helpfulprofessor.com site logo that links to homepage

10 Case Study Advantages and Disadvantages

case study advantages and disadvantages, explained below

A case study in academic research is a detailed and in-depth examination of a specific instance or event, generally conducted through a qualitative approach to data.

The most common case study definition that I come across is is Robert K. Yin’s (2003, p. 13) quote provided below:

“An empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident.”

Researchers conduct case studies for a number of reasons, such as to explore complex phenomena within their real-life context, to look at a particularly interesting instance of a situation, or to dig deeper into something of interest identified in a wider-scale project.

While case studies render extremely interesting data, they have many limitations and are not suitable for all studies. One key limitation is that a case study’s findings are not usually generalizable to broader populations because one instance cannot be used to infer trends across populations.

Case Study Advantages and Disadvantages

1. in-depth analysis of complex phenomena.

Case study design allows researchers to delve deeply into intricate issues and situations.

By focusing on a specific instance or event, researchers can uncover nuanced details and layers of understanding that might be missed with other research methods, especially large-scale survey studies.

As Lee and Saunders (2017) argue,

“It allows that particular event to be studies in detail so that its unique qualities may be identified.”

This depth of analysis can provide rich insights into the underlying factors and dynamics of the studied phenomenon.

2. Holistic Understanding

Building on the above point, case studies can help us to understand a topic holistically and from multiple angles.

This means the researcher isn’t restricted to just examining a topic by using a pre-determined set of questions, as with questionnaires. Instead, researchers can use qualitative methods to delve into the many different angles, perspectives, and contextual factors related to the case study.

We can turn to Lee and Saunders (2017) again, who notes that case study researchers “develop a deep, holistic understanding of a particular phenomenon” with the intent of deeply understanding the phenomenon.

3. Examination of rare and Unusual Phenomena

We need to use case study methods when we stumble upon “rare and unusual” (Lee & Saunders, 2017) phenomena that would tend to be seen as mere outliers in population studies.

Take, for example, a child genius. A population study of all children of that child’s age would merely see this child as an outlier in the dataset, and this child may even be removed in order to predict overall trends.

So, to truly come to an understanding of this child and get insights into the environmental conditions that led to this child’s remarkable cognitive development, we need to do an in-depth study of this child specifically – so, we’d use a case study.

4. Helps Reveal the Experiences of Marginalzied Groups

Just as rare and unsual cases can be overlooked in population studies, so too can the experiences, beliefs, and perspectives of marginalized groups.

As Lee and Saunders (2017) argue, “case studies are also extremely useful in helping the expression of the voices of people whose interests are often ignored.”

Take, for example, the experiences of minority populations as they navigate healthcare systems. This was for many years a “hidden” phenomenon, not examined by researchers. It took case study designs to truly reveal this phenomenon, which helped to raise practitioners’ awareness of the importance of cultural sensitivity in medicine.

5. Ideal in Situations where Researchers cannot Control the Variables

Experimental designs – where a study takes place in a lab or controlled environment – are excellent for determining cause and effect . But not all studies can take place in controlled environments (Tetnowski, 2015).

When we’re out in the field doing observational studies or similar fieldwork, we don’t have the freedom to isolate dependent and independent variables. We need to use alternate methods.

Case studies are ideal in such situations.

A case study design will allow researchers to deeply immerse themselves in a setting (potentially combining it with methods such as ethnography or researcher observation) in order to see how phenomena take place in real-life settings.

6. Supports the generation of new theories or hypotheses

While large-scale quantitative studies such as cross-sectional designs and population surveys are excellent at testing theories and hypotheses on a large scale, they need a hypothesis to start off with!

This is where case studies – in the form of grounded research – come in. Often, a case study doesn’t start with a hypothesis. Instead, it ends with a hypothesis based upon the findings within a singular setting.

The deep analysis allows for hypotheses to emerge, which can then be taken to larger-scale studies in order to conduct further, more generalizable, testing of the hypothesis or theory.

7. Reveals the Unexpected

When a largescale quantitative research project has a clear hypothesis that it will test, it often becomes very rigid and has tunnel-vision on just exploring the hypothesis.

Of course, a structured scientific examination of the effects of specific interventions targeted at specific variables is extermely valuable.

But narrowly-focused studies often fail to shine a spotlight on unexpected and emergent data. Here, case studies come in very useful. Oftentimes, researchers set their eyes on a phenomenon and, when examining it closely with case studies, identify data and come to conclusions that are unprecedented, unforeseen, and outright surprising.

As Lars Meier (2009, p. 975) marvels, “where else can we become a part of foreign social worlds and have the chance to become aware of the unexpected?”

Disadvantages

1. not usually generalizable.

Case studies are not generalizable because they tend not to look at a broad enough corpus of data to be able to infer that there is a trend across a population.

As Yang (2022) argues, “by definition, case studies can make no claims to be typical.”

Case studies focus on one specific instance of a phenomenon. They explore the context, nuances, and situational factors that have come to bear on the case study. This is really useful for bringing to light important, new, and surprising information, as I’ve already covered.

But , it’s not often useful for generating data that has validity beyond the specific case study being examined.

2. Subjectivity in interpretation

Case studies usually (but not always) use qualitative data which helps to get deep into a topic and explain it in human terms, finding insights unattainable by quantitative data.

