Case Study Approach To Educational Research

However, when "case" is used in an abstract sense, as in a claim, a proposition, or an argument, such a case can be the subject of many research methods, not just case study research.Another suggestion is that case study should be defined as a research strategy, an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context.

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they focus on the individual case without reference to a comparison group.

Interpreting the information means the researcher decides what to include or leave out.

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.

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.

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").

These case studies are likely to appear in formal research venues, as journals and professional conferences, rather than popular works.

The resulting body of 'case study research' has long had a prominent place in many disciplines and professions, ranging from psychology, anthropology, sociology, and political science to education, clinical science, social work, and administrative science.

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