|University||Edinburgh Napier University (ENU)|
|Subject||PSY09701: Individual Differences|
Question 1: Evaluate the evidence suggesting we are getting smarter over the generations.
Topic / Module Guidelines:
Evidence for a reasonable change in intelligence levels across generations
In the Thumbnail lecture on intelligence, you were very briefly introduced to a research programme that has been studying the extent to which intelligence changes across successive generations.
We noted that some specific intelligence changes more than others across generations. In particular, based on the intelligence test most commonly used when studying the Flynn effect (the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children), the rank order of change from least change to greatest change is general knowledge, arithmetic, vocabulary, comprehension, picture completion, block design, object assembly, coding, picture arrangement, similarities.
It is likely that you are not clear on what some of this intelligence is or how they are measured. There are many decent websites, accessible by simply googling ‘WISC similarities’ (or whatever) that will help you. Please take the time to make sure you understand them.
Question 2: Assess the extent to which creativity is a distinct individual difference, unrelated to personality and intelligence. (1200 words)
Topic / Module Guidelines:
Creativity can be assessed in a number of different ways, but the most popular method is divergent thinking tests such as the alternate uses test.
Creativity and intelligence
Conduct an internet search for research studies that have examined the relationship between creativity and personality. (If you are stuck, some suggestions are provided on the next page.)
Based on the sources you have found and on your background reading, summarise your thoughts on the relationship between creativity and intelligence. Is creativity distinct from intelligence? Provide examples of evidence to support your thinking.
Question 3: With reference to known correlates, argue that optimism is an important individual difference to study (1200 words).
Topic / Module Guidelines:
In Thumbnail lecture 4, you measured your dispositional optimism via the Life Orientation Scale (Revised). We concentrated on just obtaining a basic score for dispositional optimism, but this scale can also give a broader profile.
Scores of 24-30 reflect very high optimism, and scores of 6-12 reflect very low optimism (therefore, pessimism).
Look back at your notes for Thumbnail lecture 4 and compare your basic dispositional score (summing just your scores on items 1, 4, and 10) then and now. What do you find? Are your scores identical? Since you are measuring a disposition, conceptually you would expect them to be identical, but there’s a strong chance that they may not be, and even if yours are, some of your classmates will note differences.
If your scores are not the same, why might this be? Try to cast your answer in terms of measurement issues (such as different forms of reliability and validity) and other explanations that go beyond commonsense.
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