But qualitative data in case studies relies heavily on researcher interpretation. While researchers can be trained and work hard to focus on minimizing subjectivity (through methods like triangulation), it often emerges – some might argue it’s innevitable in qualitative studies.

So, a criticism of case studies could be that they’re more prone to subjectivity – and researchers need to take strides to address this in their studies.

3. Difficulty in replicating results

Case study research is often non-replicable because the study takes place in complex real-world settings where variables are not controlled.

So, when returning to a setting to re-do or attempt to replicate a study, we often find that the variables have changed to such an extent that replication is difficult. Furthermore, new researchers (with new subjective eyes) may catch things that the other readers overlooked.

Replication is even harder when researchers attempt to replicate a case study design in a new setting or with different participants.

Comprehension Quiz for Students

Question 1: What benefit do case studies offer when exploring the experiences of marginalized groups?

a) They provide generalizable data. b) They help express the voices of often-ignored individuals. c) They control all variables for the study. d) They always start with a clear hypothesis.

Question 2: Why might case studies be considered ideal for situations where researchers cannot control all variables?

a) They provide a structured scientific examination. b) They allow for generalizability across populations. c) They focus on one specific instance of a phenomenon. d) They allow for deep immersion in real-life settings.

Question 3: What is a primary disadvantage of case studies in terms of data applicability?

a) They always focus on the unexpected. b) They are not usually generalizable. c) They support the generation of new theories. d) They provide a holistic understanding.

Question 4: Why might case studies be considered more prone to subjectivity?

a) They always use quantitative data. b) They heavily rely on researcher interpretation, especially with qualitative data. c) They are always replicable. d) They look at a broad corpus of data.

Question 5: In what situations are experimental designs, such as those conducted in labs, most valuable?

a) When there’s a need to study rare and unusual phenomena. b) When a holistic understanding is required. c) When determining cause-and-effect relationships. d) When the study focuses on marginalized groups.

Question 6: Why is replication challenging in case study research?

a) Because they always use qualitative data. b) Because they tend to focus on a broad corpus of data. c) Due to the changing variables in complex real-world settings. d) Because they always start with a hypothesis.

Lee, B., & Saunders, M. N. K. (2017). Conducting Case Study Research for Business and Management Students. SAGE Publications.

Meir, L. (2009). Feasting on the Benefits of Case Study Research. In Mills, A. J., Wiebe, E., & Durepos, G. (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Case Study Research (Vol. 2). London: SAGE Publications.

Tetnowski, J. (2015). Qualitative case study research design.  Perspectives on fluency and fluency disorders ,  25 (1), 39-45. ( Source )

Yang, S. L. (2022). The War on Corruption in China: Local Reform and Innovation . Taylor & Francis.

Yin, R. (2003). Case Study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 5 Best Laminators for Teachers, Reviewed!
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 5 Best College Care Packages for Guys & Girls
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 7 Best Microwaves for College Student Dorms
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 5 Best Backpacks for Teachers

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BrandonGaille.com

Home » Pros and Cons » 12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

A case study is an investigation into an individual circumstance. The investigation may be of a single person, business, event, or group. The investigation involves collecting in-depth data about the individual entity through the use of several collection methods. Interviews and observation are two of the most common forms of data collection used.

The case study method was originally developed in the field of clinical medicine. It has expanded since to other industries to examine key results, either positive or negative, that were received through a specific set of decisions. This allows for the topic to be researched with great detail, allowing others to glean knowledge from the information presented.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using the case study method.

List of the Advantages of the Case Study Method

1. it turns client observations into useable data..

Case studies offer verifiable data from direct observations of the individual entity involved. These observations provide information about input processes. It can show the path taken which led to specific results being generated. Those observations make it possible for others, in similar circumstances, to potentially replicate the results discovered by the case study method.

2. It turns opinion into fact.

Case studies provide facts to study because you’re looking at data which was generated in real-time. It is a way for researchers to turn their opinions into information that can be verified as fact because there is a proven path of positive or negative development. Singling out a specific incident also provides in-depth details about the path of development, which gives it extra credibility to the outside observer.

3. It is relevant to all parties involved.

Case studies that are chosen well will be relevant to everyone who is participating in the process. Because there is such a high level of relevance involved, researchers are able to stay actively engaged in the data collection process. Participants are able to further their knowledge growth because there is interest in the outcome of the case study. Most importantly, the case study method essentially forces people to make a decision about the question being studied, then defend their position through the use of facts.

4. It uses a number of different research methodologies.

The case study method involves more than just interviews and direct observation. Case histories from a records database can be used with this method. Questionnaires can be distributed to participants in the entity being studies. Individuals who have kept diaries and journals about the entity being studied can be included. Even certain experimental tasks, such as a memory test, can be part of this research process.

5. It can be done remotely.

Researchers do not need to be present at a specific location or facility to utilize the case study method. Research can be obtained over the phone, through email, and other forms of remote communication. Even interviews can be conducted over the phone. That means this method is good for formative research that is exploratory in nature, even if it must be completed from a remote location.

6. It is inexpensive.

Compared to other methods of research, the case study method is rather inexpensive. The costs associated with this method involve accessing data, which can often be done for free. Even when there are in-person interviews or other on-site duties involved, the costs of reviewing the data are minimal.

