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Taxonomic models of individual differences: a guide to transdisciplinary approaches

Uher, Jana (2018) Taxonomic models of individual differences: a guide to transdisciplinary approaches. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1744). p. 20170171. ISSN 0962-8436

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Identification Number: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0171


Models and constructs of individual differences are numerous and diverse. But detecting commonalities, differences and interrelations is hindered by the common abstract terms (e.g. ‘personality’, ‘temperament’, ‘traits’) that do not reveal the particular phenomena denoted. This article applies a transdisciplinary paradigm for research on individuals that builds on complexity theory and epistemological complementarity. Its philosophical, metatheoretical and methodological frameworks provide concepts to differentiate various kinds of phenomena (e.g. physiology, behaviour, psyche, language). They are used to scrutinize the field's basic concepts and to elaborate methodological foundations for taxonomizing individual variations in humans and other species. This guide to developing comprehensive and representative models explores the decisions taxonomists must make about which individual variations to include, which to retain and how to model them. Selection and reduction approaches from various disciplines are classified by their underlying rationales, pinpointing possibilities and limitations. Analyses highlight that individuals' complexity cannot be captured by one universal model. Instead, multiple models phenotypically taxonomizing different kinds of variability in different kinds of phenomena are needed to explore their causal and functional interrelations and ontogenetic development that are then modelled in integrative and explanatory taxonomies. This research agenda requires the expertise of many disciplines and is inherently transdisciplinary

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 13:19
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:39

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