Science, Tech, Math › Social Sciences What is an Ideal Type? Study Max Weber's abstract model Share Flipboard Email Print Social Sciences Sociology Key Concepts Major Sociologists Deviance & Crime News & Issues Research, Samples, and Statistics Recommended Reading Psychology Archaeology Economics Environment Ergonomics Maritime By Ashley Crossman Updated March 31, 2017 The ideal type is an abstract model created by Max Weber that, when used as a standard of comparison, enables us to see aspects of the real world in a clearer, more systematic way. It is a constructed ideal used to approximate reality by selecting and accentuating certain elements. Weber used it as an analytic tool for his historical studies. Problems in using the ideal type include its tendency to focus attention on extreme, or polar, phenomena while overlooking the connections between them, and the difficulty of showing how the types and their elements fit into a conception of a total social system. The ideal choice is useful for comparing social and economic phenomena. It is also known as the pure type.