7. It is very accessible to readers.

The case study method puts data into a usable format for those who read the data and note its outcome. Although there may be perspectives of the researcher included in the outcome, the goal of this method is to help the reader be able to identify specific concepts to which they also relate. That allows them to discover unusual features within the data, examine outliers that may be present, or draw conclusions from their own experiences.

List of the Disadvantages of the Case Study Method

1. it can have influence factors within the data..

Every person has their own unconscious bias. Although the case study method is designed to limit the influence of this bias by collecting fact-based data, it is the collector of the data who gets to define what is a “fact” and what is not. That means the real-time data being collected may be based on the results the researcher wants to see from the entity instead. By controlling how facts are collected, a research can control the results this method generates.

2. It takes longer to analyze the data.

The information collection process through the case study method takes much longer to collect than other research options. That is because there is an enormous amount of data which must be sifted through. It’s not just the researchers who can influence the outcome in this type of research method. Participants can also influence outcomes by given inaccurate or incomplete answers to questions they are asked. Researchers must verify the information presented to ensure its accuracy, and that takes time to complete.

3. It can be an inefficient process.

Case study methods require the participation of the individuals or entities involved for it to be a successful process. That means the skills of the researcher will help to determine the quality of information that is being received. Some participants may be quiet, unwilling to answer even basic questions about what is being studied. Others may be overly talkative, exploring tangents which have nothing to do with the case study at all. If researchers are unsure of how to manage this process, then incomplete data is often collected.

4. It requires a small sample size to be effective.

The case study method requires a small sample size for it to yield an effective amount of data to be analyzed. If there are different demographics involved with the entity, or there are different needs which must be examined, then the case study method becomes very inefficient.

5. It is a labor-intensive method of data collection.

The case study method requires researchers to have a high level of language skills to be successful with data collection. Researchers must be personally involved in every aspect of collecting the data as well. From reviewing files or entries personally to conducting personal interviews, the concepts and themes of this process are heavily reliant on the amount of work each researcher is willing to put into things.

These case study method advantages and disadvantages offer a look at the effectiveness of this research option. With the right skill set, it can be used as an effective tool to gather rich, detailed information about specific entities. Without the right skill set, the case study method becomes inefficient and inaccurate.

Related Posts:

  • 25 Best Ways to Overcome the Fear of Failure
  • Monroe's Motivated Sequence Explained [with Examples]
  • Is Mercari Legit and Safe: 15 Tips for Buyers and Sellers
  • Force Field Analysis Explained with Examples

Open Menu

Strengths and Weaknesses of Case Studies

There is no doubt that case studies are a valuable and important form of research for all of the industries and fields that use them. However, along with all their advantages, they also have some disadvantages. In this article we are going to look at both.

Advantages of Case Studies

Intensive Study

Case study method is responsible for intensive study of a unit. It is the investigation and exploration of an event thoroughly and deeply. You get a very detailed and in-depth study of a person or event. This is especially the case with subjects that cannot be physically or ethically recreated.

This is one of the biggest advantages of the Genie case. You cannot lock up a child for 13 years and deprive them of everything. That would be morally and ethically wrong in every single way. So when the opportunity presented itself, researchers could not look away. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about feral children.

Genie was a feral child. She was raised in completed isolation, with little human contact. Because of the abuse she withstood, she was unable to develop cognitively. From infancy she was strapped to a potty chair, and therefore never acquired the physicality needed for walking, running and jumping.

If Genie made a noise, her father beat her. Therefore, she learned to not make a noise. Once she was found, researchers studied her language skills, and attempted to find ways to get her to communicate. They were successful. While she never gained the ability to speak, she did develop other ways to communicate. However, the public soon lost interest in her case, and with that, the funds to conduct the study.

However, her case was extremely important to child development psychology and linguistic theory. Because of her, we know that mental stimulation is needed for proper development. We also now know that there is a "critical period" for the learning of language.

Developing New Research

Case studies are one of the best ways to stimulate new research. A case study can be completed, and if the findings are valuable, they can lead to new and advanced research in the field. There has been a great deal of research done that wouldn't have been possible without case studies.

An example of this is the sociological study Nickel and Dimed. Nickel and Dimed is a book and study done by Barbara Ehrenreich. She wanted to study poverty in America, and did so by living and working as a person living on minimum wage.

Through her experiment, she discovered that poverty was almost inescapable. As soon as she saved a little money, she was hit with a crisis. She might get sick, or her car might break down, all occurrences that can be destructive when a person doesn't have a safety net to fall back on.

It didn't matter where she lived or what she did. Working a minimum wage job gave her no chances for advancement or improvement whatsoever. And she did the experiment as a woman with no children to support.

This study opened a lot of eyes to the problem of the working poor in America. By living and working as the experiment, Ehrenreich was able to show first-hand data regarding the issues surrounding poverty. The book didn't end with any solutions, just suggestions for the reader and points for them to think about.

Using this case study information, new studies could be organized to learn better ways to help people who are fighting poverty, or better ways to help the working poor.

Contradicting Established Ideas or Theories

Oftentimes there are theories that may be questioned with case studies. For example, in the John/John case study, it was believed that gender and sexual identity were a construct of nurture, not nature.

