The Use of Psychobiographies in Psychology in Higher Education

Currently, psychobiographies are still not a mainstream topic in psychology taught in higher education. The value of single-case psychobiographies should be taught in psychology classes in higher education institutions, such as at university level. The use of psychobiographies in lectures and seminars can be extremely useful to make students understand psychological theories and their application in research and practice. Students of psychology should also become familiar with psychobiographical work to understand in-depth, intra-psychological developments in individuals across their life span. Psychobiographies can even support in-depth self-reflection in psychology students and thus contribute to deeper self-knowledge in the students, but also to the development of an empathetic understanding of the other (even across age, gender or cultural gaps).

Furthermore, psychobiographies can be used to teach in-depth qualitative research methodology approaches, besides providing insights into psychological theories and intra-psychological developments across the life span.

Psychobiographies can be used in multiple ways in seminars and lectures in higher education institutions and might be inspiring for students of psychology - especially when psychobiographies on extraordinary psychologists are introduced - with regard to the students’ own life developments as psychologists and individuals.

Finally, the theory and method of psychobiographies should become part of mainstream psychology courses at university level, because they provide in-depth knowledge of theories, research methodology and intra-psychological understanding of an extraordinary individual. They can also provide inspiration for students of psychology and contribute to winning future psychologists for the most fascinating, intriguing and illuminating subject in psychology: the study of the individual.


This final chapter integrated the findings of Chaps. 7 and 8. The main findings of this research study were summarised and the research aims and purpose were revised. Theories and methodologies applied were reflected in this chapter. The researcher reflected on the contribution of the study and its limitations. Finally, the chapter provided a sub-chapter on the self-reflection of the researcher on her journey through the research, as well as recommendations for future research and practice.

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