Idiographic and Nomothetic Flashcards Preview

AQA Psychology - Issues and Debates > Idiographic and Nomothetic > Flashcards

Flashcards in Idiographic and Nomothetic Deck (10)
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1
Q

What does this debate centre around?

A
  • This debate centres around the different approaches to psychological investigation, and if emphasis should be placed on individual cases as a means of understanding behaviour, or should be placed upon groups of people in order to formulate general laws of behaviour.
2
Q

What does idiographic approach focuses on?

A
  • focuses on the individual and emphasis uniqueness and subjective experience.
  • This approach to psychological investigation is rich and in depth and thus favours qualitative methods in research e.g. case studies.
  • There is no attempt to compare the findings of this research to a larger group standard or norm.
3
Q

What is example of idigrpahic approach?

A
  • For example, as part of the psychodynamic approach Freud used case studies such as the case of ‘Little Hans’ which contained descriptions from Hans’s father about Hans’ life.
  • This meant that Freud focused on individual experience when explaining human behaviour.
4
Q

What is nomothetic approach?

A
  • The nomothetic approach attempts to summarise the differences between people through generalisation.
  • The main aim is to produce general laws of behaviour in order to control and predict future behaviour.
  • This is based on the study of groups and the use of statistical/quantitative techniques.
5
Q

What is example of nomothetic approach?

A

An example of this, is seen in Piaget’s research after studying children he generalised his research to ‘all children’ by suggesting stages of cognitive development for all.  

6
Q

What methods do nomothetic approach use?

A

Questionnaires and psychologists test

Include a large number of people and how similar they are to each toher

7
Q

A strength of idiographic approach provides rich data

A
  • The idiograhpuc approach provides a complete global account of indiiviudal lile HM
  • A single case may generate a hypothesis for further study (e.g case of HM in memory helped understanding that some procedural memories are more resistant to amnesia)
  • Such findings from unique cases may reveal important insights about normal functioning which complete our overall understanding of behaviour
8
Q

A limitation of idiographic approach may lack its scientific rigour

A
  • Supporters of idiographic approach may acknlowedge the subjective and restrictive nature of their work
  • One cristism that Freud has many key concepts like Oedipus complex were largely developed from detailed study of single case of Little Hans
  • Meaningful generalised cannot be made without fruther examples hich emans conclusions tend to be more subjective and open to bias
9
Q

A strength of nomothetic approach is the scientific value of research

A
  • The process involved nomoethci research and to be more scientific mirroing those employed within the natural sciences
  • These processes include standardised procedures , assessung reliability and validty using statistical analys to demonstrate significance
  • This arguably gives the discipline of psychology greater scientific credibility
10
Q

A limitation of nomoethic arppoach si the loss of whole process

A
  • The preoccupation within nomethic approach on general laws  , prediction and control has been accused of losing the whole person within psychology
  • Knowing 1% of lifetime risk of developing shizophrenia tells us little abbout what life is. In lab tests the memory of participants are tested as a set of scores than indidivudal people
  • This means in search for general laws , the nomoethic approach may sometimes overlook importance of human experience