Case studies and content analysis


Case studies

  • Provide a detailed and in-depth analysis of an individual, group, institution or event
  • Case studies often involve analysis of unusual individuals or events
  • However, case studies may also concentrate on more 'typical' cases 
  • Conducting a case study usually involves the production of qualitative data
  • Researchers will construct a case history of the individual concerned using interviews, obs, questionnaires or a combination
  • Case studies tend to take place over a long period of time and may involve gathering additional data from family and friends of the individual as well as the person themselves

+Able to offer rich, detailed insights that may shed light on very unusual and atypical forms of behaviour

+Case studies may contribute to our understanding of 'normal' funstioning e.g. HM was sign as it demonstrated 'normal' memory processing

+May generate hypotheses for future study and one solitary contradictory instance may lead to revision of an entire theory

-Generalisation is an issue when dealing with such small smaple sizes

-The info that makes it into the final report is based on subjective selection and interpretation of the researcher

-Low in validity because may rely on personal accounts- inaccuracy and memory decay

Content analysis

  • A type of observational research in which people are studied indirectly via the the communications they…


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