There are substantial methodological differences between these approaches. Case selection and structure[ edit ] An average, or typical case, is often not the richest in information. In clarifying lines of history and causation it is more useful to select subjects that offer an interesting, unusual or particularly revealing set of circumstances. A case selection that is based on representativeness will seldom be able to produce these kinds of insights.
Saul McLeodpublished Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event 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. 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 Methods of case study research widely used in psychology and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud. He conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses.
In the social sciences and life sciences, a case study is a research method involving an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a subject of study (the case), as well as its related contextual conditions. The case study is but one of several ways of doing social science research. Other ways include experiments, surveys, histories, and the analysis of ar chival information (as in economic studies). 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 r-bridal.com: Saul Mcleod.
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.
In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual. 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.
Provides insight for further research. Permitting investigation of otherwise impractical or unethical situations. Because of their in-depth, multi-sided approach case studies often shed light on aspects of human thinking and behavior that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways.
Research which only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension to experience which is so important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.
Case studies are often used in exploratory research. They can help us generate new ideas that might be tested by other methods. The method is therefore important for psychologists who adopt a holistic point of view i.
The results of the study are not generalizable because we can never know whether the case we have investigated is representative of the wider body of "similar" instances Because they are based on the analysis of qualitative i. This means that there is a lot of scope for observer bias and it could be that the subjective opinions of the psychologist intrude in the assessment of what the data means.
For example, Freud has been criticized for producing case studies in which the information was sometimes distorted to fit the particular theories about behavior e. Sex Reassignment at Birth:Although case study methods remain a controversial approach to data collection, they are widely recognised in many social science studies especially when in-depth explanations of a social behaviour are sought after.
This article, therefore, discusses several aspects of case studies as a research method. Ultimately, Case Study Research and Applications will guide students in the successful design and use of the case study research method. New to this Edition Includes 11 in-depth applications that show how researchers have implemented case study methods r-bridal.coms: Mixed methods research works particularly well for case study research as it allows the researcher to take the rich empirical data yielded from case studies and apply either quantitative or qualitative methods or quantitative and qualitative methods to the data.
The case study method, with its use of multiple data collection methods and analysis techniques, provides researchers with opportunities to triangulate data in order to strengthen the research findings and conclusions.
Case study research involves an in-depth study of an individual or group of indviduals. Case studies often lead to testable hypotheses and allow us to study rare phenomena.
Different types of case study research methods In business research, four common case study approaches are distinguished.   First, there is the "no theory first" type of case study design, which is closely connected to Kathleen M.
Eisenhardt 's methodological work.