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Revision Notes (Part - 2) - Variations in Psychological Attributes | Psychology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts PDF Download

Culture and Intelligence

  • Culture encompasses customs, beliefs, attitudes, and artistic and literary achievements of a community. It is in this cultural context that intelligence develops. Russian psychologist Vygotsky has argued that culture provides a social framework within which individuals live, learn and interpret the world. For instance, in technologically underdeveloped societies, social and emotional competencies are highly valued, whereas in technologically advanced societies, success based on reasoning and judgement is seen as intelligence.
  • Vygotsky also believed that cultures, like individuals, evolve and change over time, and determine the ultimate outcome of successful intellectual development. While basic mental functions such as crying, paying attention to mother's voice, responding to smells, walking, and running are universal, higher mental functions like problem-solving and critical thinking are largely shaped by culture.
  • Sternberg's concept of contextual or practical intelligence suggests that intelligence is a product of culture.

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Technological Intelligence

  • In societies that are technologically advanced, intelligence is considered to be reflected by personal achievement based on reasoning and judgement, which reflects an individualistic orientation. 
  • Child-rearing practices in such societies are geared towards developing skills like generalization, abstraction, speed, and mental manipulation. 
  • People in these societies tend to be proficient in skills such as attention, observation, analysis, performance, speed, and achievement orientation.

Intelligence in Indian Tradition

In contrast to the Western perspective that places a strong emphasis on cognitive abilities, the Indian tradition recognizes the following competencies as dimensions of intelligence:

  • Cognitive capacity: This includes sensitivity to context, the ability to understand and discriminate, problem-solving skills, and effective communication.
  • Social competence: This refers to a person's respect for the social order, their commitment to elders, the young, and the needy, and their consideration for others' perspectives.
  • Emotional competence: This encompasses self-regulation, the ability to monitor one's emotions, honesty, politeness, good conduct, and self-evaluation.
  • Entrepreneurial competence: This involves qualities such as commitment, persistence, patience, hard work, vigilance, and a goal-directed approach.

Emotional Intelligence

  • The concept of emotional intelligence expands the definition of intelligence by including emotions as a part of it. This includes the ability to perceive, express, and regulate emotions. 
  • Emotional intelligence is considered the feeling aspect of intelligence, and academic success alone is not sufficient for success in life. Even individuals with exceptional academic records may struggle with managing their personal lives, which psychologists attribute to a lack of emotional intelligence. 
  • This concept is measured by EQ, which was first defined by Salovey and Mayer as the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, discriminate between them, and use them to guide one's thinking and actions.

Characteristics of the people with high EQ:

  • Be aware of your own feelings and emotions, and be attuned to them.
  • Practice being observant of other people's emotions by paying attention to their body language, voice, tone, and facial expressions.
  • Incorporate both emotions and thoughts when you approach problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Recognize the characteristics and strength of emotions, and appreciate their significant impact on our lives.
  • Develop the ability to regulate your emotions and feelings when interacting with others in order to create a peaceful and harmonious environment.

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Special Abilities

Aptitude: Nature and Measurement

  • The term "Aptitude" refers to an individual's mental capacity or ability in a particular area or field. It also denotes the ability to acquire specific knowledge and skills after receiving training. 
  • Even though people may have similar intelligence levels or IQ, their ability to acquire certain skills can differ significantly. This means that individuals can possess aptitudes for different fields, despite having similar intelligence measures. 
  • It's important to distinguish between aptitude and interest - aptitude refers to the potential to perform any activity, whereas interest refers to the preference for performing a specific activity. To excel in any field, an individual needs to possess both aptitude and interest.

