A case study is a research method that relies on a single case rather than a population or sample. When researchers focus on a single case, they can make detailed observations over a long period of time, something that cannot be done with large samples without costing a lot of money. Case studies are also useful in the early stages of research when the goal is to explore ideas, test, and perfect measurement instruments, and to prepare for a larger study. A case study is unique within the social sciences for its focus of study on a single entity, which can be a person, group or organization, event, action, or situation. It is also unique in that, as a focus of research, a case is chosen for specific reasons, rather than randomly , as is usually done when conducting empirical research.
What Is a Case Study?
The difference between a case study and single case designs | Numbers and Psychology
For computer programs that implement the statistical methods described on this page click here. The single-case approach in neuropsychology has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the architecture of human cognition. The statistical treatment of single-case study data is one area of methodology that has been relatively neglected. In general terms, the motivation behind the work described below is to provide methods for single-case research that more closely match the standards demanded in group studies. Very useful and elegant methods have been devised for drawing inferences using approach 1 ; e. However, because new constructs are constantly emerging in neuropsychology and the collection of large-scale normative data is a time-consuming and arduous process Crawford, the prototypical single-case study remains one in which a patient is compared to a modestly-sized matched control sample.
Researchers use single-subject design because these designs are sensitive to individual organism differences vs group designs which are sensitive to averages of groups. The logic behind single subject designs is 1 Prediction, 2 Verification, and 3 Replication. The baseline data predicts behavior by affirming the consequent.
Case study in psychology refers to the use of a descriptive research approach to obtain an in-depth analysis of a person, group, or phenomenon. A variety of techniques may be employed including personal interviews, direct-observation , psychometric tests , and archival records. In psychology case studies are most often used in clinical research to describe rare events and conditions, which contradict well established principles in the field of psychology. Distinct advantages and disadvantages are associated with the case study in psychology. The case study is sometimes mistaken for the case method , but the two are not the same.