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Individual Differences (psychology) - Essay Example

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These differences could pertain to aspects of personality, interests, physical traits, talents, etc. Only during the last few centuries has this field of inquiry attained a more scientific and…
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Individual Differences (psychology)
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Individual Differences (psychology)

It is fair to say that the Renaissance was a crucial period in the advancement of robust theories pertaining to individual differences among humans. At the outset, it is important to note that human behaviour and personality is much more difficult to understand than that of animals. And more than any other species, human behaviour is subject to interpretation and conjecture, not always leading to easy inferences. Studying individual differences is further thwarted by the fact that human behaviour is an emergent reality and not a fixed one. As our species is provided with an ever increasing repository of knowledge, its behaviour too simultaneously evolves to fit the new reality. Hence, Wilsons following observation is pivotal to understanding differences among humans:
“Today, the greatest divide within humanity is not between races, or religions, or even, as widely believed between literate and illiterate. It is the chasm that separates scientific from pre-scientific cultures....Without the instruments and accumulated knowledge of the natural sciences--physics, chemistry, and biology--humans are trapped in a cognitive prison. They invent ingenious speculations and myths about the origin of the confining waters, of the sun and the sky and the stars above, and the meaning of their own existence. But they are wrong, always wrong, because the world is too remote from ordinary experience to be merely imagined." (Lubinski, 2000)
A proven theoretical framework of analysing individual differences is the one based on evolutionary biology. Within this broad framework is the specialized study of human infant intelligence. Since the nature of early intelligence is nonverbal, it is closely linked to primate evolution, and hence helps us gain insights into the origins of individual differences in human intelligence. Within the ontogeny of infant intelligence, variation between individuals is restricted by ... Read More
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