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PSY5003 Personality and Intelligence Assignment 

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This essay will discuss various attributes that define the personality and intelligence of an individual. The essay will cover theories to reflect on the viewpoint about the difference in personality and intelligence. The theories will be compared with one another to reflect the positive points and demerits of the theories. Later, the social issues associated with intelligence and gender differences will also be briefly discussed.

Human behavior is a result of various factors such as situation, behavioral traits, external environment, etc. The repetitive behavior of a person is related to the personality he/she builds over time (Di Fabio et al., 2019). The personality of an individual can be understood as the patterns that determine the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings of a person. The personality of a person makes him/her unique and personality changes slightly with time but remains the same in a major area. Intelligence is also a personality trait that varies from person to person (Lilgendahl, 2015). Intelligence can be understood as the ability of an individual to learn, adapt, create, and meet the demands of the environment efficiently. The individuals differ to various extents concerning personality and intelligence level.

Various factors result in individual differences as explained in Gordon Allport’s Trait theory, the trait can be explained as the individuals’ characteristic pattern of expressing thoughts and beliefs. According to the theory, the traits can be broadly classified into three levels; cardinal, central, and secondary (Tucker-Drob et al., 2019). These traits have a different impact on individual personalities, secondary traits appear less frequently only in specific situations such as being anxious while public speaking. Central traits define the personality of a person in general, these traits are impactful enough to describe a person but not as dominating as cardinal traits. Cardinal traits appear later in the lives of individuals and these traits are so dominant that sometimes traits become synonymous with the name of the person, for example, Don John, etc.. (Wilson, Ward, and Fischer, 2013)

As per the views of Sigmund Freud and the psychodynamic perspective of personality, the personality is a result of conflict between two internal forces; biological aggressive and pleasure-seeking drives (Neuman, 2014). The pleasure-seeking drives emerge due to the subconscious and biological aggressiveness is learned during childhood which shapes the personality (Bornstein et.al, 2013). The theory explains the understanding behind how right and wrong are interpreted but it is criticized that personality is not fixed during childhood and changes with time.

The dimensions of personality are also explained by Eysenck’s dimensions of personality, unlike the Gordon Allport trait theory, the traits were minimized based on analysis and scientific research (Neuman, 2014). The dimensions of personality include introversion/extraversion, neuroticism/emotional stability, and Psychoticism. Introversion and extraversion explain the difference in individuals’ behavior while interacting socially, a person with introversion is more likely to be reserved and silent whereas a person high in extraversion will be more social and outgoing (Costa and McCrae, 2012). The behavior of a person in different situations can be explained by the dimension of, neuroticism which is the tendency of a person to be easily impacted by the situation whereas a person high in emotional stability will remain similar in all situations. Psychoticism is another dimension discussed in the theory which explains a rare situation where the individual becomes antisocial, manipulative, and non-empathetic. This theory explains the situational behavior of people but the factors considered are not enough to define the personality of a person (Lilgendahl, 2015).

With a slight difference, the theory of the five-factor model of personality is used to explain the human personality. The personality traits are agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness. The trait theories help to explain some of the behavioral differences between individuals but individuals behave differently in different situations, even if the individual score high in certain traits that might change with experience and time.

The learning theory of personality explains that the personality of a person is defined by experience and environmental influence. The learning theory argues that, unlike the psychodynamic approach, personality is not defined the childhood. Whereas, it builds and changes over time with experience and environmental influence (Lilgendahl, 2015). The personality is developed with learning as a person may be more anxious while public speaking but as the person practices it more often, the anxiety will reduce and disappear soon. Reciprocal determinism states that the behavior, cognitive factors, and situational factors contribute to developing the personality of an individual (Wilson et.al, 2013). Observational learning is another concept in the learning theories which states that most of the traits that define the personality of individuals are learned by observing. The learning theories are based on behavior and measurable features unlike the psychodynamic but it neglects the biological factors that also influence the way a personality of an individual is developed over time (Costa and McCrae, 2012).

The biological factors are also explained as a determinant of the personality of an individual in the biological theories of personality. These theories take the genetics of an individual as a base for defining personality and behavior (Neuman, 2014). The biological theories are further explained with the use of evolution theories and their impact on the differences in personality of individuals. According to the biological perspective of personality, the psychology of a person is determined by genetics and later the person interacts with environmental factors which result in the personality of the individual. The theories also use neurotransmitters and hormones to explain the influence of biological factors on the personality of an individual (Costa Jr and McCrae, 2012). The brain processes are related to the behavior of the individual such as the lack of dopamine and serotonin can cause a person to be stressed and disturbed. A biological perspective is a scientific approach that uses measurable factors. However, the biological factors cannot entirely define the personality as twins may have similar genes but their personalities may differ to a large extend.

