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Introduction: The person-oriented approach: Roots and roads to the future2015-02-25, 11:11:10
This first issue of Journal for Person-Oriented Research is a special issue devoted to the presentation of person-oriented approaches taken by leading researchers in the area. A prototypic person-oriented approach has three characteristics: (1) A pattern focus, (2) A focus on the individual, and (3) A process focus. The approach includes a theoretical framework, based on the holistic-interactionistic research paradigm, and it usually implies using methods for studying individual development, particularly subject-specific methods, and methods for studying patterns of information as undivided “wholes”. Four papers in this special issue are theory-oriented, dealing with historical roots of the approach, implications of a person-oriented theory for the methodology applied in empirical research, and discussing conceptual issues, including definitions of terms and communalities and differences of a person-oriented approach to standard approaches. The next three articles concern the use of various forms of a multi-level approach that points to promising ways for further development of the person-oriented approach. In the penultimate article, a statistical package for person-oriented analysis (ROPstat) is introduced. In the last article, a dynamic systems approach is presented for studying adaptive equilibrium regulation that separates forces working at a short and a long timescale.