For more than a century, psychologists have attempted to identify and understand systematic, observable differences between individuals that seem stable over time. Among these individual differences, personality and intelligence have received widespread attention, not only in an academic, but also in a lay, forum. Values, beliefs, and attitudes are all important, but may seem systematically related to the more fundamental and stable factors of abilities (intelligence) and traits (personality).
Loosely defined, personality refers to stable patterns of behaviors or traits that predispose an individual to act in a specific (more or less consistent) manner. We often describe and explain our own behavior and that of others in terms of personality traits: “she is responsible,” “he is very creative,” “she is very shy,” or “he is very talkative.” In contrast, intelligence refers to an individual’s capacity to learn new things and solve novel (GO as well as old (Gc) problems.
It is also often referred to as accumulated knowledge and is used widely in everyday life to describe ourselves and others: “he is very bright,” “she is very knowledgeable,” or “he learns quickly.” In that sense, intelligence could be regarded as a fundamental characteristic of an individual and considered part of personality.
Nevertheless, methodological and applied issues, concerning the way in which personality and intelligence have been assessed and measured, as well as the purpose for which they are usually examined, have determined a major division in the field of individual differences. As a consequence, the study of personality and intelligence has followed two different research paths, and there has been little significant communication between researchers from one field and the other, at least until recently .
This book is essentially aimed at integrating the concepts of personality and intelligence in what could be defined as an attempt to provide a conceptual framework for understanding individual differences underlying intellectual competence. In that sense, it plans to go beyond initial efforts of “bridging the gap” between both constructs by setting the empirical and theoretical foundations for a comprehensive model for understanding individual differences research and predicting future achievement.
This model is based not only on the interface between personality and intelligence (as traditionally conceived in terms of psychometric scores of standardized inventories or tests, but also academic performance , and subjectively assessed intelligence .
Although mainly theoretical, this book is not only aimed at experts in the area of individual differences, but to a wider public, which includes social science students with an interest in human performance, and anyone interested in the prediction of intellectual competence as well as the understanding of the psychological theories underlying individual differences in intellectual competence.
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