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Thursday Feb 21, 2019

The Definition of Case Study in Psychology

We can never fully comprehend the ways in which the human mind works, but there is a science attempting to explain certain processes and reactions occurring in our brains. Psychology - the science of minds. It is a useful discipline that may come in handy not only for those who plan to pursue a career in the field but also for a regular student attempting to understand the way in which society and its inhabitants work. A good path to coming to know a situation is conducting a special research to determine the cause of it. It has a special academic name. Conducting a case study involves exploring an issue and making the conclusions that will help understand everything.

Although it can't be a completed method for good research work, it makes a solid ground for them. You can gather different materials (e.g., observations and interviews of the participants, relevant articles, notes, photographs, and reports) that are appropriate to a certain case and use them to get a well-grounded analysis. Keep in mind that such documents are relevant to a certain individual in your case (usually, they don't refer to all the participants at once).

What issue can you dedicate the time to in the case study you were assigned? You have to take into account various circumstances since any psychological aspect can manifest in different ways. Here are some "cases" for your projects with an explanation of what a certain study involves:

  • Individual - analysis of a person's behavior in certain circumstances.
  • Group - focus on the group's actions\reactions from a psychological perspective.
  • Organization - research on people's behavior within a certain place (company, educational establishment, etc.).
  • Location - investigation focused on people's attitude towards a certain area or how it is used.
  • Event - examination of an occurring development in a group, or event involving more than one person, and the phenomenon of people's attitude altering as the direct consequence of it.

While choosing a focus of your project, think whether you'll manage to gather enough background information on it to sufficiently explain how it unravels.

Main Features

What is expected from a student who has been assigned to prepare an appropriate and interesting case study? Before you embark on this task, think whether you are aware of all the major requirements that should be always met. There are several standards to preserve if you intend to get a high grade.

  • A descriptive approach to the research.
  • In the psychological field, all nuances should be considered - don't neglect to include different details in the information you are going to use. It can be a description of mental processes, in-depth look at the context of the "case," etc.

  • Precise focus and determined subject.
  • Regardless of the participants, don't overdo with the analysis since it can make the results blurred. For instance, you can limit the study to focus on the participants' psychopathological symptoms.

  • A preference for the objective information.
  • While analyzing the participants of a certain study, you have to avoid considering your personal attitude - that will make your conclusions biased.

  • Attention to the processes.
  • This type of assignment makes you investigate the appearance of various processes within a certain period, event, or organization. Analyze them thoroughly because that is what can influence the psychological aspects the most.

Pros and Cons

As with any other college project, a case study has its advantages and disadvantages. The imminent pros, surely, are the educational factor and the apparition of new research results and relevant data. Who knows - you may accidentally stumble upon discovery or breakthrough.

As for case study limitations, usually, the results of this assignment are rather generalized and can't be successfully applied to any society. Unless you are working with a particularly narrow social stigma, it still isn't always relevant, even in the context of that same stigma. Academic assignments performed by college students aren't always considered scientifically valid. Also, it won't be simple to "copy" a case study that was already conducted because the probability of all the circumstances being the same is extremely low.

Where to Apply the Results?

Various results of case studies have many ways of application in a wide range of areas. For instance, teaching case studies can be used to develop some education system reforms. The same way, research on aggression in teens can influence the relationship in a family. Case studies in psychology are conducted to highlight medical aspects of human thinking which, in turn, provides insights into mental disorders.

Nevertheless, the information you've got can always be a good impulse to conduct research in a different area.

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