Idiographic Approach (A Comprehensive Guide)

The term ‘idiographic’ originates from the Greek word ‘idios’, which means ‘own’ or ‘private’.

A psychologist who adopts an idiographic approach centers around the individual and stresses the exceptional individual experience of human nature and his past experiences.

The idiographic doesn’t try to define laws or generalize results to other people. We will discuss many idiographic approaches in this article.

There is two approaches to deal with personality: nomothetic and idiographic approach.

The nomothetic approach presumes that personality is inherited and environment variables don’t play a high role.

This approach takes various factors while contemplating personality, for example, traits. This is on the nature side of the nature-sustain debate.

This approach is differentiated by the idiographic approach which considers the entire personality of an individual and isn’t contrasted and another individual.

It takes a gander at the lavishness, complexity, and uniqueness of an individual and encourages comprehension to get further.

There are many concepts and theories related to personality which highlights different aspects of life or describes the psychological effect of personality in different lights. In light of psychological inclinations, is Carl Jung’s theory for introversion and extraversion?

Extraverts are agreeable and don’t care to be separated from everyone else. They like gatherings, have lots of friends, are idealistic and like change, and are more into social gatherings, outings, and adventures.

They like to interact with other people and communicate with them are mostly confident in their communication and social skills. Introverts are reliable, peaceful, and shy, as to design things ahead of time and are negative.

They usually keep to themselves and do not indulge themselves much into social gatherings. Jung made a personality type matrix with four capacities that are utilized while individuals manage things.

These are thinking, intuition, feeling, and sensing. These are thinking, intuition, sensing, and feeling. Thinking utilizes dynamic and is the understanding and evaluation of information.

Sensing is getting information through the methods for sensing. Intuition is a natural feeling of knowing something heretofore.

The feeling is like thinking as far as assessing information however it additionally assesses emotional response. 

Everybody has these capacities however extents are unique. Another persuasive trait theory of personality is of Hans Jurgen Eysenck.

His clarifications are hereditarily based. He looked into the key dimensions on which personality varies which is the ‘E’ or extraversion-introversion measurement and the ‘N’ or neuroticism-soundness measurement.

His model offers an approach to connect traits, types, and behavior. He guarantees that every individual has a lot of identifiable traits that prompt a trait cluster and the structure of personality is hierarchical.

These clusters bring about a personality depiction which is referred to as personality types by Eysenck. These trait clusters are upheld by statistical evidence from assessments of personality.

The E measurement consists of two categories of individuals – extraverts and introverts people. Eysenck states that for the most part, all people have a pair of seven personality trait clusters between these boundaries.

The N measurement looks at personality on a scale from neuroticism to security.  Neurotics are emotional, unstable, pessimistic and nervous, not content with life, feel that they are disappointments, and remain depressed.

They rapidly get upset, are obsessive individuals, and are highly taught. Stable people are confident, practical, and optimistic, are free from guilt, and remain happy.

This evaluation encourages people to think about their personality type and know about their qualities which could be viewed as strengths and weaknesses by others.

These theories depend on the nomothetic approach.

Now we are going to discuss an idiographic approach.

  • Idiographic approach:

The Idiographic approach will in general incorporate qualitative information, examining people in an individual and point by point way.

Strategies for investigating include: case study, self-reports, unstructured meetings, life accounts, and individual records.

At the other extreme, Gordon Allport found more than 18,000 separate terms describing individual characteristics. 

While a portion of these are common traits (that could be explored nomothetically) the majority, in Allport’s view, alluded to more or less kind attitudes dependent on life experiences peculiar to ourselves.

He contends that they can’t be effectively contemplated by utilizing standardized tests. What is required is a method of exploring them ideographically.

Carl Rogers, a Humanist psychologist, has built up a technique for doing this, a method called the “Q-sort”.

First, the subject is given a huge arrangement of cards with a self-evaluative proclamation composed of everyone. For instance “I am friendly” or “I am eager” and so on.

The subject is then approached to sort the cards into piles. One pile to contain explanations that are “most like me”, one proclamation that is “least like me” and at least one pile for articulations that are in the middle. 

In a Q-sort the number of cards can be varied as can the number of piles and the kind of questions (for example how I am now? How I used to be?

How does my accomplice see me? How I might want to be?) So there are a conceivably endless number of variations.

That, obviously, is actually as it ought to be for an idiographic analyst in light of the fact that in his/her view there is eventually the same number of various personalities as there are individuals.

  • Idiographic vs. Nomothetic

Now we discuss the idiographic approach vs. the nomothetic approach.

An idiographic approach deals with an inquiry about research into a single individual or little groups of individuals and is fully directed towards them taking in consideration the experiences and emotions related to them.

