Definition of nomothetic in English:



  • Relating to the study or discovery of general scientific laws.

    Often contrasted with idiographic
    • ‘Hence, given that historians make such claims ‘it behooves them to make sure that the cited nomothetic principles have an empirical foundation’.’
    • ‘Existentialism, in its broadest terms, is both idiographic and nomothetic - it is about personal will and humanity.’
    • ‘When combined with data from records and interviews, nomothetic information from sound psychological tests increases the chances of convergent validity and decreases the possibility of error.’
    • ‘The clinical ramifications of this entire exercise should be placed within a context that includes both nomothetic and ideographic dimensions.’
    • ‘To achieve scientific, nomothetic goals in the information disciplines, we should focus on the technological, demographic, environmental and economic conditions that motivate and constrain people operating in social groups.’


Mid 17th century: from obsolete nomothete ‘legislator’ (from Greek nomothetēs) + -ic.