The empirical approach we used--comparing countries across quantitative characteristics--is a nomothetic approach
to a social phenomenon (e.
History was relatively idiographic; neoclassical economics took much more of a nomothetic approach
The utility of this nomothetic approach
in general is the identification of core response topographies.
Stanley Hall's work in the Department of Scientific Pedagogy and Child Studies in the Chicago Public Schools during the late 19th and early 20th centuries offered psychology a nomothetic approach
to the identification and classification of experimental procedures which produced meaningful change in students' behavior and performance (Fagan & Wise, 2000).
But the needs of a nomothetic approach
may be a hindrance to research on process.
By contrast, the more popular nomothetic approach is almost a completely opposite methodology.
The nomothetic approach has by far been the most popular research methodology in the fields of organizational behavior, management, and most recently, entrepreneurship.
To date, research in entrepreneurship has been done almost entirely from the nomothetic approach.
The dominant nomothetic approach may not be the most appropriate methodology for reliably and validly identifying entrepreneurial behaviors and activities in the interactionist, naturalistic setting in which today's entrepreneurs operate.
As the foregoing discussion demonstrates, Professor Tindall's plea for a nomothetic approach
is part of a long tradition of philosophy, history, and social science that sees explanation as coming out of empirical observation and the process of developing law-like generalizations.
Although hypnosis has partly suffered from an over reliance on the nomothetic approach
, it has learned that some phenomena are manifested only by particular individuals even among composite groups such as "high hypnofizables" (Terhune, Cardena, & Lindgren, submitted for publication).
An ideographic approach (tracking of individual student performance) is much more meaningful than a nomothetic approach