ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

The aim of the current article is to explain and define what a psychobiography is and distinguish it from other concepts such as life story, pathography, psychohistory or case study. We review the history of this approach from its origins to the present, showing its evolution and acceptance throughout these years. Afterwards, we explain its predictive, educative and scientific characteristics and we present the main processes to develop a psychobiography. Lastly, the article presents some common criticisms of this approach as well as responses to them.
Qualitative Methodology: Psychobiography
Jareño Gómez A*, Chiclana Actis C and Noriega García C
Department of Psychology and Pedagogy, Spain
Abstract

              
             
    


Keywords:

Introduction: What is a Psychobiography?

           
     
                
 
 

           

        


 


Conceptual boundary
           
           
   
            
           
       
 
          


             




        
            

Crimson Publishers
Wings to the Research Review Article
*Corresponding author:
Department of Psychology and Pedagogy,
Spain
Submission: 
Published: 

How to cite this article: Jareño
     
   


10.31031/PPRS.2019.03.000555
Copyright@    
      
the    
   
   
provided that the original author and
source are credited.
ISSN: 2639-0612
1
Psychol Psychother Res Stud
2
Psychol Psychother Res Stud
Copyright © Jareño Gómez A
PPRS.000555. 3(1).2019
Origins
           
      

th
           

      
        
      
         
        
  

          
 

       


         
        
         
  

        
 


  
         
          
       
       
      
       
       
       
 
        
         
       
    
      th century, especially after World
         
       

       
  
        
      
        
         
   

         
          
        
of life stories analysis from personality psychology and applied

        
      




 
   
        
        
         
       

        
         
     
      
       
  
       
         
         
        
         
       
        
          
      
           
     
   

Characteristics, value and applicability of a
psychobiography

          
    


         
the patterns in human development along a continuous period.
         


 


3
Psychol Psychother Res Stud
Copyright © Jareño Gómez A
PPRS.000555. 3(1).2019
 
        
  
       
       

 
        
       

 Validating or rethinking personality theories or



   

 
       
         
       
the study of lives, the psychologist or psychology student deepens

   
      
especially for future psychotherapists.
How to do a psychobiography
       

    
search for a more solid structure.


         

 

 

           
the mystery, to add emotion and provoke interest in the reader.
 
         
    

an artist not as a scientist.


         
       

  

      
    

       
     
narrative psychology, etc.
 
      
   


 
         


    
modify our previous assumptions.
 To identify and delimit valid conclusions. The next step

          

To complete and offer a more detailed structured, Du Plessis
   
  
researching in particular.
a.       




        
           
         
      
          

c.         
determined the amount of contextual data that is needed for the
    
psychological interpretations.
d. Select an appropriate psychological theory or theories.
There are no predetermined models to interpret the information
           
        

4
Psychol Psychother Res Stud
Copyright © Jareño Gómez A
PPRS.000555. 3(1).2019
e.          
indicators of psychological salience are a very good help in this

f.         
         
theory.
g. Develop coding strategies and code the data accordingly.

h. 
i. 
 
k.       

l.       


Criticisms and arguments in favor
        
  

     


          
       
 

        
along a continuous period. Therefore, it is a good opportunity to
       
  
   
 
        
      

primary sources and, if necessary, then read the contemporaries
        
      
      

         

           
      
        
experimental and statistical methods at the level of the individual

       
          
criticism assumes that the aim of personality psychology is
         
    
personality psychology needs to attend to goals on at least three
 

     
        

         
         

         
       
          
  



 
         
           

    
    
  
      
     
    


Conclusion
      
       
     
       
resources, personality traits and emotional life, interpreting
all this information using the existing psychological theories of
   
       
        
        
          
any personality or development theory, the appropriate thing to
          
         
      
    
          
process.
5
Psychol Psychother Res Stud
Copyright © Jareño Gómez A
PPRS.000555. 3(1).2019
          
          
           
         
       
      
to discuss and to offer solid arguments to the criticisms received.
     
      

their personality theories or approaches. Due to the immersion of
   
       
functioning of oneself.
References
        

 


 

          


         
    

 
        

 é
       
      

     


 
South Africa.
        
