Characteristics Of Case Study Research

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Amongst the sources of data the psychologist is likely to turn to when carrying out a case study are observations of a person’s daily routine, unstructured interviews with the participant herself (and with people who know her), diaries, personal notes (e.g.

letters, photographs, notes) or official document (e.g. 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 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, workmates and others who have a good knowledge of the person, as well as to obtain facts from the person him or herself.

Herbert Spencer was the first to use case material in his comparative study of different cultures. William Healy resorted to this method in his study of juvenile delinquency, and considered it as a better method over and above the mere use of statistical data.

Similarly, anthropologists, historians, novelists and dramatists have used this method concerning problems pertaining to their areas of interests.

The case study places more emphasis on the full analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their interrelations.

The case study deals with the processes that take place and their interrelationship.Meaning: The case study method is a very popular form of qualitative analysis and involves a careful and complete observation of a social unit, be that unit a person, a family, an institution, a cultural group or even the entire community.It is a method of study in depth rather than breadth.Freud (1909a, 1909b) 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. Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical (i.e. The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior.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.Case studies are widely used in psychology and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud, including Anna O and Little Hans.The researcher then writes up the information from both sources above as the case study, and interprets the information.The research may also continue for an extended period of time, so processes and developments can be studied as they happen.Even management experts use case study methods for getting clues to several management problems.In brief, case study method is being used in several disciplines. Assumptions: The case study method is based on several assumptions.


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