Get ahead with a $300 test prep scholarship | Enter to win by Tuesday 9/24 Learn more

Terms in this set (29)

In psychology, idiographic describes the study of the individual, who is seen as a unique agent with a unique life history, with properties setting him/her apart from other individuals (see idiographic image). A common method to study these unique characteristics is an (auto)biography, i.e. a narrative that recounts the unique sequence of events that made the person who she is. Nomothetic describes the study of classes or cohorts of individuals. Here the subject is seen as an exemplar of a population and their corresponding personality traits and behaviours.
Idiographic assessment is the measurement of variables and functional relations that have been individually selected, or derived from assessment stimuli or contexts that have been individually tailored, to maximize their relevance for the particular individual. Costs to internal validity. They're not as controlled.
Advantage: there are many measures of an independent variable. You can establish temporal precedence of variables and behavior.
The problem with ideographic data is that it can be hard to generalize and can be more unreliable.
The combination of repeated data measures from each individual in a study and a random effects model can be an effective way to capture individual. One advantages of this method is that it can be used to compare and distinguish between intra- and inter-individual variability. It can be used to look at psychological processes within a subject and then compare it to the population average of those same variables. The random effects model can also lead to more accurate parameter estimates.
Although qualitative research is based on descriptive and lengthy narrative accounts with little standardized measurement, it's important to note that it can be done rigorously and systematically (Kazdin, 2003). Qualitative research is a methodical way of understanding and evaluating individual experiences. The analysis is based on the researcher's interpretation and identification of important themes and ideas in the narratives of the participants. However, sometimes researchers come up with a coding scheme a priori based on a theoretical framework (deductive approach) and can re-evaluate the codes as they go through the data (Weitzman, NIH e-course). Another step that is encouraged in qualitative studies is for investigators to consult with other researchers about their identification of important themes and their interpretation of the data. Additionally, the subject's feedback is also collected and taken into consideration. These additional steps add to the triangulation process in which multiple methodologies, perspectives, and analyses are used to strengthen the conclusion of the study.
However, even with multiple methods and the elaborate details available from participants, the results are still vulnerable to misinterpretation (interpretive validity). And even with rich details of day-to-day experiences, qualitative studies usually have very small sample sizes, which can make it hard to generalize the results (external validity). Confirmability is the extent to which the results are free of the experimenter's bias and can be replicated by others. However, if the outcome of the study is based on the unique situation and experience of the participants and the subjective interpretation of the researcher, replication seems unlikely with a different set of participants and researchers.
Despite its limitations, qualitative studies can be especially useful as part of a mixed methods design that combines qualitative and quantitative research (Creswell et al., 2011). A qualitative exploratory study can generate hypothesis about key constructs that can be further evaluated with quantitative studies. Qualitative data can also be collected as a follow-up to better understand quantitative data. However, carefully designing and properly executing a mixed methods study can be a complex and cumbersome process. It requires an integrative multi-member research team with diverse expertise, specific leadership qualities, bigger budget, access to increased resources needed for multiple methodologies, continued training, additional time commitment for frequent meetings, large sample sizes, analytical expertise in mixed methods reserach, etc. Researcher should evaluate both the theoretical need and the resources available before taking on mixed methods research project.

-Qualitative studies are done systematically and with precision if done well.
-Studying subjects in context
-Confirmability: gaining consensus on data, as to do with replication.
- Coding and then classifying important themes are the first two steps.
;