What Is Areas Of Consideration In Case Study?


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As case studies are primarily dealing with people, the main areas of consideration tend to be mainly ethical. The object of study cannot be emotionally, physically or psychologically violated in any way or there will be serious legal ramifications for the researcher. However, another factor to be considered is the way in which the case studies should be approached and structured.

  • What is a case study?

Within the social sciences such as Psychology and Sociology, researchers often perform an in-depth study of a particular individual or group. Sigmund Freud was the most psychologist most famous for conducting case studies upon the most bizarre and unusual patients. Though they do provide detailed insight into the area of research, case studies are often criticized for being idiographic and not necessarily representative of the wider population. There is little structure to the process which means case studies are often completely impossible to replicate and are therefore invalid and unreliable.

  • Main areas of consideration.

Ethical considerations would include ensure the participant is not deceived at any point and it protected from any form of harm. Also, they must be given the opportunity to withdraw from the study, whether physically or not allowing their data to be published. Results should remain entirely confidential and they should have the choice to protect their identity and privacy.

Practical considerations would include the way in which the researcher wishes to conduct the case study. Information could be gathered by observing the individual or group but this may be subject to researcher bias and interpretation. If a medical condition is being studied, experiments could be conducted upon the subjects but this could increase the expenses of the study. One on one discussions are often used within case studies but these are not exactly reliable as the subject could lie or only offer socially desirable answers. Also, researcher bias is once again likely to occur, as psychologists often have very different interpretations of certain disorders unless a diagnostic manual is being used.

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