The new person-specific paradigm in psychology

Peter C.M. Molenaar, Cynthia G. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

722 Scopus citations


Most research methodology in the behavioral sciences employs interindividual analyses, which provide information about the state of affairs of the population. However, as shown by classical mathematical-statistical theorems (the ergodic theorems), such analyses do not provide information for, and cannot be applied at, the level of the individual, except on rare occasions when the processes of interest meet certain stringent conditions. When psychological processes violate these conditions, the interindividual analyses that are now standardly applied have to be replaced by analysis of intraindividual variation in order to obtain valid results. Two illustrations involving analysis of intraindividual variation of personality and emotional processes are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-117
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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