In psychology researches, several methods are used, for example experiment, observation and case studies. What are the strengths and weaknesses of case study method?
Strengths: We can form conclusions about similar cases; weaknesses: cannot prove causation, may not be accurate.
- Clinical research often takes the form of case studies to research clinical disorders.
A case study is an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles. The issues with case studies are that:
They cannot lead to conclusions regarding causality.
The individual studied may be atypical of the larger population.
The benefits with case studies are that:
They are conducted under the assumption that an in-depth understanding of single cases will allow for general conclusions about other similar cases.
- Frequently, multiple case studies on similar cases are combined to draw inferences about these issues.
- This is why researchers try to ensure that their studies are generalizable ; that is, applicable to similar circumstances because of the predictable outcomes of repeated tests.