Case Studies Ethical Issues Psychology

Research which only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension to experience which is so important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.Case studies are often used in exploratory research.descriptive) data a lot depends on the interpretation the psychologist places on the information she has acquired. In The Pelican Freud Library (1977), Vol 8, Case Histories 1, pages 169-306 Freud, S. Bemerkungen über einen Fall von Zwangsneurose (Der "Rattenmann").

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grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, text interpretation, e.g. All the approaches mentioned here use preconceived categories in the analysis and they are ideographic in their approach, i.e.

they focus on the individual case without reference to a comparison group.

For example, Freud has been criticized for producing case studies in which the information was sometimes distorted to fit the particular theories about behavior (e.g. This is also true of Money’s interpretation of the Bruce/Brenda case study (Diamond, 1997) when he ignored evidence that went against his theory.

However important the issue under investigation psychologists need to remember that they have a duty to respect the rights and dignity of research participants.

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.

A good case study should always make clear which information is the factual description and which is an inference or the opinion of the researcher.

The client also reports detail of events from his or her point of view.

The researcher then writes up the information from both sources above as the case study, and interprets the information.

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