John-John focused on a set of twin boys, both of whom were circumcised at the age of 6 months. One of the twin's circumcisions failed, causing irreparable damage to the penis. His parents were concerned about the sexual health of their son, so they contacted Dr. John Money for a solution.

Dr. Money believed that sexuality came from nurture, not nature, and that the injured baby, Bruce, could be raised as a girl. His penis was removed and he was sexually reassigned to become a girl. Bruce's name was changed to Brenda, and his parents decided to raise him as a girl.

In this case, Dr. Money was dishonest. He believed that gender could be changed, which has since been proven false. Brenda's parents were also dishonest, stating that the surgery was a success, when in fact that wasn't the case.

As Brenda grew up, she always acted masculine and was teased for it at school. She did not socialize as a girl, and did not identify as a female. When Brenda was 13 she learned the truth, and was incredibly relieved. She changed her name to David, and lived the rest of her life as a male.

This case proved that the general theory was wrong, and is still valuable, even though the study author was dishonest.

Giving New Insight

Case studies have the ability to give insight into phenomena that cannot be learned in any other way. An example of this is the case study about Sidney Bradford. Bradford was blind from the age of 10 months old, and regained his sight at the age of 52 from a corneal transplant.

This unique situation allowed researchers to better learn how perception and motion changes when suddenly given sight. They were able to better understand how colors and dimensions affect the human process. For what it is worth, Bradford continued to live and work with his eyes closed, as he found sight too stimulating.

Another famous study was the sociological study of Milgram.

Stanley Milgram did a study from 1960 to 1974 in which he studied the effects of social pressure. The study was set up as an independent laboratory. A random person would walk in, and agree to be a part of the study. He was told to act as a teacher, and ask questions to another volunteer, who was the learner.

The teacher would ask the learner questions, and whenever he answered incorrectly, the teacher was instructed to give the learner an electric shock. Each time the learner was wrong, the shock would be increased by 15 volts. What the teacher didn't know was that the learner was a part of the experiment, and that no shocks were being given. However, the learner did act as if they were being shocked.

If the teachers tried to quit, they were strongly pushed to continue. The goal of the experiment was to see whether or not any of the teachers would go up to the highest voltage. As it turned out, 65% of the teachers did.

This study opened eyes when it comes to social pressure. If someone tells you it is okay to hurt someone, at what point will the person back off and say "this is not ok!" And in this study, the results were the same, regardless of income, race, gender or ethnicity.

This study opened up the sociological world of understanding the divide between social pressure and morality.

Disadvantages of Case Studies

Inability to Replicate

As demonstrated with the Genie case study, many studies cannot be replicated, and therefore, cannot be corroborated. Because the studies cannot be replicated, it means the data and results are only valid for that one person. Now, one could infer that that results of the Genie study would be the same with other feral children, without additional studies we can never be 100% certain.

Also, Genie was a white, American female. We do not know whether someone with a different gender, race or ethnicity would have a different result.

Key Term! Hawthorne Effect

The effect in which people change their behavior when they are aware they are being observed.

Researcher Bias

When conducting a case study, it is very possible for the author to form a bias. This bias can be for the subject; the form of data collection, or the way the data is interpreted. This is very common, since it is normal for humans to be subjective. It is well known that Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology, was often biased in his case histories and interpretations.

The researcher can become close to a study participant, or may learn to identify with the subject. When this happens the researcher loses their perspective as an outsider.

No Classification

Any classification is not possible due to studying a small unit. This generalization of results is limited, since the study is only focusing on one small group. However, this isn't always a problem, especially if generalization is not one of the study's goals.

Time Intensive

Case studies can be very time consuming. The data collection process can be very intensive and long, and this is something new researchers are not familiar with. It takes a long period of time to develop a case study, and develop a detailed analysis.

Many studies also require the authors to immerse themselves in the case. For example, in the Genie case, the lead researchers spent an abnormal amount of time with Genie, since so few people knew how to handle her. David Rigler, one of the lead researchers, actually had Genie live with him and his family for years. Because of this attachment, many questioned the veracity of the study data.

Possibility of Errors

Case study method may have errors of memory or judgment. Since reconstructing case history is based on memory, this can lead to errors. Also, how one person perceived the past could be different for another person, and this can and does lead to errors.

When considering various aspects of their lives, people tend to focus on issues that they find most important. This allows them to form a prejudice and can make them unaware of other possible options.

Ethical Issues

With small studies, there is always the question of ethics. At what point does a study become unethical? The Genie case was riddled with accusations of being unethical, and people still debate about it today.

Was it ethical to study Genie as deeply as she was studied?

Did Genie deserve to live out her life unbothered by researchers and academics trying to use her case to potentially further their careers?

At what point does the pursuit of scientific knowledge outweigh the right to a life free from research?

Also, because the researchers became so invested in the study, people questioned whether a researcher would report unethical behavior if they witnessed it.

Advantages and Disadvantages in Real-Life Studies

Two of these case studies are the Tylenol Scandal and the Genie language study.

Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two studies.

Genie – Advantages

Uniqueness of study – Being able to study a feral child is a rare occurrence.

Genie – Disadvantages

Ethics - The lead researcher David Rigler provided a home for Genie, and was paid for being a foster parent. This is often seen as unethical, since Rigler had a financial interest in Genie and her case.

Tylenol – Advantages

Uniqueness of study – What happened to Tylenol was very unique and rare. While companies face crisis all the time, a public health crisis of this magnitude is very unique.