Measuring Aptitude

There are different types of aptitude tests that can be classified into two categories:

  • Independent aptitude tests: These tests are designed to assess a person's abilities in a specific area, such as mechanical, clerical, or numerical skills. They are tailored to evaluate aptitude for specialized fields.
  • Multiple aptitude tests: These tests come in the form of test batteries that evaluate general aptitude. Examples include the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT), General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB), and Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The DAT is commonly used in educational settings and consists of eight specialized subtests: verbal, numerical, abstract, clerical speed and accuracy, mechanical, space, spelling, and language tests. These are considered common tests that are administered to evaluate an individual's aptitude in these specific areas.

Creativity and Intelligence

  • Intelligence refers to the capacity to understand, analyze, and adapt to various situations, enabling individuals to excel in multiple domains. Creativity, on the other hand, is the ability to use intelligence to generate something new and innovative in a specific area.
  • Therefore, someone who can learn quickly and accurately is usually considered more intelligent than creative until they come up with novel ways of learning and doing things. Terman's research in 1920 discovered that individuals with high IQs were not necessarily creative; they were merely faster processors.
  • Moreover, creative ideas can originate from people who do not have a very high IQ but possess the ability to think differently. Intelligence and creativity have a positive relationship, as all creative abilities require a minimum level of intelligence to acquire knowledge, understand, retain, and retrieve information.
  • For instance, to express creativity in writing, one must have adequate language skills, and to develop new laws of science, one must have the intelligence to acquire basic knowledge of the subject.
  • Creativity tests are open-ended and require individuals to think of different answers to questions and problems. They provide individuals with the freedom to think in different directions and use their imagination to express themselves in original ways.
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FAQs on Revision Notes (Part - 2) - Variations in Psychological Attributes - Psychology Class 12 - Humanities/Arts

1. What is the relationship between culture and intelligence?
Ans. Culture and intelligence are closely intertwined. Cultural factors such as language, education, and societal expectations can influence the development and expression of intelligence. Each culture may emphasize different cognitive skills and value different types of intelligence. For example, some cultures may prioritize logical-mathematical intelligence, while others may emphasize interpersonal or artistic intelligence. Additionally, cultural norms and practices can shape how intelligence is assessed and measured within a particular society.
2. How does emotional intelligence differ from general intelligence?
Ans. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, understand, and manage one's own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It involves skills such as empathy, self-awareness, and emotional regulation. General intelligence, on the other hand, refers to a person's overall cognitive abilities, including problem-solving, reasoning, and memory. While general intelligence focuses on cognitive skills, emotional intelligence focuses on emotional awareness and interpersonal skills. Both types of intelligence are important for overall well-being and success in different aspects of life.
3. What are some examples of special abilities related to intelligence?
Ans. Special abilities related to intelligence refer to specific cognitive skills or talents that individuals may possess. Some examples include: 1. Musical intelligence: The ability to recognize and understand musical patterns, create music, and appreciate different forms of music. 2. Spatial intelligence: The ability to visualize and mentally manipulate objects and shapes in three-dimensional space. 3. Linguistic intelligence: Proficiency in language-related tasks, such as writing, reading, and speaking. 4. Logical-mathematical intelligence: Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to reason and think abstractly. 5. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: Exceptional coordination, dexterity, and physical skills, often seen in athletes, dancers, or surgeons.
4. How do psychological attributes vary across different individuals?
Ans. Psychological attributes, including intelligence, can vary across individuals due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetic variations can influence cognitive abilities, personality traits, and emotional tendencies. Additionally, environmental factors such as education, upbringing, and cultural influences can shape and mold psychological attributes. These variations can result in differences in intelligence, emotional intelligence, and special abilities among individuals.
5. How can variations in psychological attributes impact individuals' lives?
Ans. Variations in psychological attributes can have significant impacts on individuals' lives. Higher levels of intelligence are often associated with better academic and professional achievements. Emotional intelligence can enhance interpersonal relationships and contribute to emotional well-being. Special abilities can lead to unique career opportunities or creative pursuits. On the other hand, lower levels of intelligence or emotional intelligence may present challenges in certain areas of life. Understanding and acknowledging these variations can help individuals leverage their strengths and seek support in areas where they may face difficulties.
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