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Today we will…. Recall what a case study is and some examples from cognitive psychology Examine what is involved in compiling a case study Discuss how a psychologist might select information for a case study Consider how case studies may contribute to psychological research.

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Today we will

Today we will…

  • Recall what a case study is and some examples from cognitive psychology

  • Examine what is involved in compiling a case study

  • Discuss how a psychologist might select information for a case study

  • Consider how case studies may contribute to psychological research

psychlotron.org.uk


Case studies

Case studies

  • Which case studies do you know?

  • From cognitive psychology:

    • HM – anterograde amnesia following surgery to reduce epilepsy

    • KF – STM deficits following head injury

    • Clive Wearing – retrograde & anterograde amnesia following viral brain infection

psychlotron.org.uk


Case studies1

Case studies

  • In depth study of:

    • An individual or small group

    • A specific environment

  • Draws on a range of sources of data according to the purpose e.g.:

    • Clinical psychology

    • Educational psychology

    • Sports psychology

psychlotron.org.uk


What s in a case study

What’s in a case study?

  • Case history

  • Description (& diagnosis) of problem/issue

  • Record of treatment/intervention

  • Record of outcomes

psychlotron.org.uk


What s in a case study1

What’s in a case study?

  • Biographical information (e.g. interviews)

  • Observations

  • Psychological test results

  • Pre-existing records (e.g. school, employment, medical)

  • Reports from others

psychlotron.org.uk


Case studies2

Strengths

Rich, qualitative data provides in-depth understanding (non-reductive)

Can track and describe change over time (not just a ‘snapshot’)

Weaknesses

Heavy reliance on retrospective & self-report data

Non-standardised methods may be difficult to replicate

Lack of generalisability

Case studies

psychlotron.org.uk


Case studies and other research

Theory

Research

Practice

Case studies and other research

  • Generate new theoretical ideas

  • Test out existing theories

  • Develop new measuring instruments and research techniques

psychlotron.org.uk


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