Different types of case study: advantages and disadvantages

Different types of case study: advantages and disadvantages

How many case study assignments have you been assigned? How challenging were the assignments? Research shows that half of the students doing a case study assignment fail. This article has discussed and explained different types of case study.

A case study is a common assignment in colleges and high schools. Students are required to submit at least one case study assignment in their school life. For this reason, students must understand what are case studies and different types of case study.

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Case studies come in different types. They are collective case studies, descriptive, explanatory, exploratory, instrumental and intrinsic case studies. These types may confuse a student. Every student should understand each type of case study.

Many assignments make doing a case study overwhelming. Understanding all types of case studies may be difficult. You do not have to worry. In this article, you will learn what are case studies and their various types.

Do you still experience challenges composing your case study introduction or following a case study outline even after reading this article? Outsource your assignment to case study help services for assistance.

What is a case study?

A case study is a dedicated study of a person, an event or a group. All aspects of a subject’s history and life are analyzed to find unique patterns and behavioral changes. Various fields of education use case studies to do their research. They include medicine, psychology, education, political science, anthropology and social work.

The case study involves gathering data about an entity using different data collection methods. Observation and interviews are the most used methods in a case study. For more information about a case study, read case study examples for students or free case studies available on the internet.

Knowledge of case studies is used in many areas. Case analysis can be generalized to analyze behavioral causes in a large population. This may be difficult because case studies are highly subjective. It makes it difficult to generalize results involving a large group of people.

Writing case studies is no different from other forms of psychology writing. They use similar formats of writing. If a case study report format is not specified, use the commonly used APA format.

A case study was first applied in the field of medicine. It has been adopted by other industries to analyze important results found through the specific turns of events.

Case studies allow students to research a certain topic in depth. They gain knowledge from information found through case study analysis examples.

Advantages of case studies

The following are the benefits of case studies:

Case studies change observations into useful information

They provide real data found through direct observations of different entities. The observations provide data for input processes. A case study shows a path that led to the generation of certain results. These observations enable others in the same situation to use results found through the case study.

Turns suggestions into facts

The case study uses real-time data. This is data found through direct observation or interview. The data is factual because it involves real entities. After processing the data, researchers will turn their opinions into verifiable information. Data processing in a scientific case study follows a positive or a negative development path. This helps researchers to single out a certain entity to provide details of the development path. It provides credibility to observers.

They are relevant to everyone

Choosing a good case study makes it relevant to all participating parties. This relevancy enables the participants to be engaged actively in collecting data. Relevancy increases the need for extra knowledge since everyone is interested in the results of the study.

 The case study method helps you to decide on the study question, then use facts to support your stand.

It uses different research methods

Case studies use interviews, observations and other methodologies. This may be case histories form, databases and questionnaires distributed to respondents. If there are individuals with journals and diaries, they can be included. Specific experimental tasks like memory tests can also be used as part of the process.

The case study method can be remotely done

Using a case study method does not require a facility or a specific location. Research information may be found through emails, phones and other remote communication forms. Interviews can be done through questionnaires, phones, etc. This makes different types of case study methods applicable for formative research.

Formative research is a type of research that uses exploratory methods. When conducting formative research, you cannot be present at every research location. The remote case study method becomes of great use in such circumstances.

Cheaper than other methods of research

The case study method is cheap as compared to other research methods. Accessing data can involve some costs but it’s often done for free. During a direct interview with participants or other functions on the site, the costs involved are data processing or data reviewing which are minimal.

Since case studies can be done remotely, they reduce travel costs, camping costs, etc. This makes it cheaper compared to other methods.

Accessible to audiences

Data collected through different types of case study methods are stored in usable formats ideal for readers. The aim of this method is to help users identify some concepts to which they relate although the researchers’ perspectives can be added to the outcome. This gives users a chance to discover unique features in the data, examine errors present, and make conclusions based on personal experiences.

Besides having numerous advantages, various types of case study methods have their disadvantages. Case study limitations include:

Researchers can influence the data – the case study method aims to avoid bias by using fact-based methods. Bias will often happen as the data collector is the one who defines what is a fact or not.

Time-consuming to analyze data – interviews, questionnaires and other methods involved with the case study method may take longer to collect data. Data must also be analyzed properly as participants can influence the outcome by providing incorrect data. Processing information to ensure its accuracy may take a long time.

It’s an inefficient process – researchers may encounter situations where participants are quiet or unwilling to give data. If researchers do not know how to control such situations, no data will be collected making it inefficient.