         

       

       
      


          


         



      

      
        

  
          


         

         

    

        

       


     

           
      

         

       

         

         
        
    

         

    

            
      

           



  




          
        

6
Psychol Psychother Res Stud
Copyright © Jareño Gómez A
PPRS.000555. 3(1).2019
       



For possible submissions Click below:

... This led to it not been used as a research method in the 1940s until the early 1950s (Kőváry, 2011) through to the 1970s (Perry, 2012). A period when psychobiography was no longer limited to psychoanalytic theories, as well as a time that also witnessed the introduction of personology approach; an attempt to explore peoples' lives through their life stories (Jareño et al., 2019). The emphasis in all of those attempts has always been on the fact that life stories appear to be the only means by which individual individualities can be discovered, as when people talk about personality, the theme has always centered on the individual's life story. ...
Article
Full-text available
The process of applying psychological theories to examine the biographical and autobiographical data of famous individuals is what is termed “psychobiography”. Since its inception in the early sixteenth century, this qualitative type of research method has had a fairly storied history in the Western world. This study provides a clear picture of psychobiographical research by defining terms and phrases that are used in relation to psychobiographical research. It also covered its historical antecedent and steps and procedures that are necessary for undertaking psychobiographical research. The steps presented here stemmed from a broad phase in qualitative research and analysis. In practice, however, psychobiographies do not always adhere to systematic formats, but some key decisions and guidelines must be followed in order to ensure the trustworthiness of the study's findings. Thus, the research mainly aims at introducing psychobiography, and life history research to the reader. Keywords: psychobiography, life history research, qualitative methods in psychology
Article
Full-text available
During his lifetime, Karl Otto Lagerfeld (1933–2018) attained such industry renown that he became widely known as the Emperor of Fashion. Lagerfeld ran several fashion houses, such as Chanel and Fendi, leading them to unprecedented profits. He also created his own fashion label. Owing to his unremitting pursuit of excellence through creative expression, Lagerfeld’s creativity, energy and intuition for fashion trends seemed only to expand throughout his long career. The authors suggest that, through his creative approach to fashion, architecture, and publishing, Lagerfeld articulated and refined a core set of values-such as “Bildung,” “lightness” and “the unexpected”—that served as a Diltheyan “nexus” linking the Prussian-born designer with the global consumer. The authors apply two specific creativity theories to Lagerfeld’s life and work, namely the mini-c, little-c, Pro-c and Big-C creativity theory and Sternberg’s WICS-model (wisdom, intelligence and creativity). The article uses a psychobiographical case study design formulated according to a research paradigm of modern hermeneutics. First- and third-person data on Lagerfeld were collected and evaluated through a hermeneutically-informed syntho-analysis. Research ethics were followed. The findings demonstrate the interplay of mini-c, little-c, Pro-c and Big-C creativity throughout the subject’s lifetime, as well as the subject’s application of WICS, both of which led to the subject’s worldwide success. Conclusions are drawn and recommendations for future research and practice are provided.
Book
Full-text available
This volume offers insights into contemporary trends and perspectives in psychobiographical research. It applys new theoretical and methodological frameworks and presents discourses on psychobiography from transdisciplinary backgrounds and various socio-cultural contexts, displaying the new state-of-the-art, new trends and themes in psychobiography. The book outlines psychobiography’s outstanding contribution to psychology from 36 internationally reputable authors. It also presents the ideas of five outstanding psychobiographers through interview excerpts. This book is a must for researchers, lecturers and practitioners in the field of psychology and social sciences interested in the use of new psychological theories and methodologies in life-span research.
Article
Full-text available
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) was not only a businessman renowned for his legacy of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. His life history indicates eras or seasons as prankster, hippie, family man, and cancer fighter. This psychobiographical case study entailed a psychosocial-historical analysis of Jobs’s development interpreted through Levinson’s theory of the human life cycle, and was undertaken against the background of Merleau-Ponty’s ontological philosophy that elucidates a human science phenomenology where the individual cannot be separated from his/her social world. The primary objective of this study was to uncover the eras and transitions within Jobs’s life cycle. The secondary objective was to illustrate and test the relevance of Levinsonian theory as applied to Jobs’s life. Jobs’s life cycle was uncovered through an analysis of published and publically available materials, which included both primary and secondary data sources. Alexander’s psychobiographical model was employed to extract salient evidence for analysis. A conceptual psychosocial-historical matrix guided the analysis. Key findings indicate that the central components of Jobs’s life and social world (e.g., his occupation, family, friendships and terminal illness) had a significant influence on his psychosocial development. In conclusion, Jobs’s development generally conformed to Levinsonian theory as well as to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological ontology and illustrated the relevance of these conceptual models for understanding the individual’s connectedness to his/her social world.
