Abstract and Keywords
Why individuals differ typically involves the study of practically inseparable influences of multiple dimensions of complex and confounded environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors. With respect to the practice of school psychology within the context of historical, social, and political influences on education, studies dealing with individual differences, and the application of knowledge gained from these, are challenging and often controversial. It is difficult to simultaneously embrace both the values of individualism and egalitarianism—values that are deeply rooted in American education. The primary intent of this chapter is to present findings of replicated and recent research on individual differences, with emphasis on general cognitive functioning, genetic, and epigenetic factors that influence commonly desired life outcomes. Further, we suggest relevant educational and psychological applications of these findings to promote the design of optimal environments that facilitate individual functioning.
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