idiographic and nomothetic Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in idiographic and nomothetic Deck (11)
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What is the idiographic approach?

Describe the nature of individuals
No comparison to a group
Produce qualitative data, case studies


What is the nomothetic approach?

Produce general laws of behaviour
Scientific method, experiments
Large samples to establish similarities and differences


How is humanistic psychology an example of idiographic approach?

Phenomenological approach to studying people
Document experience of individual
Investigating unique experience


How is the psychodynamic approach idiographic?

Case study method
However Freud assumes he’d identified universal laws of behaviour


What approaches are the nomothetic approach linked to?

Those that are reductionist and determinist
Hypotheses are formulated and tested
Analysed for significance


How are the behaviourist, cognitive and biological approaches nomothetic?

Skinner studied hundreds of rats
Cognitive - inferences about memory using large samples
Biological - brain scans on many to make generalisations about localisation


Evaluation - case for idiographic

Complete account of individual
Complements nomothetic approach by shedding light on general laws
Single case may generate hypotheses for further study (HM)


Evaluation - case against idiographic

Narrow and restricted
Oedipus complex developed from single case study
Case studies are not scientific and rely on subjective researcher


Evaluation - case for nomothetic

Scientific - standardised conditions, statistical analysis
Psychology has greater scientific credibility


Evaluation - case against nomothetic

Losing the whole person
Knowing there is a 1% lifetime risk of schizophrenia tells us little about the disorder
Pps treated as scores rather than people


Evaluation - complementary not contradictory

Not mutually exclusive
General patterns of behaviour while looking at atypical case studies