Article
Full-text available
The present article reviews the history and emerging trends in the field of psychobiography. Five historical periods are highlighted: hagiography and pre-19th century study of lives; Freud and applied psychoanalysis; psychodynamic extensions and personology; modern multi-theoretical models; and psychobiography as interdisciplinary science. The author advocates for a science of psychobiography manifested in expanded and empirically validated theoretical models anchoring research. Further, attention is drawn to the need for more rigorous historiographic research methods weighting first-person sources and incorporating mixed methods designs. Increased attention to ethical and legal issues in the conduct and reporting of psychobiographical studies is also highlighted. Finally, emerging trends in psychobiography related to research production, academic training, and organisational initiatives are presented.
Article
The study of personality focuses on two main areas: understanding individual differences in personality traits, and understanding how the unique aspects of a person come together as a whole. By investigating individuals in personal, in‐depth detail to achieve a unique understanding of them (as is done with psychobiography, case study methods, and other qualitative methods) the idiographic approach can make unique and valuable contributions to our understanding of personality. This idiographic understanding is one of the central objectives of personality psychology. The notion was generally accepted that the history of the person is the personality. For Murray and others, the life history of the individual was the unit of study that psychologists needed to concern themselves. Psychobiographies are just one type of case study. To be exemplary, a case study must also be well defined, must analyze the data through the lens of rival explanations, and report the results in an engaging manner. An advantage with the case study and psychobiographical approaches is that it allows us to study cases and events that are rare.
Article
Psychobiography is best understood as a branch of applied personality science in which experimental findings are used to explore the lives and personalities of public figures, from artists to politicians. This article introduces the field, addresses questions commonly raised about it, and explores, among other subjects, what psychobiographical research might offer to the field of psychology. Two recent model psychobiographies are described in detail- McAdams's (2010) profile of George W. Bush and Kasser's (2013) analysis of John Lennon-both of which are oriented scientifically and rooted in experimentally derived concepts. Lastly, criteria for evaluating psychobiographical studies are summarized, as well as attributes of effective psychobiography that tend to include the components of fact, fit, and function.
Book
Th is book assesses the life and success of the writer Paulo Coelho, one of the most fascinating and contemporary writers in the world, through new lenses. It applies a positive psychology perspective and contributes to using innovative theories in psychobiographical studies. Th is study explores the development of holistic wellness (HWM) and faith development (FDT) throughout the writer's life. It presents radical changes in spirituality, self-direction, love and faith across the life span. Further, it analyses the development of Coelho's relationship with God and the creation of meaningfulness through his belief and writing. Th is study contributes to a new era of psychobiographical works within the positive psychology framework.
Article
Psychobiography as a qualitative research method in psychology has witnessed prolific growth in the last few decades. This growth has been accompanied by concerns regarding the veracity, rigour, quality and trustworthiness of psychobiographical research. Current research has gone a long way towards addressing these concerns through the publication of excellent best practice guidelines as well as criteria for evaluating the quality of psychobiographical research. However, a gap remains regarding guidelines detailing the steps involved in conducting psychobiographical research. This paper addresses this gap by relying on existing psychobiographical guidelines as well as general qualitative research strategies to advance a step-wise approach to the conducting of a psychobiography. The aim is to provide simple and clear guidelines that can be followed when undertaking psychobiographical research. Through so doing, this paper contributes to the continuous growth and improvement of the field of psychobiographical research.