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By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  • Describe the stages in the development of psychometric tests
  • Discuss different types of reliability and validity
  • Evaluate measures of individual differences in terms of reliability and validity

A career guidance counsellor gives schoolchildren a personality scale designed to identify which careers would be best suited to them. It has previously been established that scores on the scale can determine future career satisfaction.

A researcher develops a new, shorter personality scale. They test its validity by comparing scores on the new shorter scale with an established longer personality scale.

A job applicant completes a work motivation scale. The applicant says that it is obvious that the scale is assessing work motivation.

A school teacher develops a test of mathematics. A colleague reviews the test and identifies that several topics covered in class are not covered in the test. The teacher changes the test to include all topics covered in class.

A researcher develops a new measure of anxiety. To test its validity, the researcher looks as the relationship between anxiety scores and other objective measuresof anxiety .

Once you are thoroughly familiar with this material, come to the tutorial prepared tothink critically and analytically about the question: How reliable, valid and accurate is the measurement of individual differences?

Based on your reading, identify elements of the psychoanalytic/neo-psychoanalytic approach that relate to the nature-nurture debate. For example, are there parts of theories that relate to biological instincts, and parts that relate to environmental influences?

Once you are thoroughly familiar with this material, come to the tutorial prepared to think critically and analytically about the questions:

  • To what extent does free will explain personality?
  • To what extent does free will explain personality?
  • To what extent is personality stable?

What are the main criticisms of behavioural genetics studies? Summarise these points below.

The trait approach to personality tends to argue that personality is relatively stable. Based on what you know about the trait approaches, why might stability be expected?

By the end of this section, you should be:

  • Discuss evidence for a monolithic model of intelligence (g factor)
  • Discuss evidence for a pluralistic model of intelligence (s factors)
  • Criticise Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences
  • Discuss hierarchical models of intelligence and explain how do they bridge the gap between g and s
  • Select one contemporary theory of intelligence, and evaluate the contribution it has made to the ‘g’ versus ‘s’ debate on the structure of intelligence
Intelligence

Achievement can be defined as the capability that helps in accomplishing important things based on either acquired skills or that of knowledge. It is important for every individual to recognize and thereby try their best to achieve their goals not only in their lives but also on regular days to live life successfully (Tempelaar et al., 2015). Achievement helps in developing confidence as well as motivation for moving forward in life and completing different objectives that help individuals to meet their aspirations and their ambitions. Most of the young people are seen to get formal qualifications at school but learning also takes place outside the classroom, at home as well as in the wider community (Papadoupoulas, Parrila &Kirby, 2015). Individuals tend to learn throughout their lives and different knowledge gained through their life help them in polishing their skills in ways by which they can experience achievement in different activities. Researchers are of the opinion that two intricate factors are intricately associated with achievement. These are the intelligence and the performance. The assignment will mainly shed light on the contributions of the two factors in gaining achievements and the ways it affects the well-being of an individual mentally and emotionally.

Intelligence can be defined as the ability of learning something new in life or develop a skill that is important for achieving things. From many years, there have been concerns among the researchers who were quite concerned about three important facts. They needed to know whether intelligence is unitary or it is multifaceted (Magano, Craparo & Paolillo, 2016). They also wanted to know whether intelligence is determined by genetic factors or the environmental factors. They also wanted to know whether it helps in achieving academic success and success outside the schools. The Factor Analytical Approach was proposed by Charles Spearman  in the year 1927. He had proposed that intelligence is comprised of general factor “g” which is actually the general mental ability that are involved in all the cognitive tasks and another factor called the specific factor “s” which are the factors that are unique for a specific task. Later, another researcher called the Lewis Thurnstone in the year 1938 had challenged this unitary concept. The later had said that seven important skills form the components of intelligence. These are the verbal meaning, reasoning, perceptual speed, rote memory, number, spatial visualization and word fluency. Another theory had been also proposed which is called the Information Processing approach or the Sternberg’s processing approach (Valerius & Sparfeldt, 2015).

In this theory, the researchers have argued that in order to understand the concept of intelligence and its contribution to the achievement of an objective, they should assess the ways by which people utilize their information processing capabilities. Therefore, they have studied on the memory as well as the problem solving skills in order to execute the different types of intelligence activities and thereby concluded its effects on achievements. Sternberg’s  Triacrchic Theory have proposed of the three main components of the intelligence. These are the information processing skills, experience with the tasks and even the ability for adapting to the demands of the context. He had farther developed this where he now proposes the theory of successful intelligence (Watkins & Styck, 2017). This theory mainly states about the capability of the individuals in fitting into, changing and thereby choosing of the environments, which can most successfully fulfill the needs and desires of the individuals and help in meeting the demands of the culture and society of the individual. He also talks about the practical as well as the tacit knowledge. This is mainly the implicit knowledge that is shared but many individuals and that is responsible for guiding the behavior of the individual. This theory had been applied in the curriculum of the school, which had indeed helped teens for improvement of their scores, as well as in the university entrance exams. Moreover, it was also seen that children who were advised to follow their curriculum depending on this there were seen to be more enjoying. They were more satisfied and enjoyed the materials in comparisons to the other children who were taught the same information in the traditional manner (Kaya, Juntune & Stough, 2017). Therefore, one can conclude that better the intelligence of the individuals, better will be their chances of achievement.

