- Advanced logical thinking, questioning and problem solving behaviour.
- High speed in processing information.
- Superior generalisation and discrimination ability.
- Advanced level of original and creative thinking.
- High level of intrinsic motivation and self-esteem.
- Independent and non-conformist thinking.
- Preferences for solitary academic activities for long periods.
Performance on intelligence tests is not the only measure for identifying the gifted. Many other sources of information, such as teacher’s judgement, school achievement record, parent’s interviews, peer and self ratings, etc, can be used in combination with intellectual assessment.
To reach their full potential, gifted children require special attention and different educational programmes beyond those provided to normal children in regular classrooms. These may include life enrichment programmes that can sharpen children’s skills in productive thinking, planning, decision-making and communication.
Types of Intelligence Tests
Intelligence tests are of several types. One of the basis of their administration procedure, they can be categorised as individual or group tests. They can also be classified as either verbal or performance tests on the basis of the nature of items used.
Depending upon the extent to which an intelligence test favours one culture over another, it can be judged as either culture-fair or culture-biased. You can choose a test depending on the purpose of your use.
There are three types of intelligence tests:
1. Individual or Group Test
Individual Test : It can be administered to one person at a time. It requires the test administrator to establish a support with the subject and be sensitive to her/his feelings, moods and expressions during the testing session. It allows people to answer orally or in written form or manipulation of objects as per tester’s instructions.
Group Test : It can be administered to several persons simultaneously. It does not allow an opportunity to be familiar with the subject’s feelings. Groups tests generally seek written answers usually in a multiple-choice format.
2. Verbal , Non-Verbal or Performance Test
An intelligence test may be fully verbal, fully non-verbal or fully performance based or it may consist of a mixture of items from each category.
Verbal : It requires verbal responses in either oral or written from. It can only be administered to literate people.
Non-Verbal : It uses pictures or illustrations as test items e.g. Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test (RPM). In RPM test the subject examines and an incomplete pattern and chooses a figure from alternatives that will complete the pattern.
Performance : It requires subjects to manipulate objects to perform a task. In this test, written language is not necessary for answering the items. For example, Koh’s Block Design Test contains a number of wooden blocks. The subject is asked to arrange the blocks within time period to produce a given design. A major advantage of performance tests is that they can be easily administered to persons from different cultures.
3. Culture-Fair or Culture Biased Test
It is nearly impossible to design a test that can be applied equally meaningfully in all cultures. Many tests show a bias to the culture in which they are developed. These are called culture-biased tests.
Tests developed in America and Europe represent an urban and middle class cultural ethos. Hence, educated middle class white subject generally perform well on culture-biased tests.
The items do not respect to cultural perspective of Asia and Africa. The norms for these tests are also drawn from Western cultural groups.
Intelligence Testing India
SM Mohan made a pioneering attempt in constructing an intelligence test in Hindi in the 1930s. CH Rice attempted to standardise Binet’s test in Urdu and Punjabi. At about the same time, PC Mahalanobis attempted to standardise Biner’s test in Bengali. Attempts were also made by Indian researchers to develop Indian norms for some Western tests including RPM. WAIS, Alexander’s Passalong, cube construction and Koh’s Block Design.
Long and Mehta prepared a Mental Measurement Handbook listing out 103 tests of intelligence in India that were available in various languages. Since then, a number of tests have either been developed or adapted from Western cultures.
The National Library of Educational and Psychological Tests (NLEPT) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has documented Indian tests. Critical reviews of Indian tests are published in the form of handbooks. NLEPT has brought out the handbooks in the area of intelligence, aptitude, personality, attitudes, and interests.
Some of the verbal test developed in India are:
- CIE Verbal Group test of Intelligence by Uday Shankar.
- Group Test of General Mental Ability by S Jalota.
- Group Test of Intelligence by Prayag Mehta.
- The Bihar Test of Intelligence by SM Mohsin.
- Group Test of Intelligence Bureau of Psychology, Allahabad.
- Indian Adaptation of Stanford-Binet Test (Third Edition) by SK Kulshrestha.
- Test of General Mental Ability (Hindi) by MC Joshi.
Some of the performances tests developed in India are:
- CIE Non-verbal Group Test of Intelligence.
- Bhatia’s Battery of Performance Tests. (quite popular among all tests).
- Draw-a-Man Test by Pramila Pathak.
- Adaptation of Wechsler Adult Performance Intelligence Scale by R Ramalingaswamy.
Culture and Intelligence
A major characteristic of intelligence is that it helps individuals to adapt to their environment. The cultural environment provides a context for intelligence to develop. Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist, has argued that culture provides a social context in which people live, grow and understand the world around them.
