Individual differences are essential whenever we wish to explain how individuals differ in their behavior. In any study, major difference exists between individuals. Reaction time, preferences, values, and health linked behaviors are just a few examples. Individual differences in factors such as personality, intelligence, memory, or physical factors such as body size, sex, age, and other factors can be studied and used in understanding this large source of variance. Importantly, individuals can also differ not only in their current state, but in the magnitude or even direction of response to a given stimulus.
Students differ from each other is obvious. How and why they differ is less clear and is the subject of the study of Individual differences (IDs). Individual differences research typically includes personality, motivation, intelligence, ability, IQ, interests, values, self-concept, self-efficacy, and self-esteem (to name just a few). Current researchers are found in a variety of applied and experimental programs, including educational psychology, Industrial and organizational 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. Although to study individual differences seems to be to study variance, how are people different, it is also to study central tendency, how well can a person be described in terms of an overall within-person average. Indeed, perhaps the most important question of individual differences is whether people are more similar to themselves over time and across situations than they are to others, and whether the variation within a single person across time and situation is less than the variation between people. A related question is that of similarity, for people differ in their similarities to each other. Questions of whether particular groups (e.g., groupings by sex, culture, age, or ethnicity) are more similar within than between groups are also questions of individual differences. Personality psychology addresses the questions of shared human nature, dimensions of individual differences and unique patterns of individuals. Research in IDs ranges from analyses of genetic codes to the study of sexual, social, ethnic, and cultural differences and includes research on cognitive abilities, interpersonal styles, and emotional reactivity. Methods range from laboratory experiments to longitudinal field studies and include data reduction techniques such as Factor Analysis and Principal Components Analysis, as well as Structural Modeling and Multi-Level Modeling procedures. Measurement issues of most importance are those of reliability and stability of Individual Differences. Research in Individual Differences addresses three broad questions: 1) developing an adequate descriptive taxonomy of how people differ; 2) applying differences in one situation to predict differences in other situations; and 3) testing theoretical explanations of the structure and dynamics of individual differences. Taxonomies of Individual Differences
Taxonomic work has focused on categorizing the infinite ways in which individuals differ in terms of a limited number of latent or unobservable constructs. This is a multi-step, cyclical process of intuition, observation, deduction, induction, and verification that has gradually converged on a consensual descriptive organization of broad classes of variables as well as on methods for analyzing them. Most of the measurement and taxonomic techniques used throughout the field have been developed in response to the demand for selection for schooling,...
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