A research method that involves a detailed study of a single individual, institution or event. Case studies provide a rich record of human experience but are hard to generalise from.
- Gives rich, in-depth data so information overlooked by other methods is identified
- Can investigate human behaviour/experiences that are rare and would be unethical to generate such conditions experimentally
- The complex interaction of many factors can be studied
- It is difficult to generalise from individuals as they have unique characteristics
- Often necessary to use recollection of past events and this evidence may be unreliable
- Researchers may lack objectivity as they become involved/ theoretical bias may cause findings to be overlooked
- Important ethical issues such as confidentiality, many cases are indentifiable by characteristics even if the name is not given
An interview involves a researcher speaking directly to the participant and recording their responses. There are 3 types; structured, semi-structured and unstructured.
A structured interview will have the same set of questions for each participant.
An unstructured one will be more like a conversation.
A semi-structured one will have a set of questions, but if one answer interests them they will explore that area more rather than sticking to the questions.
- Collection of primary information
- In depth analysis, can explore questions more than a questionnaire
- Can produce rich/personal information
- Good reliability
- Should be able to replicate findings if the same questions are asked
- Fairly easy to analyse the data obtained…