Tylenol – Disadvantages

Keyboarding Practice: Sentence Repetition

  • Course Catalog
  • Group Discounts
  • Gift Certificates
  • For Libraries
  • CEU Verification
  • Medical Terminology
  • Accounting Course
  • Writing Basics
  • QuickBooks Training
  • Proofreading Class
  • Sensitivity Training
  • Excel Certificate
  • Teach Online
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy

Follow us on FaceBook

This describes several advantages and disadvantages of the case...

This describes several advantages and disadvantages of the case study research method, which are listed below:

Advantages:

A Source of Ideas about Behavior

An Opportunity for Clinical Innovation

A Method to Study Rare Phenomena

A Method for Challenging to Theoretical Assumptions

A Method for Providing Tentative Support for a Psychological Theory

Disadvantages:

Difficulty of Drawing Cause-Effect Conclusions

Potential Sources of Bias

Problems of Generalizing from a Single Individual

explain one (1) advantage and (1) disadvantage of case study research that you found in this particular case. In your future career, if you were going to conduct a case study in psychology, what would your topic be and who would you study? Explain the use of self-management training (SMT), a therapeutic strategy which capi- talizes on the advantages of brief therapies, while at the same time reducing the danger of leaving too many tasks not fully accomplished. . . . The essence of this approach involves teaching the client how to be his or her own behavior therapist. The client is taught how to assess problems along behavioral dimensions and to develop speciic tactics, based on existing treatment techniques, for overcoming problems. As this process occurs, the traditional client-therapist relationship is al- tered considerably. The client takes on the dual role of client and therapist, while the therapist takes on the role of supervisor. The case of Susan: 

Susan, a 28-year-old married woman, entered therapy complaining that she suffered from a deicient memory, low intelligence, and lack of self-conidence. The presumed deiciencies "caused" her to be inhibited in a number of so- cial situations. She was unable to engage in dis- cussions about ilms, plays, books, or magazine articles "because" she could not remember them well enough. She often felt that she could not understand what was being said in a conversa- tion and that this was due to her low intelligence. She attempted to hide her lack of comprehen- sion by adopting a passive role in these interac- tions and was fearful lest she be discovered by being asked for more of a response. She did not trust her own opinions and, indeed, sometimes doubted whether she had any. She felt depen- dent on others to provide opinions for her to adopt. Administering a Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), I found her to have a verbal IQ of about 120, hardly a subnormal score. Her digit span indicated that at least her short-term memory was not deicient. The test conirmed what I had already surmised from talking with her: that there was nothing wrong with her level of intelligence or her memory. After discussing this conclusion, I suggested that we investigate in greater detail what kinds of things she would be able to do if she felt that her memory, intel- ligence, and level of self-conidence were sufi- ciently high. In this way, we were able to agree upon a list of behavioral goals, which included such tasks as stating an opinion, asking for clari- ication, admitting ignorance of certain facts, etc. During therapy sessions, I guided Susan through overt and covert rehearsals of anxiety-arousing situations . . . structured homework assignments which constituted successive approximations of her behavioral goals, and had her keep records of her progress. In addition, we discussed negative statements which she was making to herself and which were not warranted by the available data (e.g., "I'm stupid"). I suggested that whenever she noticed herself making a statement of this sort, she counter it by intentionally saying more appro- priate, positive statements to herself (e.g., "I'm not stupid—there is no logical reason to think that I am"). During the ifth session of therapy, Susan re- ported the successful completion of a presum- ably dificult homework assignment. Not only had she found it easy to accomplish, but, she reported, it had not aroused any anxiety, even on the irst trial. . . . It was at this point that the nature of the therapeutic relationship was altered. During future sessions, Susan rated her progress during the week, determined what the next step should be, and devised her own homework as- signments. My role became that of a supervisor of a student therapist, reinforcing her successes and drawing attention to factors which she might be overlooking. After the ninth therapy session, direct treat- ment was discontinued. During the following month, I contacted Susan twice by phone. She reported feeling conident in her ability to achieve her goals. In particular, she reported feeling a new sense of control over her life. My own impressions are that she had successfully adopted a behav- ioral problem-solving method of assessment and had become fairly adept at devising strategies for accomplishing her goals.

Follow-up Five months after termination of treatment, I con- tacted Susan and requested information on her progress. She reported that she talked more than she used to in social situations, was feeling more comfortable doing things on her own (i.e., without her husband), and that, in general, she no longer felt that she was stupid. She summarized by say- ing: "I feel that I'm a whole step or level above where I was." I also asked her which, if any, of the tech- niques we had used in therapy she was continu- ing to use on her own. . . . Finally, she reported that on at least three separate occasions during the 5-month period following termination of treat- ment, she had told another person: "I don't un- derstand that—will you explain it to me?" This was a response which she had previously felt she was not capable of making, as it might expose her "stupidity" to the other person. Three months after the follow-up interview, I received an unsolicited letter from Susan (I had moved out of state during that time), in which she reminded me that "one of [her] imaginary exer- cises was walking into a folk dancing class and feeling comfortable; well, it inally worked."  

Answer & Explanation

Advantage: A case study in psychology can provide a great source of ideas about behavior, an opportunity for clinical innovation, a method to study rare phenomena, and a method for challenging theoretical assumptions.

