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The Case Study method of research is a detailed in-depth investigation of a single case happening concerning a person, a family, an organisation, or an event.


The Interview MethodThe case study method of research is a detailed in-depth investigation into a single-case happening concerning an individual, organisation or animal. Because of its interest in the single case the case study is said to be idiographic in nature. It is a method of enquiry that generates rich, mostly qualitative, descriptive detail about a unique individual, episode, situation etc. The case study has been used in the psychoanalytic approach, examples being Freud's Anna O and Little Hans. Developmental psychology has also used the case study as with Koluchová (1972, 1976, 1991), while the study of individual differences sees its use in single cases of interest concerning intelligence, personality, and atypical behaviour. A case study can be retrospective or longitudinal, and can involve the use of case histories, interviews, questionnaires, psychometric tests, diaries, observation and the experiment. As a method of research the case study's main advantage is its ecological validity. It is true-to-life. It gets detailed in-depth information about a single-case happening concerning an individual, organisation or animal in a humane manner. Its disadvantages include an inability to generalise results, difficulties regards replication and confirmation of earlier results, and the subjectivity and reliability of information got by self-report. Interviewer bias and observer bias further disadvantages its usefulness as a scientifically credible method of research.





Case Study, at a glance
Advantages
Disadvantages

  • Detailed in-depth information got of a single case concerning a person, a family, an organisation or an event.

  • High ecological validity.

  • Sensitive to the individual, and sensitive issues concerning the individual.






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