Other disadvantages include:

  • Requires a lot of labor to collect data

Case studies require exemplary communication skills to collect accurate data. You must be involved at a personal level in the data collection process. To review and process information from interviews, you must put a lot of effort to make your case study successful. The accuracy and correctness of the data from case studies depend on the amount of work every research does.

  • Requires a sample size to work

To get enough data to analyze, you must have a sample size. When different demographics are involved within an entity or various needs to be examined, case studies become inefficient.

Different types of case study methods

Types of case studies are defined by their hypothesis or thesis to be proved. Hypothesis differentiates them from each other. Every type can be applied to any discipline or field of study whether medicine, arts, psychology, business, etc. There is also a possibility for different types of case study methods overlapping each other.

Explanatory case studies

This type of case study explains a phenomenon or a question. An example of an explanatory case study is 1+1 = 2. Results need no interpreting.

Case studies involving people are not explanatory because variables will always arise. There are small changes that can’t be explained.

In case of events, case studies may be explanatory. For example, a certain car has a lot of crashes due to faulty brakes. The cause of the crashes is brakes being faulty on icy roads which is explanatory.

When asked to develop a case study, you should discuss the crash and explain what causes the breaks to fail. You should also suggest measures that would be taken to prevent brake failure.

The case study can then be used by other automobile companies to understand the causes of brake failure. This will make them learn from previous mistakes when developing new cars.

Other safety measures in vehicles like seatbelts, airbags, collapsible steering wheels started with case studies. The case study led to more research that caused the change.

Exploratory or pilot case study

An exploratory case study is the beginning of a well-recognized research project. The main theme of an exploratory case study is to prove that more investigation of a project is necessary.

As an example, this case study can be performed on soldiers coming from an active war. You know that active combats cause PTSD. You are also aware that many soldiers have PTSD. An exploratory case study can aim to look if some war activities have a likelihood to cause PTSD than others.

You could develop a case study that some actions of war have a higher likelihood to cause PTSD than others. Once you prove that, a big research project can be put into place to assert which war actions have a higher affinity to cause PTSD.

Exploratory case study research services are popular in social sciences and psychology. It is also a popular research method in medicine. Psychologists and doctors are looking for new and better methods of treating patients. Exploratory case studies give them a chance to perform such kind of research.

Collective case study method (multiple case study)

This method of case study combines information from a number of studies to hypothesize a case. Using information from case studies done in the past provides data without spending time and resources on extra studies.

Referring to the PTSD example above, you can compare case studies of various wars like WW1, Persian Gulf, WW2 and the Afghan war. PTSD case studies on these wars will provide a good ground to sample out which activities have a better chance to cause PTSD than others. You can look for more case study analysis examples for a better understanding.

In this clinical case study example, after sampling PTSD case studies for the Persian Gulf War, World War II, and Afghan war, you found that soldiers from Afghanistan had more PTSD than the others. You will make a conclusion that activities in the Afghan war are more likely to cause PTSD. You might also discover that soldiers from a certain region of war are likely to get a certain type of disease.

Intrinsic case study

In an intrinsic case study, you study a case where the subject of that case is the primary cause of the study. A good example is the “Genie case”. The study was more about Genie and how experiences shaped her life and not psychology.

In this case, the topic is Genie. You are interested in Genie and your audience will be interested in Genie. When researchers began this study, they never knew what they will discover.

Descriptive case study

They are also known as illustrative case studies. A descriptive case study uses several instances of a situation to describe an event. They uncover unfamiliar things and give an audience a common understanding of the topic under research.

Critical instance case study

This case study method uses critical case sampling to look into several sites to examine a situation of interest. Critical instance case studies do not generalize research or challenge a well-accepted belief. It is used in causal analysis to examine cause and effect quizzes. You can also use typical case sampling to research a phenomenon or a trend.

Instrumental case study

This case study tries to understand a phenomenon by using a case. For example, you have an interest in childhood obesity. You begin a study with high school students with an exercising program. In this case study, you will not focus on the students and the exercise program. Your interest is why children get obese.

Other case study research methods include:

  • Qualitative case study research
  • Quantitative case study
  • Cross case analysis

To learn which research method involves an in-depth investigation of an individual subject, you can search the internet or ask experts for quick help.

In a nutshell

Students should understand what is a case study and the different types. There are different types of case study you can use in your school projects. These case studies have their advantages and disadvantages. Some are better when used in psychology and others in social sciences. To develop good case studies, you must have a good knowledge of all types of case study.

Do you face challenges when doing your case study assignment? Are you so engaged that you do not have enough time to do your assignment? Do not panic. Contact our assignment experts for help.

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