Idiographic & nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation


A Level


5m 50s
Is it more appropriate to look at an individual as unique... or should you consider an individual as part of a group and try to establish similarities for people belonging to that group? In this podcast we discuss the idiographic (individual) versus nomothetic (trait/universal law) debate’


Jean Marc Lawton


Idiographic & nomothetic approaches to psychological investigation – task

  • Listen to the podcast on Idiographic Vs Nomothetic approaches and answer the following questions

1] Explain what the idiographic approach refers to

2] Explain what the nomothetic approach refers to

3] Outline one research study method which relates to the idiographic approach, ensuring you explain how it relates to the idiographic approach

4] Explain why the idiographic approach favours qualitative rather than quantitative  methods

5] Present an argument for the nomothetic approach being superior to the idiographic approach

6] Give a criticism of this argument

  • You may find that you need to listen to the podcast more than once to achieve this

Used by British and International schools around the world