Disadvantage: The main disadvantage of case study research is difficulty of drawing cause-effect conclusions and potential sources of bias, as well as problems of generalizing from a single individual.

If I were to conduct a case study in psychology, my topic would be the use of self-management training (SMT) to help individuals with low self-confidence. I would study a single individual, Susan, who entered therapy complaining of a deficient memory, low intelligence, and lack of self-confidence.

 Through observing her progress over the course of the study, I would be able to assess the effectiveness of SMT as a therapeutic strategy for individuals with similar issues.

Case Study Research in Psychology

Case study research is an important component of psychological research. It allows researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of individual behavior, psychological processes, and potential treatment strategies.

 This type of research is often used to explore rare phenomena, challenge existing theoretical assumptions, and provide tentative support for psychological theories. In order to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of conducting a case study, it is helpful to take a closer look at the case of Susan.

Advantages of the Case Study

The case of Susan highlights several advantages of case study research. First and foremost, the case study provides a source of ideas about behavior. In the case of Susan, the researcher was able to gain insight into the causes of her low self-confidence, as well as potential strategies for improving it. The case study also provides an opportunity for clinical innovation. In this case, the researcher was able to develop a new therapeutic strategy, self-management training (SMT), which capitalizes on the advantages of brief therapies while avoiding the risks of leaving too many tasks unaccomplished. 

Finally, the case study can be used to study rare phenomena, such as Susan's specific problem. The case study also gives the researcher an opportunity to challenge theoretical assumptions. For example, the researcher in this case was able to disprove the assumption that Susan's problems were due to a deficient memory or low intelligence.

Disadvantages of the Case Study

The case of Susan also highlights several disadvantages of case study research. First and foremost, it can be difficult to draw cause-effect conclusions from a single individual. This is because a single case study cannot provide insight into the causes of a behavior or the effects of a treatment. 

The case study also has the potential to be biased. For example, the researcher in this case was likely biased in their assessment of Susan's intelligence and memory due to their prior assumptions about her. Furthermore, it can be difficult to generalize from a single individual. This is because the findings from a single case study may not be representative of an entire population.

In conclusion, case study research is an important component of psychological research. It can provide a great source of ideas about behavior, an opportunity for clinical innovation, a method to study rare phenomena, and a method for challenging theoretical assumptions. However, it is important to keep in mind the potential disadvantages of case study research, such as difficulty of drawing cause-effect conclusions, potential sources of bias, and problems of generalizing from a single individual.

 If I were to conduct a case study in psychology, my topic would be the use of self-management training (SMT) to help individuals with low self-confidence. I would study a single individual, Susan, who entered therapy complaining of a deficient memory, low intelligence, and lack of self-confidence. Through observing her progress over the course of the study, I would be able to assess the effectiveness of SMT as a therapeutic strategy for individuals with similar issues.

By conducting a case study of Susan, I would be able to gain an in-depth understanding of how SMT can be used to help individuals with low self-confidence. Through our observations, we would be able to identify the specific techniques that Susan employed to improve her self-confidence, as well as the strategies that were most effective.

 This information could then be used to develop a treatment plan that could be used to help other individuals with similar issues. Additionally, by studying Susan's progress over the course of the study, we would be able to identify any potential sources of bias or problems of generalization. In doing so, we could ensure that our conclusions are accurate and reliable.

case study research can be a powerful tool for gaining an in-depth understanding of individual behavior, psychological processes, and potential treatment strategies. By conducting a case study of Susan, I would be able to gain valuable insight into the use of self-management training (SMT) as a therapeutic strategy for individuals with low self-confidence. In doing so, I would also be able to identify potential sources of bias and problems of generalization, ensuring that my findings are accurate and reliable.

Case study research is a valuable tool for gaining an in-depth understanding of individual behavior, psychological processes, and potential treatment strategies. In the case of Susan, the researcher was able to gain insight into the causes of her low self-confidence and develop a new therapeutic strategy, self-management training (SMT), which capitalizes on the advantages of brief therapies while avoiding the risks of leaving too many tasks unaccomplished. By observing Susan's progress over the course of the study, the researcher was able to assess the effectiveness of SMT as a therapeutic strategy for individuals with similar issues.

However, it is important to keep in mind the potential disadvantages of case study research. For example, it can be difficult to draw cause-effect conclusions from a single individual, and there is the potential for bias and problems of generalization. In order to ensure that the findings from a case study are reliable and accurate, the researcher must take steps to minimize these potential sources of error. This can include collecting data from multiple sources, such as interviews and surveys, and gathering information from other people who know the individual. Additionally, the researcher must be mindful of potential sources of bias and take steps to minimize them.

In conclusion, case study research is a valuable tool for gaining an in-depth understanding of individual behavior, psychological processes, and potential treatment strategies. However, it is important to keep in mind the potential sources of error, such as difficulty of drawing cause-effect conclusions, potential sources of bias, and problems of generalizing from a single individual. By taking steps to minimize these potential sources of error, the researcher can ensure that the findings from their case study are reliable and accurate.

