What is differential psychology?


2019-09-03 23:20:28




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Differential psychology — that's part of science, which is identifying and studying psychological differences as one person and a certain group of people. Typically, in the course of studies special attention is paid to the psychological manifestation of people belonging to different age, ethnic and social groups.

Although differential psychology as an independent science separated recently, it is very important. For the first time this term was used in 1900, when stern developed the concept of defining and explaining the differences between individuals and groups.

This branch of science has two basic tasks. First, in the course of research, scientists are trying to identify individual differences. Second, before psychologists task is to explain the cause and origin.

Differential psychology and work of Francis Galton. Having considered the work of this scientist, it is possible to understand some peculiarities of differential psychology. During his experiments, the majority of psychologists prefer to study the common features of humanity. At the same time, Galton was interested in the individual characteristics of each person and their heredity. It was during this period arose the view that the mental and physical ability, talent and some creative abilities of a person are transmitted genetically from relatives.

That's why he carefully studied their patients with psychological and physiological point of view. For example, he evaluated the level of muscle tone, determined by the upper threshold of auditory sensitivity, etc. and Then was developed a special test — the subject is asked to create in the imagination a certain way, and then detailed to describe all the features. Galton also studied some individual quality of the image, and compared the results of the experiment are close relatives, for example, determined the level of similarity of images from brothers and sisters.


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It was the first to sent out comprehensive questionnaires to all scientists of England to determine the level of their intelligence and to reveal the peculiarities of thinking.

Differential psychology and its methods. As in any other science, scientists use a variety of research methods. They can be divided into different groups.

If you take into account the kind used in the experiments of experience, we can distinguish:

  • Introspective techniques — their results are based on data purely subjective experience;
  • Extrospective methods — they use only the objective results that can be accurately measured;

Has the value and impact of the activity on the investigated object:

  • Watch — passive method of investigation;
  • Experiment — a well-designed and active method;

Is Taken into account and the level of generality. In this case, the methods are divided into:

  • Idiopaticescoe — focus on a single object, its psychology and psychography;
  • Nomothetical — guided by the common data;

Methods Data the study uses the science of psychology in almost any study.

In addition, conventionally to divide the methods of differential psychology

  • Absence;
  • Istoricheskie;
  • Psihologicheskie;
  • Psihasteniceskie;

Of Course, differential psychology has its problems. For example, if any particular person really individual or are very rare, the researcher from his point of view is unlikely to be able to understand them.

To date, this Department of psychology is at the stage of rapid development. After all, we study the features of different people of different genders, ethnicities, classes, ages etc. in addition, take into consideration and different types of relationships between the subjects. All this creates huge opportunities for new discoveries, research and develop ways to eliminate psychological problems.

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