chapter  14
Idiographic psychology
Pages 15

INTRODUCTION The final issue to be considered concerns the appropriate treatment of the individual. The traditions of Verstehen and idiographic psychology raise a number of questions about the foundations of experimental psychology, particularly in relation to personality and social psychology. They favour an intuitive, holistic approach aimed at empathic understanding of the quality of a unique pattern, in contrast to the analytic, hypothetico-deductive approach aimed at generalised, quantitative predictions. We shall consider whether a science of the individual is possible and what role can be played by the study of single cases.