Related Q&A

  • Q Suppose you are an act-utilitarian, and you must choose between two courses of action. In the first action, you could ma... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q What are one or two essential values that you see as important in order to be a worthy leader? Discuss an approach to le... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q Compare and contrast American and European aviation industries between 1904 and 1914. How was Europe able to capture the... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q Share an overview of a syllabus in foundational human service s course and provide a .pdf file or link to the original s... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q If Digby were to increase their workforce complement by 10% (rounded to the nearest person), how much will the company s... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q Everyone comes to this program from different backgrounds, proficiencies, experiences, and identities through which we v... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q (A30075 Continuous Improvement and Innovation) -Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Communication   Our chosen organizatio... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q Please help!!. Assignment Booklet & 11. Alex and Jamie work for a landscape company during the spring and summer. Wh... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q       Take on the role of sport psychology consultant and evaluate the Big Break case study. After reading the case stud... Answered 59d ago
  • Q Research question is: Are petrochemical-containing water and food truly safe for use and consumption by humans?     To m... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q i need help relating the art peic lion gate greece relate the theme to something that you find in our current visual ver... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q The semicolon is used correctly in the sentence below. Learning history is easy; learning its lessons is almost impossib... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q Formal training may be used to disseminate product information to new and seasoned sales staff. Role playing is often us... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q What is your opinion on this statement? I do not feel that due to religious faith, the children would not be irreplaceab... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q 6. The side length of a square lot is stated to be 960 feet. Using this measurement, the length of a diagonal of the lot... Answered over 90d ago
  • Q         QUESTION 2   I got the questions wrong, however i still don't understand how to do it with the correct answer re... Answered over 90d ago
  • googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('footerCliffsnotesAd'); }); CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. About CliffsNotes
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms and Conditions

Positive Psychology Facts

  • Relationships
  • Mental Health
  • Self Improvement
  • Research Methods

Case Study Method in Psychology Advantages and Disadvantages

advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

Case Study Method in Psychology Advantages and Disadvantages.

The case study method is a research technique used in psychology and other social sciences to study an individual or a group of individuals in great detail. The advantages and disadvantages of the case study method are discussed below:

Case Study Method in Psychology Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Case Study Method in Psychology  :

1) In-depth analysis: 

The case study method allows researchers to gather detailed information about the subject of study, which can be difficult to obtain through other research methods. Researchers can obtain a deep understanding of the subject’s experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and this information can be used to develop theories and hypotheses.

2) Flexibility: The case study method is a flexible research method that can be used to study a wide range of phenomena, including rare and unusual conditions. Researchers can adapt the method to fit the unique needs of the study, and this can lead to new insights and discoveries.

3) Source of hypotheses: Case studies can be used to generate new hypotheses or to test existing ones. Researchers can use the information gathered from the case study to develop hypotheses, which can then be tested using other research methods.

4) Validity: The case study method allows for the collection of rich, detailed data that is often more valid than data obtained through other research methods. This is because the researcher is able to gather data directly from the subject, rather than relying on second-hand accounts or self-report measures.

Read Also : Mind-blowing Psychological Facts about Studying

Disadvantages of Case Study Method in Psychology :

1) Limited generalizability: 

The findings from a case study cannot be generalized to other individuals or groups. The unique nature of the subject and the specific context in which the study was conducted make it difficult to apply the findings to other situations.

2) Subjectivity:  

The case study method is subject to the biases and preconceptions of the researcher. The researcher’s own beliefs, values, and experiences can influence the way in which they interpret the data.

3) Time-consuming:  

The case study method is a time-consuming research method that requires a significant investment of time and resources. It can take months or even years to collect and analyze the data.

4) Ethical issues:  

The case study method can raise ethical issues, particularly when studying vulnerable populations. Researchers must take steps to ensure that the study does not harm the subject or infringe upon their rights and privacy.

Case study method is a valuable research method that can provide rich, detailed data that is often difficult to obtain through other research methods.

Benefits of Case Study for Students

There are several benefits of case studies for students, including:

  • Real-world application: Case studies provide students with an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. This can help students better understand how concepts and theories can be applied in practice.
  • Problem-solving skills: Case studies often present complex and challenging problems, which can help students develop their problem-solving skills. By analyzing the case and identifying potential solutions, students can learn to think critically and creatively.
  • Active learning: Case studies are an interactive form of learning that requires students to actively engage with the material. This can help students retain information more effectively than passive forms of learning.
  • Collaborative learning: Case studies often require students to work in groups, which can help them develop collaboration and teamwork skills.
  • Exposure to different perspectives: Case studies often present multiple perspectives on a problem or situation, which can help students understand different viewpoints and develop empathy and cultural competence.
  • Preparation for the workforce: Case studies can help prepare students for the workforce by providing them with experience analyzing real-world problems and developing solutions.

Case studies can be a valuable tool for students to develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and prepare for their future careers.

Case Study Strengths And Weaknesses

Case studies are a research method that involves in-depth analysis of a particular case or phenomenon. Like any research method, case studies have both strengths and weaknesses.

Case Study Strengths:

  • In-depth analysis: Case studies allow for a thorough and detailed analysis of a particular case or phenomenon. This can provide a rich and nuanced understanding of the topic.
  • Real-world context: Case studies are often conducted in real-world settings, which allows for a more accurate representation of the phenomena being studied.
  • Multiple sources of data: Case studies often involve multiple sources of data, including interviews, observations, and documents. This can help to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the case.
  • Unique cases: Case studies often focus on unique cases that are not easily replicable in a laboratory setting. This can provide valuable insights that may not be obtained through other research methods.