For example, in less technologically developed societies, social and emotional skills in relating to people are valued, while in technologically advanced societies, personal achievement founded on abilities of reasoning and judgement is considered to represent intelligence.
Culture is a collective system of customs, beliefs, attitudes and achievements in art and literature. A person’s intelligence is likely to be tuned by these cultural parameters. Many theorists have regarded intelligence as attributes specific to the person without regard to their cultural background. The unique features of culture now find some representation in theories of intelligence.
Sternberg’s notion of contextual or practical intelligence implies that intelligence is a product of culture. Vygotsky also believed that cultures have a life of their own as they grow and change and in the process specify what will be the end product of successful intellectual development.
According to him, while elementary mental functions (e.g. walking, crying) are universal. The manner in which higher mental functions such as problem solving and thinking operate are largely culture-produced.
Technologically advanced societies adopt child rearing practices that foster skills of generalisation and abstraction, speed, minimum moves and mental manipulation among children.
These societies promote a type of behaviour which can be called as technological intelligence. In these societies, persons are well-versed in skills of attraction, observation, analysis, performance, speed and achievement orientation. Western cultures look precisely for these skills in an individual whereas non-Western societies value self-reflection and collectivistic orientation as opposed to personal achievement and individualistic orientation. Technological intelligence is not so valued in many Asian and African societies. The qualities and skills regarded as intelligent actions in non-Western cultures are sharply different, though the boundaries are gradually vanishing under the influence of Western cultures. In addition to cognitive competence that is very specific to the individual, the non-Western cultures look for skills to relate to others in the society.
Intelligence in the Indian Tradition
Intelligence in the Indian tradition is termed as integral intelligence. It gives emphasis on connectivity with the social and world environment. Indian thinkers view intelligence from a holistic perspective where equal attention is paid to cognitive and non-cognitive processes as well as their integration.
According to JP Das, the Sanskrit word buddhi includes skills such as mental effort, determined action, feelings and opinions alongwith cognitive competence such as knowledge, discrimination and understanding. Among other things, buddhi is the knowledge of one’s own self based on conscience, will and desire.
Thus, the notion of buddhi has affective and motivational components besides a strong cognitive component. Unlike the Western views, which primarily focus on cognitive parameters, the following competencies are identified as aspects of intelligence in the Indian tradition:
- Cognitive Competence : It includes sensitivity to context, understanding, discrimination, problem solving and effective communication.
- Social Competence : It includes respect for social order, commitment to elders, the young and the needy, concern about others and recognising others’ perspective.
- Emotional Competence : It includes self-regulation and self-monitoring of emotions, honesty, politeness, good conduct and self-evaluation.
- Entrepreneurial Competence : It includes commitment, persistence, patience, hard work, vigilance and goal-directed behaviours.
It is believed that the notion of emotional intelligence broadens the concept of intelligence beyond the intellectual sphere/domain and considers that intelligence includes emotions. It builds on the concept of intelligence in the Indian tradition.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of skills that underlie accurate appraisal, expression and regulation of emotions.
It is the feeling side of intelligence. A good IQ and scholastic record is not enough to be successful in life. We many find many people who are academically talented, but are unsuccessful in their own life. They experience problems in family, workplace and interpersonal relationship. Some psychologists believe that the source of their difficulty may be a lack of emotional intelligence. This concept was first introduced by Salovey and Mayer.
According to Salovey and Mayer, emotional intelligence as the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s emotions, to discriminate among them and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions. Emotional Quotient (EQ) is used to express emotional intelligence in the same way as IQ is used to express intelligence. In other words, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to process emotional information accurately and efficiently.
Emotional intelligence is receiving increasing attention of educators for dealing with students who are affected by stresses and challenges of the outside world.
Programmes aimed at improving student’s emotional intelligence have beneficial effects on their academic achievement. They encourage cooperative behaviour and reduce their antisocial activities. These programmes are very useful in preparing students to face the challenges of life outside the classroom.
Characteristics of Emotionally Intelligent Person
The characteristics of emotionally intelligent persons are as follows:
- Perceive and be sensitive to your feelings and emotions.
- Perceive and be sensitive to various types of emotions in others by noting their body language , voice and tone, and facial expressions.
- Relate your emotions to your thoughts so that you take them into account while solving problems and taking decisions.
- Understand the powerful influence of the nature and intensity of your emotions.
- Control and regulate your emotions and their expressions while dealing with self and others to achieve harmony and peace.
Aptitude : Nature and Measurement
Aptitude refers to special abilities in a particular field of activity. It is a combination of characteristics that indicates an individual’s capacity to acquire some specific knowledge or skill after training.
