Idiographic vs Nomothetic Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Idiographic vs Nomothetic Deck (18)
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What is idiographic?

It considers the individual and it doesn't seek to generalise findings to others. Therefore it's unlikely to conduct large scale studies and irrelevant to try to develop universal laws of behaviour


What research methods does idiographic use?

It uses case studies that provide qualitative data. It also allows for opinion, attitude and self reflection by using self report measures eg diaries, journals and letters


What's one example of the idiographic approach?

The humanistic approach. Rogers and Maslow were only interested in the experiences of the individual and they were interested in unique experience


What's a second example of the idiographic approach?

The psychodynamic approach uses case studies. However, it has identified universal laws which are more of a nomothetic approach


What is nomothetic?

It states that we are able to draw conclusions about populations of people and generalise to a wider group. They would use a sampling method that would provide a representative sample of the larger population


What's classification?

The idea that people can be classified into certain groups according to characteristics, attitudes and behaviour


What's establishing principles?

Establishing laws and principles that can be applied to human behaviour


What's establishing dimensions?

It attempts to document continuums upon which an individual can be placed. This allows comparison and facilitates scientific measurements


What research methods does nomothetic use?

It uses quantitative methods so that analysis is appropriate. It is objective


What's an example of the nomothetic approach?

Hypotheses are devised, tested and findings are generated from large numbers of people are analysed for their statistical significance. The behaviourist, cognitive and biological approach is nomothetic


What's a strength of the idiographic approach?

It provides a complete and global account of the individual and it may complement the nomothetic approach by shedding further light on general laws or by challenging the laws. It promotes further research


What's two limitations of the idiographic approach?

It is narrow and restricted as only a single case is used and case studies tend to be the least scientific


What's two strengths of the nomothetic approach?

It is more scientific as the data provides standardised conditions and the majority of psychology operates on this basis which means that interventions can reach and help people


Why should we consider both stances?

An idiographic approach can further develop the nomothetic law. Idiographic approaches are useful at the start to gather info but nomothetic approaches come into their own later when we want to predict and control behaviour


What's two limitations of the nomothetic approach?

It has been accused of losing the whole person by overlooking the richness of human experience and general laws may not apply to all


How does relationships relate to the idiographic and nomothetic debate?

Relationship formation, maintenance and breakdown are all nomothetic (Ducks phase model of relationship breakdown)


How does stress relate to the idiographic and nomothetic debate?

The physiological reaction to stress is nomothetic as it applies to most humans. However there is a slightly idiographic angle as the individual difference of whether it is a stressful situation or not is different in everyone


How does aggression relate to the idiographic and nomothetic debate?

Hormonal, genetic, ethnological and evolutionary work on aggression has a nomothetic stance. However research onto the effects of computer games on aggression is far from conclusive which suggests that individuals react differently