Performance

Howard Gardener had proposed Gardener’s theory of Multiple Intelligence in the year 2004. The researcher has proposed that humans possess eight different types of intelligence. These are linguistic, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, logical-mathematical, musical, intrapersonal and being naturalistic. The researcher believes that all these types of skills are extremely significant for effective human functioning and in turn associates with achievements (Ali & Ara, 2017). There had been evidences where this work had been extensively used for the improvement of the public education that accompanies varied as well as individualized instruction. There had been many queries regarding the reasons why people differ in measured intelligence as different people have different capabilities in achieving their goals. Enough evidences have talked about the support for the significance of hereditary in intelligence with the rest of the cases being  considered because of variability in the environmental factors as well as both social factors like family, school, peers as well as non-social which are dietary and diseases factors or the pollutants. One of the famous theorist namely Arthur Jenson  had been holding extreme views and he had proposed two types of learning (Kenett et al., 2016). The first being the associative learning including the short term memory, rote-learning, simple associative skills and attention. This type of intelligence is mainly present in all individuals. The second type of learning is the abstract thinking, use of language in problem solving, conceptual learning as well as symbolic procedures. This type of intelligence is mainly present among different ethnic groups.

Although the above mentioned theories have put forward the components of intelligence which show that presence of the components help in achieving a particular goals or objectives but other researchers do not tend to follow the pathways. People who are deemed as intelligent individuals and people who are seen to be achievers in life are often called to be the two sides of the same coin. This means intelligence is accepted to be the factor that helps in achievements, as they possess the knowledge and skills to achieve the goals successfully (Abedaliz et al., 2017). However, there have been arguments that state that achievement is not necessarily bases its foundation on the knowledge of the individual and the ways the individuals use the knowledge to complete his tasks. Researchers have stated that an individual can achieve something solely by the determination and willingness to work harder than what others might work to achieve the goals. Many of the researchers are also of the opinion that achievement might also be based on pure luck while intelligence might be innate or develop over the long period of time. There had been many of the instances where it is seen that individuals might be well-educated or might be highly intelligent but they fail to achieve their goals. This might be due to many factors like laziness, lack of confidence, lack of proper help and circumstantial situations and many others (Lourinho, Ferreira & Severo, 2017).

Personality can be explained as the intra-individual organization of different types of experiences as well as behaviors. It is seen to mainly reflect to the characteristic patterns of the thought as well as emotion and behavior of the individuals together with the psychological mechanisms. Researchers have defined it as the organized as well as developing system within a person that actually reflects the collective action of the major psychological subsystem of the individuals (Adinasari, 2017). Personality mainly comprises of the unique combination of different types of characteristics that help in defining the individual feelings of the person, his way of thinking as well as behaviors. One of the most used personality model is the NEO five factor model that had been developed by McCrae and Costa. It is mainly seen to comprise of the Openness to Experience, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Agreeableness. The Big five personality tests had indeed become successful in understanding and explaining the moderate percentage of the variance in achievement.

Factors Affecting Intelligence

Different examples can be used which shows that personality of the individuals are intricately linked with different types of achievements.  Neuroticism is the condition where individuals go through the conditions of fear and nervousness in the stressful situations. This trait in the personality make the individuals suffer from poor self-concept as well as lower amount of self-intelligence (Rimfield et al., 2016). This actually acts as the barrier by which the individuals cannot achieve the goals that he had set for himself and this personality trait becomes a barrier for his success. Researchers have found that neuroticism has the capacity of impairing academic achievement. Again, another trait is the openness to experience. This trait of the personality is also associated as the predictor of the achievements that individuals experience in lives. Openness to experiences and agreeableness are seen to be positive related with academic achievement (Avery et al., 2015). Conscientiousness can be described as the personality trait by which individuals need to be careful and vigilant. Individuals who have high level of this trait are seen to harbor the desire to do a task well and they are also seen to take obligations to others much seriously. Researchers are of the opinion that nature of conscientiousness individuals tend to be organized and efficient in comparison to that of the easy going as well as disorderly nature of the others and hence the former can achieve their set goals efficiently.