Intelligence is another attribute of human behavior which varies among individuals. Intelligence can be defined as, “mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection, and shaping of real-world environments relevant to one’s life”. Intelligence is based on the mental ability of people to perform various tasks such as planning, manipulating, performing, and learning various tasks. Intelligence quotient is used as a measurement to compare the intelligence among people. It is evident that not everyone handles the situation similarly, the environmental changes and other situations are handled differently which is a result of intelligence level. There are various tests and scales developed to measure intelligence such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence scale, general intelligence factor, culture fair tests, etc.

Various theories try to define intelligence such as the theory of general intelligence proposed by Charles Spearman. According to Charles Spearman, based on the analysis of several mental ability tests, it was analyzed that the individual who performs well in one test also performs well in other tests, and the individuals who performed worse in one performed worse in all of the tests. Hence, according to the theory, intelligence is expressed as a general cognitive ability that is measurable and can be expressed numerically (Mekik et.al, 2018).

The theory of primary mental ability treats intelligence as a sum of seven different primary mental abilities and not as a single attribute like other theories of intelligence (Calik and Birgili, 2013). The seven factors include associative memory which is the ability to remember and recall things, numerical ability which means the ability to solve arithmetic problems, perpetual speed is another primary mental ability which means the ability to find differences and similarities between things, reasoning is the ability to find logic and rules. Spatial visualization means the capability to visualize relationships. the sixth primary ability according to the theory is verbal comprehension which is the ability to understand words and lastly, word fluency which is the produce words rapidly (Wilson et al., 2013). Intelligence is a sum of these attributes of primary mental abilities. The theory blends different factors effectively covering different aspects of intelligence. However, the theory doesn’t cover other physical ability of humans which can contribute to the intelligence.

The theory of multiple intelligence discusses eight different bits of intelligence which are based on the abilities and skills of people who are valued in different cultures. It includes attributes like interpersonal skills-based intelligence which is the capacity to detect other’s moods, desires, and motivations and respond appropriately (Calik and Birgili, 2013). Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to be aware of one, desires, and feelings. Musical intelligence is the capacity to produce and appreciate rhythm, tone, pitch, etc. naturalistic intelligence is the capacity to categorize and recognize plants, animals, and other different objects present in nature. Visual-spatial intelligence is explained as the ability to imagine, think in images, and visualize accurately. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is capable of mind to control body movements and handle objects skillfully. This theory has broadly explained the concept of intelligence, however, the attributes included can be very different in different people hence, and standardization of results can be difficult (Wilson et al., 2013).

Triarchic theory of intelligence is based on the mental ability to adapt, select, and contribute to shaping real-world scenarios. The successful intelligence concept is discussed in the theory and introduced three different factors that contribute to intelligence (Blesch, 2012). These three factors are analytical intelligence which is the capacity to evaluate the information to solve problems. Creative intelligence, which is related to the capacity to generate new ideas, and practical intelligence which can be explained as the ability of a person to adapt to changing environment.

According to the traditional investment theory, intelligence is divided into two types, fluid and crystallized. Fluid intelligence is related to on-the-spot reasoning, or presence of mind whereas crystallized intelligence is acquired over time with experience. According to the investment theory, crystallized intelligence is less likely to be inherited as compared to fluid intelligence. A research was conducted to understand the difference in the inheritance of fluid and crystallized intelligence by experimentation with the twins. It was seen that the test that was more dependent on culture showed high heritability and fluid intelligence was more similar in the twins whereas crystallized intelligence varied to a large extent (Wilson et al., 2013). 

The gender differences in intelligence also exist primarily due to the societal stereotypes which make people believe they have a lower IQ than others because they belong to a certain gender group. As in the research conducted by Crowne (2013), males rated themselves higher in mathematic IQ but lower in general IQ as compared to their female counterparts. Whereas females rated themselves lower in verbal and practical IQ as compared to the males in the research. The emotional and social intelligence of females was rated higher than the of males. It explains that gender roles as designed by society also tend to affect the intelligence level of people belonging to gender groups (Lin et al., 2012). A social difference exists in a society that is primarily due to the extreme cases of intelligence, retardation, and giftedness. The intelligence graph shows a bell curve which demonstrates that many people have extremely high IQ whereas some people struggle to understand the basics of different tasks. Racial differences also exist in intelligence and a common average IQ is shown by the majority of people from a particular race. These differences can be the result of various factors such as gender, birth, genetics, evolution, experiences, exposures, etc. the tests, however, are not adequate to cover all the aspects that can contribute to intelligence which may cause biases towards certain groups in the society (Lin et.al, 2012).

