Case studies emphasize detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their relationships. Researchers have used the case study research method for many years across a variety of disciplines. Social scientists, in particular, have made wide use of this qualitative research method to examine contemporary real-life situations and provide the basis for the application of ideas and extension of methods. Yin defines the case study research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used Yin,p.
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 are 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.
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 Use case study method 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. 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.
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.
They are an important way of illustrating theories and can help show how different aspects of a person's life are related to each other. The method is therefore important for psychologists who adopt a holistic point of view i.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. 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 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.
plains when case study research can be used, research design, data collec- tion, and data analysis, and finally offers suggestions for drawing on the evidence in writing up a report or dissertation.
The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e.
the patient’s personal history). 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 kaja-net.com: Saul Mcleod. 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 .