Among the greatest theorists in recent history are Carl Rogers and Sigmund Freud. Both made advancements in psychology with theories built upon clinical evidence and experience (Goodwin, 2005). Even though both theories were advanced over countless years of research and clinical experience, each is based on different assumptions (Goodwin, 2005). The “concept of human nature and the role in the rationale behind human motivation are diametrically opposed in these theories” (Goodwin, 2005).
Freud’s psychoanalytic theory comes from clinical research instead of the laboratory research. This has led to the development of a theoretical perspective mainly focused on case material and idiographic data for testing psychoanalytic hypotheses (Bornstein, 2007). The foundation for evaluating these ideas is referred to as nomothetic psychoanalysis and complements the traditional idiographic approach. This article provides guidelines used when piloting nomothetic studies of psychodynamic constructs (Bornstein, 2007). To be successful in the execution of nomothetic psychoanalysis it will require not only develop rigorous methods for testing psychodynamic hypotheses but also a way to present nomothetic research findings to obtain acceptance within the psychoanalytic community (Bornstein, 2007). The article provides an overview of five steps to make nomothetic studies valuable in a clinical setting (Bornstein, 2007).
Rogers and other humanistic psychologists appear to favor qualitative more than quantitative methods and positive psychologists favor the reverse (Friedman, 2008). This article provides a view on humanistic psychology and the quantitative research traditions. Rogers never abandoned his commitment to empirical science even though he opened up his view (Friedman, 2008). Some of the relevant concepts for Rogers involved nomothetic and idiographic methods and experiential versus spectator knowledge.