Case Study Tips

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Tips in writing Case Studies

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 behaviour that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways. Research which only looks into the measurable aspects of human behaviour 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.e. humanistic psychologists).

Limitations of Case Studies
Can’t generalize the results to the wider population.
Researchers' own subjective feeling may influence the case study (researcher bias).
Difficult to replicate.
Time consuming.
Because a case study deals with only one person/event/group we can never be sure whether the conclusions drawn from this particular case apply elsewhere. 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.e. descriptive) data a lot depends on the interpretation the psychologist places on the information she has acquired. 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…...

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