In psychology researches, several methods are used, for example experiment, observation and case studies. What are the strengths and weaknesses of case study method?

1 Answer
Apr 22, 2018

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.
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