- Individual differences psychology
The science of psychology studies people at three levels of focus captured by the well-known quotation: “Every man is in certain respects (a) like all other men, (b) like some other men, (c) like no other man" (Murray, H.A. & C. Kluckhohn, 1953).
Individual differences psychology focuses on this second level of study. It is also sometimes called Differential Psychology because researchers in this area study the ways in which individual people differ in their behavior. This is distinguished from other aspects of psychology in that although psychology is ostensibly a study of individuals, modern psychologists often study groups or biological underpinnings of cognition.
For example, in evaluating the effectiveness of a new therapy, the mean performance of the therapy in one group might be compared to the mean effectiveness of a placebo (or a well-known therapy) in a second, control group. In this context, differences between individuals in their reaction to the experimental and control manipulations are actually treated as errors rather than as interesting phenomena to study.
This is because psychological research depends upon statistical controls that are only defined upon groups of people. Individual difference psychologists usually express their interest in individuals while studying groups by seeking dimensions shared by all individuals but upon which individuals differ.
Importance of individual differences
The study of individual differences is essential because important variation between individuals can be masked by averaging. For example, a researcher is interested in resting the whole population that they should be eating 1,900 calories a day.
What's wrong with this study? The researcher has neglected individual differences in activity level, body size, sex, age, and other factors that influence metabolic rate. The average reported based on the results is masking multiple dimensions that should be used to determine daily caloric intake. Therefore, his or her conclusions are misleading if not outright false. This is an extreme example to make a point, but it illustrates the problems that can arise by averaging across groups.
'Individual differences are characterized by the following attributes:' - Variability and Normality. - Differential rates of growth and learning. - Interrelation of traits. - <by:Noeco C. Marquiño>
Areas of study
Individual differences research typically includes personality, motivation, intelligence, ability, IQ, interests, values, self-concept, self-efficacy, and self-esteem (to name just a few). There are few remaining "differential psychology" programs in the United States, although research in this area is very active. Current researchers are found in a variety of applied and experimental programs, including educational psychology, industrial psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology programs, in the neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development in particular. Earlier studies show us a higher risk with the factors of social and behavioral domains in young children with a single parent. However, the variety of single parent families regarding gender of the main parent has rarely been taken into reason when understanding the relation between family and child's negative outcomes .
- ^ Jablonska, Beata. "Risk behaviours, victimisation and mental distress among adolescents in different family structures.". Journal. Springer (, Germany). http://search.proquest.com.cordproxy.mnpals.net/docview/622028010?accountid=10244. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Introduction to Individual Differences (Wilderdom)
- Maltby, J. Day, L. & Macaskill, A. (2007). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence. London: Pearson Education. http://www.pearsoned.co.uk/Bookshop/detail.asp?item=100000000090816
- Buss, D.M., & Greiling, H.(1999). Adaptive Individual Differences. Journal of Personality, 67, 209-243.
- Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Furhnam, A. (2006). Intellectual competence and the intelligent personality: A third way in differential psychology. Review of General Psychology, 10, 251-267. Full text
- Tyler, L.E. (1965). The psychology of human differences. New York: Appleton Century Crofts.
- Timeline of researchers and brief biographies
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Personality and Individual Differences — Abbreviated title (ISO) … Wikipedia
International Society for the Study of Individual Differences — The International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID) is a scientific society founded in 1983 that fosters research on the measurement, structure, dynamics and biological bases of individual differences in temperament,… … Wikipedia
Psychology — (from Greek gr. ψῡχή, psȳkhē , breath, life, soul ; and gr. λογία, logia ) is an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Psychologists study such phenomena as perception, cognition, emotion … Wikipedia
Individual psychology — is a term used specifically to refer to the psychological method or science founded by the Viennese psychologist Alfred Adler. The English edition of Adler s work on the subject (1925) is a collection of papers and lectures given mainly in 1912… … Wikipedia
PSYCHOLOGY — PSYCHOLOGY, the science of the mind or of mental phenomena and activities. Psychological Concepts in the Bible Psychology has a long past, but only a short history (H. Ebbinghaus, Abriss der Psychologie, 1908). Nowhere is this aphorism better… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Psychology (The separation of) from philosophy — The separation of psychology from philosophy Studies in the sciences of mind 1815–1879 Edward S.Reed THE IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE Traditional metaphysics The consensus of European opinion during and immediately after the Napoleonic era was that… … History of philosophy
psychology — /suy kol euh jee/, n., pl. psychologies. 1. the science of the mind or of mental states and processes. 2. the science of human and animal behavior. 3. the sum or characteristics of the mental states and processes of a person or class of persons,… … Universalium
psychology — Variously defined as the science of behaviour or the science of mind, psychology emerged as a distinct discipline in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the work of researchers such as Wilhelm Wundt (1832 1920) who founded the first… … Dictionary of sociology
Psychology of Reasoning — The psychology of reasoning is the study of how people reason, often broadly defined as the process of drawing conclusions to inform how people solve problems and make decisions. [Leighton, J. P. (2004). Defining and describing reason, in The… … Wikipedia
Individual, Individuality — • An individual being is defined by St. Thomas as quod est in se indivisum, ab aliis vero divisum (a being undivided in itself but separated from other beings) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Individual, Individuality … Catholic encyclopedia