Idiographic and Nomothetic Evaluations

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  • Idiographic and Nomothetic Evaluations
    • Idiographic approach with its in depth qualitative methods of investigation provide a complete and global account of the individual. May complement the nomothetic approach by shedding light on general laws.
    • Supporters of the idiographic approach must also recognise the narrow and restrictive nature of its works. Key concepts made from single case studies, eg Little Hans, Can't be generalised.
    • Nomothetic relies on science, testing under standardised conditions. Using data. Enabled psychologists to establish norms of 'typical' behaviours.
    • Nomothetic have been accused of 'loosing the whole person' in psychology. Studies a series of scores rather then individual people and their subjective experiences. May overlook the richness of human experience.
    • It is possible to consider a topic from both standpoints instead of thinking of them as mutually exclusive.
      • Goal of modern psychology is to provide rich, detailed descriptions of human behaviour as well as the explanation of framework.


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