Case study methods

This module describes the case study method of descriptive research and its uses. List reasons researchers use the case study method Explain the how data is recorded when using the case study method. Describe the benefits and limitations of using the case study method. Case study research refers to an in-depth, detailed study of an individual or a small group of individuals.

Case study methods

Saul McLeodpublished Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, Case study methods or community. Typically, data are gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods e. The research may also continue for an extended period of time, so processes and developments can be studied as they happen.

The case study research method originated in clinical medicine the case history, i.

Case Study Method - Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching

The case study is not itself a research method, but researchers select methods of data collection and analysis that will generate material suitable for case studies.

Most of this information is likely to be qualitative i. The data collected can be analyzed using different theories e. All the approaches mentioned here use preconceived categories in the analysis and they are ideographic in their approach, i.

Case studies are widely used in psychology and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud.

Limitations of Case Studies

He conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses. Even today case histories are one of the main methods of investigation in abnormal psychology and psychiatry.

For students of these disciplines they can give a vivid insight into what those who suffer from mental illness often have to endure. Case studies are often conducted in clinical medicine and involve collecting and reporting descriptive information about a particular person or specific environment, such as a school.

Case Study Method - Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching

In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual. The information is mainly biographical and relates to events in the individual's past i. In order to produce a fairly detailed and comprehensive profile of the person, the psychologist may use various types of accessible data, such as medical records, employer's reports, school reports or psychological test results.

The interview is also an extremely effective procedure for obtaining information about an individual, and it may be used to collect comments from the person's friends, parents, employer, work mates and others who have a good knowledge of the person, as well as to obtain facts from the person him or herself.

This makes it clear that the case study is a method that should only be used by a psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist, i. There is an ethical issue of competence.

Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical i. The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior. This comes from interviews and other sources, such as observation. The client also reports detail of events from his or her point of view.

The researcher then writes up the information from both sources above as the case study, and interprets the information. Interpreting the information means the researcher decides what to include or leave out.

A good case study should always make clear which information is factual description and which is an inference or the opinion of the researcher.

Strengths of Case Studies Provides detailed rich qualitative information.The case study method often involves simply observing what happens to, or reconstructing ‘the case history’ of a single participant or group of individuals (such as a school class or a specific social group), i.e.

the idiographic studies allow a researcher to investigate a topic in far more detail than might be possible if they were trying to deal with a large number of Author: Saul Mcleod.

Case study method enables a researcher to closely examine the data within a specific context. In most cases, a case study method selects a small geographical area or a very limited number of individuals as the subjects of study. Once the question has been identified and the basic type of case study method has been selected, the researcher will need to begin designing their case study approach.

In order to obtain a full and detailed picture of the participant or small group, the researcher can use a variety of approaches and methods . 3 A (VERY) BRIEF REFRESHER ON THE CASE STUDY METHOD The case study method embraces the full set of procedures needed to do case study research.

These tasks include designing a case study, collecting the study’s data, ana-. the case study method favors the collection of data in natural settings, compared with relying on “derived” data (Bromley, , p.

23)—for example, responses to a researcher’s instruments in an experiment or responses to questionnaires in a survey.

What is a Case Study? Basically, a case study is an in depth study of a particular situation rather than a sweeping statistical is a method used to narrow down a very broad field of research into one easily researchable topic.

Case study methods
Case Study Research Design - How to conduct a Case Study