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Jana Uher

In: The SAGE Handbook of Personality and Individual Differences: Volume I: The Science of Personality and Individual Differences

Chapter 4: The Transdisciplinary Philosophy-of-Science Paradigm for Research on Individuals: Foundations for the Science of Personality and Individual Differences

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The Transdisciplinary Philosophy-of-Science Paradigm for Research on Individuals: Foundations for the Science of Personality and Individual Differences
The Transdisciplinary Philosophy-of-Science Paradigm for Research on Individuals: Foundations for the Science of Personality and Individual Differences
Jana Uher

The individual is central to the science of ‘personality'1 and individual differences. But a science devoted to individuals contradicts the old scientific dictum scientia non est individuorum, the fundamental idea that science seeks regularities and lawfulness through abstraction and generalization and, thus, cannot be devoted to individual cases. To resolve this contradiction, many ‘personality’ scientists pursue nomothetic approaches (from the Greek nomos, the law) in which individuals are explored only as examples of prototypical individuals in order to identify universal principles (Mischel et al., 2007). ...

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