Extraversion is yet another factor of personality that might determine whether the individual would be able to achieve his target of fail miserably. Person who scores high on this scale are seen to enjoy with people, participate in social gatherings and are full of energy in comparison to those who are scoring low on this scale. Studies conducted on students show those high scores of extraversion test may result in poorer performance and failure to achieve goals. This is mainly because extraverts tend to be easily satisfied, social and highly energetic which result in poor academic performance (Lechnar, Danner & Rammstedt, 2017). This is mainly through their peak activation time at night as well as ineffective and lazy habits of studying. Moreover, they are also seen to be higher in the emotional levels, which increase their chances of being impulsive in nature in reaction to different successful and unsuccessful outcomes. This makes them less capable of performing tasks efficiently and hence they fail to achieve their set goals. Therefore, it can be seen that students scoring high on this trait are less successful and those scoring less are highly successful in their achievements (Yeager et al., 2014).

From the entire discussion above, it is seen that intelligence and personality are indeed two of the most important determinants of achievements in the life of an individual. Over the years, different researchers have put forward interesting theories where they have talked about the important components of intelligence and how the presence of such components ensures achievements and success in individuals. Verbal meaning, reasoning, rote memory, spatial visualization, naturalistic skills, musical, intra and inter personal skills all determine intelligence and accordingly how they help in achieving a goal. Often hereditary, culture, genetic, environmental factors and many others determine the level of intelligence among individuals although there are many arguments about it. Although these theories have been put forward, many researchers believe, that luck, determination, willingness and similar other factors might affect an individual’s achievement although they might be intelligent. Therefore, the debate continues. Again, on the other hand, personality is also seen to be one of the predictors of achievements. There are five important aspects of an individual’s personality and these are Openness to Experience, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Agreeableness. While Neuroticism and Extraversion are negatively associated with an individual’s achieving a goal bit others like the Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Openness to Experience have positive correlations with achievements by an individual. Therefore, one can conclude that personality is indeed associated with achievement but debate regarding intelligence as the predictor of achievement is still continuing among the different researchers in their concerned fields.

References:

Abedalaziz, N., Leng, C. H., Nor, M. M., & Orleans, A. V. (2017). Achievement Goals of Form Five Students: Relation to Personal Epistemology and Implicit Intelligence. Advanced Science Letters, 23(3), 2093-2096.

Ali, S., & Ara, A. (2017). Intelligence as a Determinant of Academic Achievement: A Comparative Study of High Achievers and Underachievers.

Andinasari, A. (2017). The Effect Of Transformational Leadership, Personality And Achievement Motivation On Job Performance Of PGRI Administration Employees In The University Of Palembang. JURNAL LENTERA: Kajian Keagamaan, Keilmuan dan Teknologi, 3(2).

Avery, R. E., Smillie, L. D., & Fife-Schaw, C. R. (2015). Employee achievement orientations and personality as predictors of job satisfaction facets. Personality and individual differences, 76, 56-61.

Jonsson, A. C., & Beach, D. (2017). The influence of subject disciplinary studies on students’ implicit theories of intelligence and achievement goals in one Swedish upper-secondary school. Education Inquiry, 8(1), 50-67.

Kaya, F., Juntune, J., & Stough, L. (2015). Intelligence and its relationship to achievement.

Kenett, Y. N., Beaty, R. E., Silvia, P. J., Anaki, D., & Faust, M. (2016). Structure and flexibility: Investigating the relation between the structure of the mental lexicon, fluid intelligence, and creative achievement. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10(4), 377.

Lechner, C., Danner, D., & Rammstedt, B. (2017). How is personality related to intelligence and achievement? A replication and extension of Borghans et al. and Salkever. Personality and Individual Differences, 111, 86-91.

Lourinho, I., Ferreira, M. A., & Severo, M. (2017). Personality and achievement along medical training: Evidence from a cross-lagged analysis. PloS one, 12(10), e0185860.

Magnano, P., Craparo, G., & Paolillo, A. (2016). Resilience and Emotional Intelligence: which role in achievement motivation. International Journal of Psychological Research, 9(1), 9-20.

Papadopoulos, T. C., Parrila, R. K., & Kirby, J. R. (2015). Cognition, intelligence, and achievement: A tribute to JP Das. In Cognition, Intelligence, and Achievement (pp. 3-12).

Rimfeld, K., Kovas, Y., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2016). True grit and genetics: Predicting academic achievement from personality. Journal of personality and social psychology, 111(5), 780.

Tempelaar, D. T., Rienties, B., Giesbers, B., & Gijselaers, W. H. (2015). The pivotal role of effort beliefs in mediating implicit theories of intelligence and achievement goals and academic motivations. Social Psychology of Education, 18(1), 101-120.

Valerius, S., & Sparfeldt, J. R. (2015). Relations of General and Specific Intelligence Factors with General and Specific Achievement Factors in a Nested-Factor-Model. Zeitschrift Fur Padagogische Psychologie, 29(2), 101-108.

Watkins, M. W., & Styck, K. M. (2017). A cross-lagged panel analysis of psychometric intelligence and achievement in reading and math. Journal of Intelligence, 5(3), 31.

Yeager, D. S., Johnson, R., Spitzer, B. J., Trzesniewski, K. H., Powers, J., & Dweck, C. S. (2014). The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence. Journal of personality and social psychology, 106(6), 867.

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