The essay discusses various concepts surrounding individual differences within personality and intelligence. Personality is the sum of behavioral attributes that a person reflects in various situations. Various theories explain the meaning and evolution of personality. The various factors that cause differences in the personality of people are discussed in the essay such as the acquired traits, biological factors such as genes, acquired traits, etc. The intelligence differences among people and the reasons contributing to the differences are also discussed. Various theories are highlighted and compared to analyze the theories critically. It can be concluded the differences can arise due to gender, experiences, genes, traits, etc. various social issues are also associated with intelligence such as extreme cases of giftedness and retardants.


Blesch, A., (2012). Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence.

Bornstein, R.F., Denckla, C.A. and Chung, W.J., (2013). Psychodynamic models of personality.

Calik, B. and Birgili, B., (2013). Multiple intelligence theory for gifted education: Criticisms and implications. Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists1(2),1-12.

Crowne, K.A., (2013). Cultural exposure, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence: An exploratory study. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management13(1), 5-22.

Costa Jr, P.T. and McCrae, R.R., (2012). Major contributions to the psychology of personality. In Hans Eysenck: Consensus and controversy (75-84). Routledge.

Lilgendahl, J.P., (2015). The dynamic role of identity processes in personality development: Theories, patterns, and new directions

Lin, Y.C., Chen, A.S.Y. and Song, Y.C., (2012). Does your intelligence help to survive in a foreign jungle? The effects of cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence on cross-cultural adjustment. International Journal of Intercultural Relations36(4), pp.541-552.

Neuman, Y., (2014). Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective. Physics of life reviews11(4), pp.650-686.

Wilson, J., Ward, C. and Fischer, R., (2013). Beyond culture learning theory: What can personality tell us about cultural competence?. Journal of cross-cultural psychology44(6), 900-927.

Di Fabio, A., & Saklofske, D. H. (2019). The contributions of personality traits and emotional intelligence to intrapreneurial self-capital: Key resources for sustainability and sustainable development. Sustainability11(5), 1240.

Sharma, P. (2019). Soft Skills: Personality Development for Life Success. BPB publications.

Di Fabio, A., & Saklofske, D. H. (2019). Positive relational management for sustainable development: Beyond personality traits—The contribution of emotional intelligence. Sustainability11(2), 330.

Tucker-Drob, E. M., Briley, D. A., McAdams, D. P., Shiner, R. L., & Tackett, J. L. (2019). Theoretical concepts in the genetics of personality development. The handbook of personality development, 40-58.

Mekik, C.S., Sun, R. and Dai, D.Y., (2018), July. Similarity-Based Reasoning, Raven's Matrices, and General Intelligence. In IJCAI (pp. 1576-1582).



Psychometric testing is the process of objectively measuring the aspects of the subject's mental ability or personality. It is used for a variety of applications ranging from recruitment of employees by corporations to clinical behavior testing of subjects. In this report, three of the widely used psychometric tests for aptitude and personality assessment, i.e Stanford-Binet V IQ Test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Test, and Thematic Apperception Test are discussed.

Stanford-Binet V IQ Test

  • Overview

Testing the IQ, or intelligence quotient is the primary objective of the Stanford-Binet test, which is a traditional test. The test contains both verbal and non-verbal sections, which are not grouped to maintain a fair assessment of a person's unique cognitive abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The Stanford-Binet IQ Test measures the following five cognitive skills (Twomey et.al, 2018):

  1. Knowledge
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Working Memory
  4. Fluid Reasoning
  5. Visual-Spatial Processing
  • Test administration

The Stanford-Binet IQ test can be taken by a person of any age, although it has prominently been used to assess gifted children of a very young age. This test has to be individually tailored to the test taker, which necessitates the need for adaptive testing (Mekik et al., 2018). A question in the middle range of difficulty is given during adaptive testing in the beginning. If the test taker provides the correct answer to the question, a question of greater difficulty is asked next, and a question of lower difficulty is asked next if the test taker provides the incorrect answer to the question. Computerized adaptive testing is predominantly used these days to mimic what an examiner would do.

  • Scoring and evaluation

The ratio IQ, used in earlier forms of Stanford-Binet IQ tests, was the ratio of the test taker's mental age divided by his or her chronological age, multiplied by 100. The deviation IQ was used in place of ratio IQ starting from the third edition of the test. The deviation IQ indicates a comparison of the performance of the test taker with that of others of the same age. The test performance is finally converted into a standard score with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. The Stanford-Binet Full Scale scores are converted to named categories for quick reference (***). These categories for SB5 are:

Measured IQ Range



Very gifted or highly advanced


Gifted or very advanced




High average




Low average


Borderline impaired or delayed


Mildly impaired or delayed


Moderately impaired or delayed

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Test

  • Overview

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is an IQ test designed for adults or older adolescents to measure their intelligence and cognitive ability. The current version of the test is the fourth edition, and is the most widely used IQ test, for adults and older adolescents. It is argued to be better than the Binet IQ test as it gives more emphasis to the non-intellective factors, and reduced the emphasis from having timed tasks, as they tended to unduly handicap older adults (Bright et al, 2018).

