Nomothetic Vs. Idiographic debate

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  • Idiographic vs. Nomothetic
    • Idiographic approach
      • About individual and uniqueness.
      • Provate subjective, and conscious experience, feelings beliefs and values.
      • Investigates individuals in a detailed way.
      • Qualitative data.
      • Case study method.
      • Unstructured interviews, self - report, introspection and reflection.
        • Use of autobiographies and personal documents.
      • Dream association.
      • Numerical data not used.
    • Nomothetic approach
      • Generallaws of behaviour that can be applied to large populations.
      • Classifying people into various groups.
      • Establishing principals of of behaviour that can be applied to people in genera.
      • Establishing dimensions on which people can be placed and compared.
      • Scientific, qualitative methods.
      • Large samples.
    • Strengths
      • Idiographic:
        • Some scientific principals can be appliedto the study os the individual.
        • Provides more complete understanding of the individual.
        • Ideas form basis for future study.
      • Nomothetic
        • Scientific.
        • Large groups using objectivity.
        • Replicable and generalisable.
    • Limitations
      • Nomothetic:
        • Predictions cannot be exact for all.
        • Superficial understanding.
      • Idiographic:
        • Not generalisable.
        • Subjective, flexible and under standardised.
        • Difficult to repeat or predict.
        • Unscientific.


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