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All psychological processes—like biological and social ones—are dynamic. Phenomena of nature, society, and the human psyche are context bound, constantly changing, and variable. This feature of reality is often not recognized in the social sciences where we operate with averaged data and with homogeneous stereotypes, and consider our consistency to be the cornerstone of rational being. Yet we are all inconsistent in our actions within a day, or from, one day to the next, and much of such inconsistency is of positive value for our survival and development. Our inconsistent behaviors and thoughts may appear chaotic, yet there is generality within this highly variable dynamic.
The task of scientific methodologies—qualitative and quantitative—is to find out what that generality is. It is the aim of this handbook to bring into one framework various directions of construction of methodology of the dynamic processes that exist in the social sciences at the beginning of the 21st century. This handbook is set up to bring together pertinent methodological scholarship from all over the world, and equally from the quantitative and qualitative orientations to methodology. In addition to consolidating the pertinent knowledge base for the purposes of its further growth, this book serves the major educational role of bringing practitioners—students, researchers, and professionals interested in applications—the state of the art know-how about how to think about extracting evidence from single cases, and about the formal mathematical-statistical tools to use for these purposes.