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Case study uses information obtained from one person or a few people to illuminate the behaviors of others and suggest further research. Sigmund Freud popularized case study along with his psychonalytic theory of personality. A major advantage of the case study is that focussed on one person allows researchers to gather a great deal of detailed information. The goal of a case study is to use the information gathered from one person to understand the behaviors of others. “The case study is often used by used by psychologist in order to research into aspects of the human psyche.” (Keirs, 2009) Psychologist use experiments, interviews, questionnaires, observations, diaries, and psychometric tests are used within a case study. There are two basic types of case study; retrospective and longitudinal. In retrospective, your information comes from the history of the person you are studying. If it were a person who was being studied, you would have been to interview the person about their childhood and their family, as a result developed a report of their life and early life. In contrast longitudinal, investigates the future. They research consequences of a certain situation that has happened. The key feature in the case study method is subject matter. The subject matter is usually a person or an animal. Much like experimental case study, it often uses variables. As with any other method, it has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of case study is the ecological validity of it. The information that is used in these studies is from real life environment. The information is good information because the research is so in depth. The research if often very useful. There are also disadvantages and potential disadvantages. One main disadvantage is case studies usually relate to one individual, and what applies to you may not apply to me. Replication would not be easy with case study because of the unique situations.
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There are only small advantages and disadvantages in the experimental method. With the experimental environment, you have the ability to show cause and effect. The disadvantage is that most of these experiments are conducted in a lab setting, which may inhibit natural behavior.
In conclusion, my research has shown me that the case study and experimental method has many flaws as well as the other methods. The years of work put into the psychology field have brought many different opinions and facts. Case study allows us to limit our research to one person. The experimental method allows us to cancel out all other possibilities, leaving us knowledgeable. These two methods are only a few of the, methods that have been and still are helpful to us today.