The knowledge of aptitude can help us to predict an individual’s future performance. People with similar intelligence differed widely in acquiring certain knowledge or skills.
In order to be successful in a particular field, a person must have both aptitude and interest. Interest is a preference for a particular activity and aptitude is the potentiality to perform that activity.
For example, a person may be interested in a particular job or activity, but may not have the aptitude for it. Similarly, a person may have the potentiality for performing a job but may not be interested in doing that. In both cases, the outcome will not be satisfactory.
A student with high mechanical aptitude and strong interest in engineering is more likely to be a successful mechanical engineer.
Aptitude tests are available in two forms:
(i) Independent (Specialised) Aptitude Test : Clerical Aptitude , Mechanical Aptitude, Numerical Aptitude and Typing Aptitude are such types of tests.
(ii) Multiple (Generalised) Aptitude Test : It exists in the form of test batteries, which measure aptitude in several separate but homogeneous areas. Differential Aptitude Test (DAT), the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB), and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) are well known aptitude test batteries. Differential Aptitude tests (DAT) is most commonly used in educational settings.
It consists of eight independent subtests which are as follows:
(a) Verbal Reasoning
(b) Numerical Reasoning
(c) Abstract Reasoning
(d) Clerical Speed and Accuracy
(e) Mechanical Reasoning
(f) Space Relations
(h) Language Usage
JM Ojha has developed an Indian adaptation of DAT. Several other aptitude tests have been developed in India for measuring scientific, scholastic, literary , clerical and teaching aptitude.
It is seen that there are variations in psychological attributes like intelligence, aptitude, personality and so on. In the same way there are differences in the potential for creativity across individuals and the manner in which creativity and others are not so creative, for example, Tagore, Einstein, CV Raman, Ramanujan made outstanding contribution in different fields.
In simple terms creativity refers to the ability to produce ideas, objects and problem solutions that are novel and appropriate. It refers to the ability to think in novel and unusual ways and to come up with unique solutions to problems. It may be an idea, object or solution to a problem, invention, innovation etc. Despite differences, one common element among these is the production of something new and unique.
Creativity is not just limited to the personalities like artist, scientist, the poet or inventor, etc. An ordinary individual who is engaged in simple occupation like pottery, cooking etc can also be creative. However, it is said that as compared to eminent scientist, they are not working at the same level of creativity.
So, we can say that individuals vary in terms of the level and the areas in which they show creativity and that all may not be operating at the same level.
- Example of the highest level of creativity is the theory of relativity given by Einstein. This theory implies bringing out altogether new ideas, facts, theory or a product.
- Another example of level of creativity is working on what has already been established earlier by way of modifications, by putting things in new perspectives or to new use.
Researches suggest that children begin to develop their imagination during the early years of childhood but they mostly express their creativity through physical activities and in non-verbal ways. When language and intellectual functions are fully developed and store of knowledge is adequately available, then creativity is expressed through verbal modes too.
Those individuals who are outstanding in their creativity may give an indication about the direction in which their creativity lies through their self-chosen activities. In some cases, however, opportunities need to be provided before they can manifest their hidden potential for creativity.
If we want to explain variation in the potential for creativity, such variations can be attributed to the complex interaction of heredity and environment. Creativity is determined by both heredity and environment. Limits of creative potential are set by heredity and environmental factors stimulate the development of creativity.
Creativity and Intelligence
In 1920s, Terman found that persons with high IQ were not necessarily creative. At the same time, creative ideas could come from persons who did not have a very high IQ. Researchers have also found that both high and low level of creativity can be found in highly intelligent children and also children of average intelligence.
The relationship between creativity and intelligence is positive. All creative acts require some minimum ability to acquire knowledge and capacity to comprehend, retain and retrieve. A certain level of intelligence is necessary to be creative, but a high level of intelligence, however does not ensure that a person would certainly be creative. It can be concluded that creativity can take many forms and blends.
It assess variations in terms of the potential for creativity. They are open ended and gave freedom to a person to use its imagination and express it in original ways. It involves divergent thinking and assess ability to produce a variety of ideas. It also identifies relationship between unrelated things.
A few investigators have also developed creativity tests in different areas such as literary creativity, scientific creativity, etc. Some famous psychologist who have developed creativity test are Guilford, Torrance, Khatena, Wallach and Kogan, Paramesh, Baqer Mehdi and Passi. Each test has a standardised procedure, a complete set of manual and interpretation guide. These can be used only after extensive training in administration and interpreation of test scores.
These tests are close ended. It measure abilities which involve convergent thinking. In this test, the person has to think for right solution to the problem and focus on assessing abilities like memory, logical reasoning, etc. There is little scope for the expression of spontaneity, originality and imagination in this test.