Case Study Approach To Educational Research

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 the data means. For example, Freud has been criticized for producing case studies in which the information was sometimes distorted to fit the particular theories about behavior (e.g. This is also true of Money’s interpretation of the Bruce/Brenda case study (Diamond, 1997) when he ignored evidence that went against his theory.

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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.

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.

This makes it clear that the case study is a method that should only be used by a psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist, i.e. This comes from interviews and other sources, such as observation.

The client also reports detail of events from his or her point of view.The data collected can be analyzed using different theories (e.g.grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, text interpretation, e.g. All the approaches mentioned here use preconceived categories in the analysis and they are ideographic in their approach, i.e.Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event or community.Typically, data are gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods (e.g. The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e. In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual.Because of their in-depth, multi-sided approach case studies often shed light on aspects of human thinking and behavior that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways.Research which only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension to experience which is so important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.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.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. In The Pelican Freud Library (1977), Vol 8, Case Histories 1, pages 169-306 Freud, S. Bemerkungen über einen Fall von Zwangsneurose (Der "Rattenmann").

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