A comparison of response covariation viewed idiothetically and nomothetically
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Twenty males viewed erotic slides and photographs of females and males on four different occasions while two physiological and five subjective measures of sexual arousal were taken. The relations among these measures were evaluated idiothetically (winthin-subject across the four assessment sessions) and nomothetically (between-subject, both within and across the four sessions). Data from the two analysis were compared along three dimensions -degree of statiscal relation, pattern similarities, and sensitivity to a private- public experimental manipulation. Higher statical correlations and more patterns were judged similar for data examined idiothetically as compared to nomothetic data. The two methods of analysis also lead to different about the effect of the private- public manipulation. With nomothetic data no difference was observed between the private and public subjects for either the male or female slides, while the differences between these two conditions was signiticant for male slides with idiothetic data. The present study reconfirms the need for individualzed assessment, as well as the need for caution when applying nomothetic derived findings to individuals.