What is the meaning of a case study?
A case study is a research method that is used commonly in social sciences. It can be single or multiple case studies. A case study relies on numerous sources of evidence and benefits from the previous development of general phenomena. Also, it is a descriptive and exploratory analysis of individuals, periods, events, decision, institution, policies, or any other system of significant concern studied holistically by one or more methods (Hancock, & Algozzine, 2016). A case study enables the researcher to obtain more detailed information, an unbiased understanding of a complicated situation, through the use of various research tools.
Advantages and disadvantages of this approach
Starting with advantages, a case study may present a person's history, behavioral characteristic, reaction to circumstances, or response to behavior. It also allows a person to view conditions that could be considered rare or unusual if in a position to gather this type of data, gives insight into language, memory, and behavior or social sciences. Moreover, the result could lead to developing a hypothesis that can eventually be tested using another method. A case study offers a chance for the researcher to use a variety of tools on one object and this gives a space to build a comprehensive understanding of the topic (Baer, 2015). Last but not least the method is not expensive. On the other hand, it has few disadvantages, for example, it is time-consuming. The time it takes to collect, evaluate the information and come up with conclusion could take a lot of time. Also planning multiple interviews and waiting to receive data and perhaps coordinating some focus groups can take a considerable amount of time, for example, weeks or month, Particularly, if relying on a case study individual who is frequently acting in a voluntary capacity and busy held by another task. A Case study may contain inaccurate information which is hard to note if the researcher's feelings influence on the individual involved in the research. The fact that a case study is directed towards one person, group or event, the conclusion cannot be generalized to a more prominent population.
The reasons for using a case study approach
A case study approach is helpful when a person is in need to obtain comprehensively appreciation of an issue, even or phenomenon of interest, in its original background. It is important to advance theories and can be of assistance in challenging long-established theories (Thomas, 2015). Most old traditional theories contain inadequate information and cannot be used to solve current issues.
Ways in which a researcher acquires information/data that can be used for a case study?
A researcher can obtain data for a case study in several ways, for example, telephone interviews, an online library which contains information such as scholarly journals, books, and articles. A person doing research should be selective to use these materials since some of them provide biased information. Also, psychology is a very significant source of information on case studies. When a person is seeking counsel, the information they give can be considered part of a case study for that particular person. In patient's counseling, any information that is obtained such as medical history, family data, his or her current information, as well as a history of neglect can be considered information that can be used vividly for the case study.
Baer, R. A. (Ed.). (2015). Mindfulness-based treatment approaches: Clinician's guide to evidence base and applications. Elsevier.
Hancock, D. R., & Algozzine, B. (2016). Doing case study research: A practical guide for beginning researchers. Teachers College Press.
Thomas, G. (2015). How to do your case study. Sage.
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