IDIOGRAPHIC 'VS' NOMOTHETIC

Debates in PSYCHOLOGY

Highlights

DEFINITIONS

APPROACHES

TOPIC AREAS

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES 

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  • Created by: Damilola
  • Created on: 05-06-12 19:40

IDIOGRAPHIC VS NOMOTHETIC

Definition OF IDIOGRAPHIC

To study individuals it is best to study subjective expriences to have a more useful  descriptive detailed understanding of behaviour.

Approach:Humanistic (Person Centred Therapy)

Reasearch Method = Case Studies & CLINCIAL INTERVIEWS

Definition of NOMOTHETIC: study LARGE groups of individuals helps us to PREDICT and CONTROL behaviour

Approaches:Behaviourist (SKINNER, PAVLOV)Biological (Mcguffin Twinstudy of DEPRESSION)

Research Method = Lab expriments and Observations

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ADVANTAGES OF IDIOGRAPHIC

:)  FOCUSES ON THE INDIVDUAL subjective expriences which make them unique sees people as individuals rather than the NOMOTHETHIC approach which doesnt view people as individuals

HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGIST 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts'.

Person Centred Therapy helps to treat  DEPRESSION becasue individuals are made to feel valued and develop their potential

:) RICH DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION A MORE COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING of a person  and can provide a base for  future NOMOTHETHIC research

E.G PIAGET NATURALISTIC observation of his children allowed him to describe the process of ASSIMULATION AND ACCOMODATION  provide the base for his nomothethic reasearch into the STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMEMT

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DIS ADVANTAGES OF IDIOGRAPHIC

:( REGARDED AS UNSCIENTIFIC BECAUSE:

Subjective expriences cant be EMPIRICALLY TESTED.

Interpretations may itself be subjective  exprience may in itself be subjective and unreliable.

e.g Piagets naturalistic observation of his children can be interpreted diffrently to suit his findings.

:( CANNOT REALLY BE GENERALISED TO OTHERS:

Because of SAMPLE SIZE,

 the humanistic approach reject this on purpose because humans are individuals and are uniquue

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ADVANTAGES OF THE NOMOTHETIC APPROACH

HELPED PSYCHOLOGY TO BE MORE SCIENTIFIC

Laws and theories that CAN BE EMPRICALLY TESTED

This is useful because we can predict and control behaviour unlike  the idiographic of which no attempts are made to find general laws of behaviour only subjective exprience which only applys to individuals.

 THE NOMOTHETHIC APPROACH LOOKS  FOR CAUSE OF BEHAVIOUR-E.G BIOLOGICAL SSRI,MAO,TRYCLICS, to treat depression

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DIS ADVANTAGES OF NOMOTHETHIC APPROACH

General laws may predict GROUP behaviour but may not apply to individuals this means the 'whole' person is lost.

e.g knowing that 65% of people obeyed authority figure does not predict wheter a certain individual will do.

 therefore OVEREMPHASIS SIMILARITIES and UNDERPLAYS DIFRRENCES between people

NOMOTHETHIC METHODS ARE USUALLY EXPRIMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS there is a problem of GENERALISATION to every day life e.g  Serial position curve (Murdoch)

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idiographhivc VS NOMOTHETHIC

CONFLICT AND COMPLIMENT

 BOTH can CONFLICT  depending on the research and psychologist appraoch

if the researcher wants to DEVELOP THEORIES THAT APPLIES TO LARGE POPULATION the the NOMOTHETIC approach will be taken

however if the PSYCHOLOGIST is intrested in the UNIQUENESS of a person the th IDIOGRAPHIC Method will be taken

IDIOGRAPHIC AND NOMOTHETHIC CAN COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER: COGNTIVE APPROACH  USE BOTH ( CLIVE AND MURDOCH) BIOLOGICAL (phenius Gage and Muguffin)

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