Case Study Weaknesses:

  • Limited generalizability: The findings from a case study may not be generalizable to other cases or populations. This is because case studies often focus on a specific case or phenomenon, which may not be representative of other cases or phenomena.
  • Bias: The researcher conducting the case study may have preconceived notions or biases that can affect the interpretation of the data.
  • Subjectivity: Case studies often involve subjective interpretation of data, which can lead to differing conclusions depending on the researcher's perspective.
  • Time-consuming: Case studies can be very time-consuming and resource-intensive, which can limit the number of cases that can be studied.

Overall, case studies can be a valuable research method for gaining a detailed understanding of a particular case or phenomenon. However, researchers should be aware of the potential limitations of this method and take steps to minimize bias and subjectivity.

Case Study Method in Psychology Advantages and Disadvantages

You may like these posts

Popular posts.

Psychology Facts about Shy Girl

Psychology Facts about Shy Girl

What does psychology say about talkative person, how to simplify your life in 30 days.

Weird but True Facts About Relationships

Weird but True Facts About Relationships

Relationships, those intricate dances of love, companionship, and understanding, are as diverse as the individuals who …

Search This Blog

  • Positive Psychology
  • Psychology Facts

Footer Copyright

Contact form.

advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

Skip to content

Get Revising

Join get revising, already a member, case studies.

  • Created by: Shannon Louise Farrell
  • Created on: 14-05-15 12:43
  • Psychodynamic

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

Case studies. 4.0 / 5 based on 2 ratings

Psychology - Methodologies. 2.0 / 5 based on 2 ratings

working memory model Baddeley and Hitch 1974 0.0 / 5

Savage Rumbaugh crossword 0.0 / 5

Little Hans and Dibs Crossword DC 2.5 / 5 based on 2 ratings

Methodology for each Approach. 1.5 / 5 based on 2 ratings

Evaluation of case studies of privation 0.0 / 5

The working memory model psychology 0.0 / 5

Little Hans by Freud - Evaluation 3.0 / 5 based on 3 ratings

Evaluation points 0.0 / 5

Related discussions on The Student Room

  • AQA Psychology A level 12/16 markers »
  • psychology paper 2 2022 predictions »
  • Difference between therapy and counselling? »
  • OCR Psychology Section B Core »
  • AQA A-level psychology 16/16 model answers »
  • 16/16 AQA A level Psychology answer »
  • AQA A-level Psychology 16/16 model answers »
  • Explain the usefulness in understanding crime for at least two criminological theorie »
  • Psychology Compare and Contrast »
  • Learning aim C- BTEC Health and Social Care Lvl 3 »

advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

IMAGES

  1. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Case Study

    advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

  2. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Case Study Method In Psychology

    advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

  3. advantages and disadvantages of case studies

    advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

  4. advantages and disadvantages of case study ppt 1

    advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

  5. Case Study Method in Psychology Advantages and Disadvantages

    advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

  6. Advantages and Disadvantages of Case Studies

    advantages and disadvantages of case study psychology

COMMENTS

  1. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Yoga?

    The advantages and disadvantages of yoga are still being determined to some degree. Studies from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicate that there are many types of benefits and some significant risks in pra...

  2. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Oligarchy?

    Republics and democracies are fundamentally inefficient because it takes so long for the government to formulate a response to challenges in many cases. This lack of efficiency often means that the government appears incompetent.

  3. What Is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a psychological theory of human behavior and motivation, often illustrated as a pyramid that consists of five levels. As you can see in the above illustration, the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid is filled ...

  4. What Is a Case Study in Psychology? (With Methods and Steps)

    In this article, we discuss the definition of a case study in psychology, identify the purpose, advantages, and disadvantages of using research

  5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Case Studies

    Even though case studies do have their advantages particularly in Neuro-psychology where we study people with lesions on their brain, Psychology

  6. Case Study Design

    Learn about case study design and the advantages of case study, as well as its limitations. Understand the characteristics of case study through...

  7. 10 Case Study Advantages and Disadvantages

    Case Study Advantages and Disadvantages. Advantages. 1. In-depth analysis of complex phenomena. Case study design allows researchers to delve

  8. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using case studies?

    Case studies can explore multiple dimensions and perspectives of a situation, such as the historical, cultural, social, and psychological

  9. 12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

    List of the Advantages of the Case Study Method. 1. It turns client observations into useable data. Case studies offer verifiable data from

  10. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Case Studies

    However, along with all their advantages, they also have some disadvantages. In this article we are going to look at both. Advantages of Case Studies. Intensive

  11. This describes several advantages and disadvantages of the case

    Advantage: A case study in psychology can provide a great source of ideas about behavior, an opportunity for clinical innovation, a method

  12. Case Study Method in Psychology Advantages and Disadvantages

    2) Flexibility: The case study method is a flexible research method that can be used to study a wide range of phenomena, including rare and unusual conditions.

  13. Case Studies

    Also, the interpretations made by the psychologist could be biased and therefore the content of the case study might be unreliable. The

  14. Case Studies

    Home > A Level and IB > Psychology > Case Studies. Case Studies. 0.0 ... Advantages. Case studies are useful because they are often the only way