Why Can't We Be More Idiographic in Our Research?

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Why Can't We Be More Idiographic in Our Research?

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Title: Why Can't We Be More Idiographic in Our Research?
Author: Barlow, David H.; Nock, Matthew K.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Barlow, David H. and Matthew Nock. 2009. Why can't we be more idiographic in our research? Perspectives on Psychological Science 4(1): 19-21.
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Abstract: Most psychological scientists make inferences about the relations among variables of interest by comparing aggregated data from groups of individuals. Although this method is unarguably a useful one that will continue to yield scientific advances, important limitations exist regarding the efficiency and flexibility of such designs, as well as with the generality of obtained results. Idiographic research strategies, which focus on the intensive study of individual organisms over time, offer a proficient and flexible alternative to group comparison designs; however, they are rarely taught in graduate training programs and are seldom used by psychological scientists. We highlight some of the unique strengths of idiographic methods, such as single case experimental designs, and suggest that psychological science will progress most efficiently with an increased use of such methods in both laboratory and clinical settings.
Published Version: doi:10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01088.x
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4133809
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