letters, photographs, notes) or official document (e.g. The case study method often involves simply observing what happens to, or reconstructing ‘the case history’ of a single participant or group of individuals (such as a school class or a specific social group), i.e. The interview is also an extremely effective procedure for obtaining information about an individual, and it may be used to collect comments from the person's friends, parents, employer, workmates and others who have a good knowledge of the person, as well as to obtain facts from the person him or herself.Most of this information is likely to be qualitative (i.e.
Even today case histories are one of the main methods of investigation in abnormal psychology and psychiatry. Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical (i.e. The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior.
This makes it clear that the case study is a method that should only be used by a psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist, i.e. This comes from interviews and other sources, such as observation.
retrospective), as well as to significant events which are currently occurring in his or her everyday life.
The case study is not itself a research method, but researchers select methods of data collection and analysis that will generate material suitable for case studies.
Interpreting the information means the researcher decides what to include or leave out.