Discuss the strengths and weakness of nomothetic and ideographic approaches to understanding human personality.
The essay title is Discuss the strengths and weakness of nomothetic and ideographic approaches to understanding human personality.
Human personality is a broad and varied subject in which there are many different theories and answers to different questions. In psychology, a variety of research has been done over time to understand this topic in more detail. When researching into this, there are many different ways in which psychologists can approach the topic of human personality. The nomothetic and ideographic approaches are two commonly used methods. The ideograph approach to personality looks at how each individual possess unique different psychological structures. Every individual has certain personality traits, or a combination of, in which makes them unique. On the other hand, the nomothetic approach to personality looks at the indivuals and the similarities that they have between them. It is assumed that personality traits that are studied have the same psychological effect for everyone.
One nomothetic approach to psychology is the trait theory. This looks at how a dimension of personality can be used to categorise different indivuals using their different characteristics otherwise known as traits. The trait theory looks at how personality differ on a small basic set of linear scales and classifies what these scales are. They use measures to help predict behaviour. The nomothetic approach to personality is a good way at helping to describe individual difference in personality. However, this approach does not always provide an explanation as to why certain indivuals have different personality traits. It is important to look at what causes the behaviour and making sure to distinguish between the behaviour itself and the personality trait.