Case study

Case studies: definition, advantages and disadvantages.

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  • Created by: Daisy
  • Created on: 30-05-13 19:12

Definition

Case studies are an in-depth, rich and detailed study of 1 person or a group of people.


They involve a variety of techniques (triangulation) including interviews, psychological tests, experiments and observations

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Advantages

  • Sometimes behaviour cannot be studied in any other way, such as in cases of neglect, abuse or psychological damage.


  • Rich, detailed data is obtained which may give new insights into future research.


  • A more complex effect can be explored rather than just cause and effect relationships.
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Disadvantages

  • They are unable to be generalised because of the unique set of circumstances of the case.
  • They involve reflecting on the past meaning they rely on retrospective recall which is unrealible.
  • The researcher may lack objectivity as they may become involved in the case.
  • There are ethical issues involved as the unique circumstances may make the person identifiable (confidentiality).
  • It is difficult to assess the reliability of the data as they are often difficult or impossible to replicate.
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