Comparing the Nomothetic and Idiographic Approaches as They Apply to the Study of Intelligence and Personality

Comparing the Nomothetic and Idiographic Approaches as They Apply to the Study of Intelligence and Personality

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Thesis Statement: The most differences between the idiographic and nomothetic approach are measurements and development.

Introduction:
In the following essay, we discuss different theoretical perspectives from Nomothetic and Idiographic approach. How they apply to both Personality (pattern of behavior and thinking) and Intelligence (thinking and behavior). Arguments for both sides are base on what psychologists generally use them as, because some might disagrees with the usage of the word nomothetic and idiographic, orientated by Kantian and Wilhelm Windelband.

Outline nomothetic, idiographic approach and personality
"Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his or her characteristic behavior or thought"
Allport 1961 p.18
Psychologists who adopt nomothetic approach are mainly concerned with what we share with others, but differ in degree. Establishing universal laws where all populations are describe and measure on the same set of dimensions and scale, i.e., trait theory. Psychologists, who adopt idiographic approach interested in the aspect of experience over time, discover what makes each of us unique. Theoretically, they can be coherent, because the nomothetic approach also agrees with this 'uniqueness,' as it measures differences in degree.

Outline intelligence
Psychologists relied on statistical results because it involves vast number of people, making it reliable. Intelligence is a behavior or thinking produced by our personality; some say it is whatever intelligence measures. Intelligent theories also argue if it is a divergent or unity ability, yet some argue about even considering it as a part of personality. Personalities like intelli...


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...ctors, not environment. Nomothetic approach suggests that this is because everyone is generally the same. Yet intelligence is poor when environment is poor - idiographic explain this as it stress social influence, but nomothetic would ignore this factor.
Conclusion
'The choice between them depends not on which one is right, but what we wish to know'
David C. Funder p.518
The two approaches are similar in what they would take into account. It is difficult to draw a clear line just on the theoretical approach. Distinction came from research procedures because it clearly demonstrates the disagreement on the origin for both intelligence and personality. It is as David said 'what we wish to know' is causing differences in what is produce in targeted experiments, it is therefore clearer to see when you look at experiments from two different approach.







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