  • Test administration

The WAIS-IV, the latest version of the test, is composed of 10 core subtests and five supplemental subtests. It includes four index scores that represent the major components of intelligence (Tucker-Drob et al., 2019).

The Working Memory Index (WMI) includes:

  1. Digit Span
  2. Arithmetic

The Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) includes tests of:

  1. Similarities
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Information

The Process Speed Index (PSI) includes:

  1. Symbol Search
  2. Digit Symbol-Coding

The Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI) includes:

  1. Picture Completion
  2. Matrix Reasoning
  3. Block Design

The test consists of questions grouped by the aforementioned subsets. The process of adaptive learning is also utilized in the WAIS-IV test to best assess the cognitive ability of the test taker.

  • Scoring and evaluation

The WAIS-IV test is evaluated using two scores to summarize the general intellectual abilities of the test taker. These are:

  1. The combined performance of the VCI, PRI, WMI and PSI is used for Full Scale IQ (FSIQ)
  2. The six subtests that VCI and PRI comprise, are used for. General Ability Index (GAI)

The Wechsler tests are standardized to yield deviation IQs with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. The performance of the test taker is compared to others in the same age group to get the FSI and GAI values (Irby and Floyd, 2013). 

Thematic Apperception Test

  • Overview

TAT or the Thematic Apperception Test, is a form of convex test which includes a description of ambiguous scenes. It is widely known as the "picture interpretation technique". The TAT is one of the most popularly used clinical tests for personality assessment and to assess subjects for psychological conditions (McCredie and Morey, 2019). It entails therapeutic usage by allowing subjects to express their feelings indirectly.

  • Test administration

A series of picture cards of ambiguous characters, scenes, and situations are used in TAT. The test taker is then required to formulate a detailed story for each picture. These stories include the following sections:

  1. What are the causal factors of the event?
  2. What is being depicted in the scene?
  3. What are the feelings and thoughts of the characters?
  4. What is the result of the story?

The extended TAT version is composed of 31 cards. It is recommended to use around 20 cards, which depict characters similar to the test taker.

  • Scoring and evaluation

The primary criticism of the TAT is regarding the fact that it is not standardized. No rules describe how the test should be administered and there is no formal scoring system. This leads to variance in the ways clinicians administer the test (Di Fabio & Saklofske, 2019). Murray’s complex scoring system is only used by a few practitioners because even the same scoring system can involve different cards. Therefore, the results of TAT are not comparable.


Psychometric testing methods evolved massively during the 20th century, and now cover a wide variety of applications. It is used in organizations for recruitment and selection, coaching, career guidance, and team development. Personality tests provide a great way for clinicians to understand the psychological problems of individuals, while individuals find great non-intrusive channels to express their feelings. The report presented analyzed some of the key psychometric tests about how they are administered and how they are evaluated.


Bright P et al. (2018). The National Adult Reading Test: Restandardisation against the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition, Neuropsychological rehabilitation, 28(6), 1019–1027. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2016.1231121.

Irby, S. M. and Floyd, R. G. (2013). “Test Review: Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, Second Edition,” Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 28(3), 295–299.

McCredie, M. N. and Morey, L. C. (2019). “Convergence between Thematic Apperception Test (tat) and Self-Report: Another Look at Some Old Questions,” Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75(10), 1838–1849. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22826.

Sumiyoshi, C. et al. (2016). “Usefulness of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale Short Form for Assessing Functional Outcomes in Patients with Schizophrenia,” Psychiatry Research, 245, pp. 371–378. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.018.

Twomey, C. et al. (2018). “Utility of an Abbreviated Version of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (5th Ed.) in Estimating ‘full Scale’ Iq for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Autism Research, 11(3), pp. 503–508. doi: 10.1002/aur.1911.

Van der Elst W, Reed H and Jolles J., (2013). “The Logical Grammatical Structures Test: Psychometric Properties and Normative Data in Dutch-Speaking Children and Adolescents,” The Clinical neuropsychologist, 27(3), 396–409. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2012.745610.

Di Fabio, A., & Saklofske, D. H. (2019). Positive relational management for sustainable development: Beyond personality traits—The contribution of emotional intelligence. Sustainability11(2), 330.

Tucker-Drob, E. M., Briley, D. A., McAdams, D. P., Shiner, R. L., & Tackett, J. L. (2019). Theoretical concepts in the genetics of personality development. The handbook of personality development, 40-58.

Mekik, C.S., Sun, R. and Dai, D.Y., (2018), July. Similarity-Based Reasoning, Raven's Matrices, and General Intelligence. In IJCAI (pp. 1576-1582).

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