It centers on the possibility that everybody is interesting and ought to be concentrated in an individual manner.

No broad laws can be shaped because of through and through freedom, possibility, and uniqueness of people.

The techniques for examination utilized produce subjective information which is frequently observed as an informal type of showing information thus regularly decreases the believability of discoveries from ideographic investigations.

The idiographic approach gives a progressively complete or worldwide understanding of the individual and fulfills the key point of science, depiction, and understanding of behavior and also takes into account their past experiences and emotions.

The discoveries can fill in as a source of hypothesis for later investigation.

Notwithstanding, it is hard, to sum up the discoveries from detailed subjective knowledge about a person to the overall population, the public, in general, is troublesome inside psychology research.

A nomothetic approach centers on likenesses among individuals and attempts to build up laws, (for example, Thorndyke’s laws of impact) and speculations about individuals.

Laws can be arranged into 3 sorts: characterizing individuals into groups, for example, DSM IV; building up to standards, for example, the behavior laws of learning and setting up dimensions, for example, Eysenck’s personality inventory. 

 Nomothetic techniques for investigating produce quantitative, scientific information and use strategies, for example, tests like Pavlov’s dogs and observations like Bandura’s ‘Bobo Doll’ study. 

Nomothetic research is viewed as logical inside the ‘Is psychology a science’ debate, as it utilizes exact measurements, it has forecasts and control of behavior and uses objective and controlled strategies, taking into consideration replication and speculation to a degree.

It has assisted psychology, all in all, to get logical by creating laws and theories which can be scientifically studied.

Notwithstanding, nomothetic strategies have been accused of losing sight of the ‘entire individual’. 

  • Issues & Debates: Evaluating the Idiographic Approach:

The idiographic approach can’t deliver general laws or expectations about human behavior, and that seriously limits its handiness as a wellspring of down to practical knowledge about the conclusion and treatment of psychological disorders.

For order so committed to the application of its logical understanding is an overwhelming restriction. Besides, numerous psychologists condemn the idiographic approach for its basically informal nature.

The emphasis on top to bottom information assortment and the challenges in showing up at reasonable speculations negates the focal motivation behind any developed science: to clarify the most variety in the least potential terms with the goal that marvels can be anticipated and eventually controlled.

Research rehearses that don’t address these objectives can appear to be logically silly. 

In any case, idiographic researchers react to these criticisms by underscoring the evidence-based nature of their conclusions and descriptions and the basic awareness implanted in research techniques like reflexivity, and regularly claim that the validity of their discoveries is more secure than that which lays completely on statistical examination.

As Allport noted while bringing the terms into American psychology research in 1937, it is just through the comprehension of single people that therapists can plan to foresee how such people will carry on in a given situation.

While case study analyses can feature a blemish in psychological theories and brief further research, the case study analysis strategy and other qualitative methods are incredibly timing-consuming.

Freud’s case study of Little Hans comprises very nearly 150 pages of verbatim quotes from Little Han’s dad, just as point by point depictions of the events in Little Han’s life.

Freud went on to make all-inclusive theories of personality development during childhood; nonetheless, these depended on a restricted and unrepresentative case study that numerous psychologists would discredit.

However, there are various strengths of adopting an idiographic approach, and a case study technique is an integral asset for evaluating psychological theories.

FAQ about the idiographic approach

What is the difference between Idiographic and Nomothetic?

The nomothetic and idiographic approaches have a distinctive focus.

The idiographic emphasizes the emotional and special experience of an individual, while the nomothetic approach examines the statistical and numerical side to make general determinations. 

What is meant by an Idiographic approach to personality? What is a nomothetic approach?

Idiographic Approach.

The idiographic approach portrays explore objectives that emphasize on the individual as opposed to concentrating on or summing up the individual results to the whole population (which is known as the nomothetic approach).

What is the Idiographic approach to personality?

Idiographic Personality Psychology 

The idiographic way to deal with personality proposes that we each have a unique psychological structure.

Certain qualities, or blends of trait, may be held by only one individual, and in this way, it is difficult to analyze individuals like for like. 

Is the positive approach Idiographic?

Positive psychologists criticize the humanistic approach for lacking proof-based discoveries, subsequently making them good for nothing.

Notwithstanding this impediment, other idiographic methodologies are logical.

Contextual analyses utilize the logical strategy and furthermore gathers subjective information.

For what reason is the psychodynamic approach Idiographic?

Idiographic approach Vs nomothetic approach

Freud argued that human behavior is administered by all-inclusive procedures that apply to everybody, for example, the tripartite structure of the psyche (nomothetic) in any case, he additionally recommended that the manners by which these procedures show themselves in the individual are remarkable (idiographic).

References: “Simply Psychology Logo” “Evs6” “Providers of free study resources” “Study notes”