Introduction to Ipseus


Ipseus is a groundbreaking psychological software product which allows researchers to explore and assess the complexity of identity processes within a particular area of interest specified by the investigator.

With Ipseus, investigators can create a customised assessment tool tailored directly to the sample of participants for study. The software presents study participants with a bespoke 'identity instrument', easily used on screen by participants who are able thereby to appraise themselves and other individuals and agencies that form their biographical milieu. Qualitative aspects of identity are assessed by Ipseus in an integrated manner to quantitative parameters of identity.

The Ipseus psychological software is grounded in the ISA meta-theoretical framework, which it renders into an easily accessible methodological tool. ISA was and continues to be developed by Peter Weinreich and has been validated by over 30 years of empirical research. The conceptualisation integrates key concepts from psychological, sociological, and social anthropological theorising in order to provide a thorough and comprehensive framework for analysing identity. Psychological concepts are unambiguously defined and translated into algorithms, which make for straightforward representation by computer software code. Central to ISA's formulation is the incorporation of the individual's own values, beliefs and discourses, so that the approach is readily sensitised to individual and cultural discourses. ISA primary postulates focus on processes of identification with others, and appraisal of self and other agencies, these processes being ascertained in biographical and socio-historical context.

Utilising ISA, Ipseus produces a detailed and comprehensive idiographic (case study) analysis of identity, which is presented in tabular and graphical form. The assessed parameters of identity are standardised, thereby enabling nomothetic analyses across criterion groups to be readily carried out. Standardised parameters provide for longitudinal follow-up comparisons to be made, while taking into account encounters and experiences with further agencies that become new aspects of a changing identity.

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