Talk:Nomothetic and idiographic
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i thought nomothetic was deductive... "a tendency to generalize" or "deriving laws" is inductive. similarly, i thought idiographic was inductive, not deductive. of course, the whole inductive vs. deductive "binary" is problematic at best, since it ignores its companion retroduction/abduction.
I am struggling as the dictionary seems to provide a far greater clarity than this article.
- idiographic - Relating to or concerned with discrete or unique facts or events eg "History is an idiographic discipline, studying events that cannot be repeated"
- nomothetic - Of or relating to the study or discovery of general scientific laws.
Is it that the evolution of the terms as decsribed above is at variance with Kant's definitions? Could we clarify between the two? In addition there seems to be a need to relate the article to the other article on nomothetic already on Wiki LookingGlass (talk) 17:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It would be a mistake to confuse idiographic and nomothetic approaches to research with inductive and deductive logic. Idiographic and nomothetic are two differing ways of looking at research. Idiographic is all about trying to understand the individual person or case. Much history does indeed fall into this category. For example, we might want to know about Hitler in great depth to make sense of what he did. The nomothetic approach would be to look across leaders to find common causation for their actions.
An added twist is that we should take account of data gathering and data analysis as these two key phases could be idiographic or nomothetic even within the same study. For example, imagine a researcher conducted lots of one-to-one interviews to understand each person's job satisfaction in real detail. This would be idiographic data gathering. Then, once all this data had been gathered, the researcher might ask what similarities exist across the various people. This would be nomothetic data analysis. Any and all combinations are possible.
Induction and deduction are more about the way conclusions are drawn. Data gathered and analysed via idiographic or nomothetic approaches to research could be tackled with either inductive or deductive logic.
I cannot comment on Kant as I am not an expert on his work. These comments come from modern usage of the terms idiographic and nomothetic in applied psychology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 14:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)