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A-Level Psychology - Issues And Debates > Idiographic And Nomothetic > Flashcards

Flashcards in Idiographic And Nomothetic Deck (4)
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The ideographic approach

The ideographic approach attempts to describe the nature of the individual.
People are studied as unique entities, each with their own subjective experiences, motivations and values.
May be no attempt to compare to a larger group or norm.
It is associated with methods in psychology that produce qualitative data such as case studies, unstructured interviews and other self report methods.
It describes the richness of human experience and gain insight into the persons unique way of viewing the world.


Example of the ideographic approach

Humanistic psychology is an example of the idiographic approach.
Rogers and Maslow were only interested in documenting the conscious experience of the individual or self.
Humanistic psychologists were more concerned with investigating unique experiences rather then producing general laws for behaviour.


The nomothetic approach

The main aim is to produce general laws for human behaviour.
These provide a benchmark in which people can be compared, classifies and measured on the basis of which likely future behaviour can be predicted.
It is closely associated with the methods that are scientific within psychology such as experiments.
This involves the study of large numbers of people in order to establish ways in which people are similar.


Example of the nomothetic approach

It tends to be a feature of those approaches that are reductionist, determinist and employ scientific methods of investigation.
Hypotheses are firmed and tested under controlled conditions and findings are generated from a large number of people.