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Comparing The Nomothetic And Idiographic Approaches As They Apply To The Study Of Intelligence And Personality

1976 words - 8 pages

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

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 intelligent, it can be measure by psychometric test, and here we define personality as what personality test measure for now. It is then important to see what data is possible to yield before we go on.

Outlining data
Personality and intelligence test can be both objective and projective, yielding different kind of data. The major differences are quantitative or qualitative data, especially in intelligence when qualitative result is difficult to assess e.g., if someone tell you they are intelligent, it is not coherent with how intelligent they are. Three types of data usually yield in an intelligence and personality test. Data B is actual behavior assessment; Data I is information from an informant who knows you; Data S is self-inspection, ask you directly. Data B is usually qualitative; Data I and S is usually quantitative. Quantitative research gathers data in numerical form and qualitative is in a description form. The issues for both approaches strongly relate to what data is being taking into account and the reliability and validly for those data. For example, NEO-PI is a mixture of S and I data, faulty memory is a consistent problem with the two because no one remembers everything. Although the test designed in a...

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