Psychological Attributes: Meaning & Characteristics

It is believed that the human mind is a complex and fascinating thing. This is undoubtedly true, as a person's psychological attributes can be quite diverse and unique. Psychological attributes are the specific characteristics of a person that influence their behavior and thoughts. These include personality, temperament, intelligence, and emotional state. Psychological attributes are important to consider when trying to understand the reason for someone's behavior. A person's psychological attributes are shaped by their genes, life experiences, and environment. Some of our psychological attributes are fixed and permanent in nature, which cannot be changed, while others are more flexible and can be developed over time.

Psychological Attributes

There are different psychological attributes within a human being, such as intelligence, personality, aptitude, and interest. Let’s discuss them separately −

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The term intelligence comes from the Latin word ‘intellegere,’ which means to "understand." By the time intelligence is not defined adequately, but most people agree that it involves the ability to think abstractly, solve problems, and learn from experience. Intelligence is often used as a measure of someone's potential in academics and at the workplace, but researchers argue if it is an accurate measure. There are many different types of intelligence; some people are better at certain types than others. For example, some people are good at logical and mathematical reasoning, while others are better at creative thinking or understanding and empathizing with other people.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that intelligence is not static – it can change over time, and everyone has the potential to improve their intelligence. There are several ways to improve an individual's intelligence, and one is to practice the types of tasks that simply require intelligence. Along with this, individuals can also improve their intelligence by learning new things, staying open-minded, and keeping the brain active. Personality

People more often react differently to the same or different events regarding how they think, feel, and act. This specific behavioral pattern aids in defining one's identity. Likewise, personality refers to these distinctive ways of responding to individuals and situations. It is a unique and relatively stable quality that characterizes an individual's behavior across different situations over a period of time. The term psychology is derived from the Latin term 'persona,' which was an actor's mask in the ancient world. Personality often refers to the individual characteristics and traits that make up who we are. Our personality makes an individual unique and can be a major factor in how someone interacts with the world around them.


Aptitude is the special skills of a person in a certain activity or area. Freeman (1971) defined aptitude as

"a combination of characteristics indicative of an individual's capacity to acquire (with training) some specific knowledge skill, or a set of organized responses, such as the ability to speak a language, to become a musician, to do a mechanical work."

The person's ability to pick up new knowledge or skills following training is determined by a mixture of traits and environment. Hence, aptitude is neither entirely genetic nor environmental. Certain aspects may be inborn, like musical abilities or accuracy in software coding, and other aspects can be improved through practice and training. People with the same intelligence may differ in the aptitude of different aspects.

Regarding the connection between aptitude and intelligence, psychologists have differing opinions. One side believes both concepts are equivalent, whereas the other believes aptitude is a particular kind of intelligence. They argue that although aptitude offers a variety of perspectives on human abilities, IQ portrays intelligence as a single quality. The several or numerous traits that make up intelligence are represented by aptitude, which is mostly unrelated to one another. In other terms, aptitude refers to specialized skills like painting, playing chess, musical talent, running, etc. Intelligence is a larger phrase for various aptitudes, including competency and mental/intellectual capacity. According to the standard mental ability tests, intelligence is more closely associated with academic performance than aptitude, which is more closely related to vocational and job success.


Interests are traits that encourage goal-oriented behavior and direct people toward certain surroundings, such as preferences for certain activities, situations in which such activities occur, or results linked with the favourite activities. Interest is a person's subjective attitude that drives them to complete a certain activity. It offers enjoyment and fulfilment. It causes a change in behavior that is noticeable in the object's presence and is characterized by attention and concentration. It also results in curiosity towards the object of interest, enthusiasm to be attached to it, and strength of will to face difficulties while engaged in the task of one's interest.


Values are enduring beliefs that a human being holds about an ideal mode of behaviour. Developed over period in time through social learning, value is a set of standard or guiding principles to command, direct, and guide an individual’s action and also to judge others.


In a world filled with billions of people, each individual differs from the next. The difference originates from the psychological attributes, such as personality, intelligence, aptitude, etc., which determine why a person behaves the way they do. Conceptual understanding of these attributes will help to understand the causes and results of human behavior.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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