Study Material and Notes of Chapter 1 Variations in Psychological Attributes NCERT Class 12th

• Introduction
• Individual Differences in Human Functioning
• Assessment of Psychological Attributes
• Intelligence
⟶ Theories of Intelligence
⟶ Theory of Multiple Intelligences
⟶ Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
⟶ Planning, Attention-arousal, and Simultaneous-
⟶ Successive Model of Intelligence
• Individual Differences in Intelligence
⟶ Variations of Intelligence
⟶ Some Misuses of Intelligence Tests
• Culture and Intelligence
• Emotional Intelligence
⟶ Characteristics of Emotionally Intelligent Persons
• Special Abilities
⟶ Aptitude : Nature and Measurement
• Creativity


• Variation is a fact of nature.

• Individuals vary in their physical and psychological characteristics.

• 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

• It refers to distinctiveness and variations in people's characteristics and behaviour patterns.

• The situationist perspective views human behaviour as resulting from interaction of external and internal factors.

Assessment of Psychological Attributes

Assessment: It refers to the measurement of psychological attributes of individuals and their evaluation often using multiple methods in terms of certain standards of comparison.

• Formal assessment is objective, standardised and organised.

• Informal assessment is open to subjective interpretations.

• Psychological assessment uses systematic testing procedures to evaluate abilities, behaviours and personal qualities of individuals.


Intelligence: It is the global capacity to understand the world, think rationally and use available resources effectively when faced with challenges.

Aptitude: It refers to an individual's underlying potential for acquiring skills.

Aptitude test: They are used to predict what an individual will be able to do if given proper environment and training.

Interest: It is an individual's preference for engaging in one or more specific activities relative to others.

Personality: It refers to relatively enduring characteristics of a person that makes her or him distinct from others.

• Personality tests try to assess an individual's unique characteristics, e.g. whether one is dominant or submissive, outgoing or withdrawn, moody or emotionally stable etc.

• Values: They are enduring beliefs about an ideal mode of behaviour.

• Psychological test: It is an objective and standardized measure of an individual's mental and/or behavioural characteristics.

• Interview: It involves seeking information from a person on a one-to-one basis.

• Case Study: It is an in-depth study of the individual in terms of her/his psychological attributes, psychological history in the context of her/his psychological and physical environment.

• Observation: It involves employing systematic, organised and objective procedures to record behavioural phenomena occurring naturally in real time.

• Self Report: It is a method in which a person provides factual information about herself/ himself and/or opinions, beliefs, etc.

• The Psychometric Approach considers intelligence as an aggregate of abilities. It expresses the individual's performance in terms of a single index of cognitive abilities.

• The Information Processing Approach describes the processes people use in intellectual reasoning and problem solving. The major focus of this approach is on how an intelligent person acts.

• Alfred Binet proposed uni or one factor theory of intelligence.

• Charles Spearman proposed a two factor theory of intelligence employing a statistical method called factor analysis.

• Louis Thurstone proposed the theory of primary mental abilities. It states that intelligence consists of seven primary abilities, each of which is relatively independent of the others.

• Arthur Jensen proposed a hierarchical model of intelligence consisting of abilities operating at two levels, called Level I and Level II.

• J.P. Guilford proposed the structure of intellect model which classifies intellectual traits among three dimensions : operations, contents and products.

• Operations: These are what the respondent does. These include cognition, memory recording, memory retention, divergent production, convergent production and evaluation.

• Contents refer to the nature of materials or information on which intellectual operations are performed.

• Products: These refer to the form in which information is processed by the respondent.

• Linguistic intelligence: It is the capacity of a person to use language fluently and flexibly to express one's thinking and understand others.

• Logical Mathematical intelligence: Persons high on this type of intelligence can think logically and critically.

• Spatial intelligence: It refers to the abilities involved in forming, using and transforming mental images. 

• Musical intelligence: It is the capacity of a person to produce, create and manipulate musical patterns.

• Bodily-Kinathetic intelligence: It is the capacity of a person to use whole or portions of the body flexibly and creatively.

• Interpersonal intelligence: This is the skill of understanding the motives, feelings and behaviours of other people so as to bond into a comfortable relationship with others.

• Intrapersonal intelligence: This refers to knowledge of one's internal strengths and limitations and using that knowledge to effectively relate to others.

• Naturalistic intelligence : This involves complete awareness of our relationship with the natural world.

• Triarchic theory of Intelligence: According to this theory there are three basic types of intelligence, componential, experimental and contextual.

• Componential Intelligence: It is the analysis of information to solve problems. 

• Experimental Intelligence: It is involved in using past experiences creatively to solve novel problems. 

• Contextual Intelligence: It involves the ability to deal with environmental demands encountered on a daily bases.

• Planning, Attention-arousal, and Simultaneous Successive (PASS) model of intelligence was proposed by J.P. Das, Jack Naglieri and Kirby (1994).

• Chronological Age: It is the biological age from birth.

• Intelligence Quotient (IQ): It refers to mental age divided by chronological age, and multiplied by 100 IQ = MA/CA x 100 

• The frequency distribution for the IQ scores tends to approximate a bell-shaped curve, called the normal curve. 

• Mental retardation: The American Association on Mental Deficiency views mental retardation as "significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviour and manifested during the developmental period." 

• Giftedness: It is the exceptional general ability shown in superior performance in a wide variety of areas.

• Talent: It refers to remarkable ability in a specific field. 

• Performance tests: These tests require subjects to manipulate objects and other materials to perform a task. 

• Culture: Culture is a collective system of customs, beliefs, attitudes and achievements in art and literature. 

• Emotional Intelligence: It is a set of skills that underlie accurate appraisal, expression and regulation of emotions. 

• Emotional Quotient (EQ): It involves the ability to perceive and manage one's and other's feelings and emotions to motivate oneself and restrain one's impulses and to handle interpersonal relationship effectively. 

• Creativity: It is the ability to produce ideas, objects or problem solutions that are novel, appropriate and useful. 

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