|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.
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,
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
- 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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