Varieties of Individual Differences

Whatever differences are found among two men, the basis of that personality differences or types of differences is certain. The types of personality differences are seen in the following areas:
(1) Physical Difference—Under the physical difference, physical health, weight, high, sex differences and physical maturity come. Some men are fatty, some are thin, some are tall some are short; some are fair, some are beautiful, some are ugly, it is the consideration of psychologist that ability, intelligence, tendency and interest are affected by all these things.

(2) Mental Differences—The following things are included under mental difference:

  1. Intellectual development Related to Differences.
  2. Main Tendency Related to Difference.
  3. Difference in learning.
  4. Interest related differences.
  5. Nature related differences.

(A) The Cause of Intellectual Differences—Some one is intelligent, some one is wise, someone is less wise and some one is common or dull minded or foolish. The observation of this ability is done by intelligence-test.
(B) Main Tendency Related Differences—Some men are kind Hearted, some are strict, some are laughing and cheerful and some are always sad and disappointed. In this way, some have collective nature and some have curious nature. A man having curious nature always tries to know and learn new things. 
(C) Differences in Learning and Obtaining Knowledge—In the field of education the meaning of individual differences is that the difference that is found in different syllabus and reading and writing of student, by which difference is found in its achievement. It is known by the quotient examination that difference is found in the capability of learning of student. Teacher should adopt personal and class- method according to need because of having difference in the capability of learning of student.
(D) Interest Related Difference—Some students are expert in reading, some are in playing. There is different in the interest of child and adult, boys-girls, men and women.
(E) Nature Related Difference—Some men are wicked while others are polite. In the same way difference is found in the nature of boy and girl.

(3) Personality Related Differences—Psychologists have called some men introvert, or some extrovert due to personality related virtues. There are many types of personality differences. It is necessary to know about the personality related differences for obtaining the knowledge of personality differences. It has been described further chapter.

Variability in Individual Traits—It has been described the nature, causes, basis and scope of individual difference in the previous pages. It has been identified from this detail that one man is different from other from different causes. Sometimes some virtues are found in man different from the other, inequality or difference is seen in them. Whatever difference is found in the skill, ability and virtues of the man, that is called the trait variability. For example if the different abilities of one student is tested, sometimes he seems above average and other seem below average, in the same way one student may be intelligent in one subject and dull in other subjects. As an artist is intelligent in arts but he is dull in maths. From the educational point of view, variability has great importance.

Importance of the Knowledge of Individual Differences

Modern psychologists give importance to individual differences in the education of children. A teacher can do more welfare of his students after the knowledge of individual differences. Often there are intelligent and dull minded students except common student in every class. Class education is good for the children of common intelligence. Dull minded and intelligent students do not take the advantage of it, because every one is educated by the same method generally. There is no advantage of giving education to all students by one method. Hence it is important keeping in mind the individual differences, the following things should be added in the education of children.

(1) Limited Size of Class—Keeping in mind the individual differences of children, the numbers of students should not be more in the class. It is the opinion of psychologist that there should not be more students than 20 or 25 in a class, in case of having more students in the class, teacher cannot establish connection with the students. Ross has said in this relation- “The number of students should be less under every teacher so that he could know them very well, without knowing it he could call some student to do some work impossible which is impossible for them to perform.’’

(2) Division of Students—Student should be divided in homogeneous groups on the basis of their individual differences in each class. The physical age, social and emotional tendency of children should be kept in mind in this type of division. On the basis of general quotient intelligent, general and dull minded children should be kept in separate sections. Each student gets the opportunity of progressing in this type of class division.

(3) Syllabus Construction—Keeping in mind the interest, intellectual level, aptitude, tendency and needs of students and according to the individual differences, syllabus should be constructed. Various kinds of subjects should be included in the syllabus. Syllabus should be flexible. Mr. Skinner thinks in this way that whatever is the reason for the individual differences of the children, we should face these differences.

(4) Selection of Teaching Method—Teaching methods should be used on the basis of individual differences. It is unpsychological to teach all student by one method.

(5) Arrangement of Individual Education—In the modern educational world, various types of educational method are invented for giving personal education, which are following:
(a) Dalton Plan, (b) Project Plan, (c) Montessori, (d) Kinder Garten, (e) Winnetia Plan 

This method is invented by Carlton Washburns. In this method , learner is given an opportunity to learn according to his speed, paying attention on personality training, Mr. Ross has said, “ division according to kinds is not the real solution of difficulties but personal training, as in the Montessori method and Dalton method, in which success is sure, there is no place for doubt.’’

(6) Educational Direction—A teacher can give direction to students after getting the information of individual differences. Teacher can tell them that which subjects they can select in the high school and intermediate classes.

(7) Occupational Direction—Students can be supported in the selection of favorable occupation, after studying their virtues related to physical, mental and personal aspects. The main purpose of education is to earn money, so it is necessary to select any occupation for living. Hence on the basis of individual differences, it is important to give them occupational directions.

(8) Education According to Sex Differences—There is difference in the interests, capabilities, abilities and needs of boys and girls. Hence their education should be arranged according to their differences. In the beginning, their syllabus can be same but there should be some difference in the middle classes. As in the present time Home science is necessary for girls and math for the boys.

(9) Home Work—It is necessary to keep in mind, the individual differences of students during the time of giving homework to them. It will be proper to give difficult homework to intelligent students, and easy to dull.

(10) Support in the College, Family and Society—College, family and society is one of the most important factors, influencing the individual differences. Hence according to education- psychology, there should be Personal Corporation among these organizations for getting to the purpose of proper development of child.

(11) Establishment of Multi-Purpose Colleges—Multi purpose colleges should be established according to the children of special abilities, in which the work of craft, wood and leather and the education of other techniques should be arranged.

The educational importance of individual difference is identified from the above description.


  • Every body has his unique characteristics, which present him as a different person. The scientific study of individual difference has started some time ago. As soon as the study related to development of psychology and behavior developed, the attention of educationalist was also attracted towards it. In the beginning, Sir Frances Galton paid attention towards it during the study of heredity in 19 century. Then in the 20th century, Pearson and Catell and Terman etc psychologists studied it. Consequently on the basis of this study, after knowing the causes of individual differences, educationalists developed the plan for education, the proper and important theories and education methods in the field of education. 
  • Individual differences or personality differences means the differences of one man from other in color, physique, special ability, interest, nature, achievement and other virtues of man.
  • According to Skinner, “Today we think that in the individual differences, only such aspects of whole personality should be included, which can be measured.’’ It is identified from the definition of Skinner that all the aspects of personality come under the individual differences, which can be measured.
  • The important bases of individual differences are following— (1) Heredity (2) Environment.
  • Psychologists have told many causes of individual differences. Important causes are following: Heredity, Environment, Age and Intelligence, Health, Caste, Race and Nation, Education and Economical Condition, Sex Difference, Maturity, Motor ability, Background, Effect over mental development, Effects of Emotions–Special Abilities, Acquiring Power, Personality.

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