Advantages and Disadvantages of a Case Study

In this article, we explore case study strengths and weaknesses across numerous subjects. There are always subject-specific case-study pros and cons that exist for a smaller number of people, but the pros and cons listed in this article span across most types of case study. A case study is the in-depth analysis and evaluation of a certain issue/person/event or thing. One may do research by collecting samples of data from hundreds of different sources, and one may collect lots of information from one source to create a case study. Alternatively, somebody may research hundreds of different sources, but focus on a single event/issue/person, and we would still call that a case study. A good case study synonym may be a “Single-Event examination” or an “Individual-person survey.” Another good case study synonym may be a, “A historical reflection”, “A thematic analysis”, “A case history,” “A study project” or an “Empirical study.”

The Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Case Studies

There are two primary disadvantages of case study exercises. The first is that they are subject to bias on so many levels that a good argument could be made that all case studies are useless when used as evidence. Another of the most commonly cited disadvantages of case study work is that the data collected cannot stand on its own if one wishes to make generalizations. There are advantages of case study work, with the most powerful being that people can learn important facts that are not taught in Universities.

A person with years of experience has more of a chance to build one-on-one experience, which may make such a person better at his or her job, but this works the other way too in that people with lots of experience may fall into a rut and become more generalized in their thoughts and approach.

The Unsung Advantages of Case Study Work

Difference Between Case Research Paper and Case Study Paper

By their nature, colleges and Universities will always teach in generalities. That is why it is dangerous when students take what they learn in college or university and take it as the truth. What students are being taught are versions of the truth. If Universities were “able” to teach you the real truth, then words such as “Atypical Symptoms” and “Expected Anomalies” wouldn’t exist.

Take the example of a person studying Schizophrenia. College and university will teach the many symptoms and offer reasons for their causes. Yet, practicing psychologists are going to frequently come up against patients who have Schizophrenia, but who do not demonstrate the symptoms the psychologists were taught in university. Over time, these psychologists will merge what they learn in university with what they learned through experience and build a bigger picture of how Schizophrenia works. A case study may be able to replace some of that experience.

For example, take another psychologist, but this is a young psychologist who has only been practicing for six months. Such a person may know all the generalized symptoms that he or she learned in university but has little experience with the less-typical or atypical symptoms, which makes the young psychologist less effective in the real world. However, the psychologist one day receives a patient who has symptoms contrary to what was taught in university, such as a patient who is able to effectively “Turn Off” hallucinations and disorganised speech. A young psychologist may be stumped, but this psychologist read a case study in university about another patient who did this very same thing, so the psychologist has a better idea what to diagnose and what to do next.

The Most Dangerous Disadvantages of Case Study Work

The most destructive and damaging disadvantages of case study exercises is bias, and one could blame this type of bias for many misunderstandings and wrong assumptions in the past. Case studies are damaging when they are undertaken with any form of bias, and the problem is that things such as double-blind experiments and the scientific process are often very difficult/impossible when it comes to case studies. Case studies are damaging when they are used as evidence.

Case Studies Are Limited

People are so hungry to be offended that they honestly think stereotypes are bad things, but the fact is that humans cannot exist in a world where things are not generalized. The advantages of the case study are similar to the advantages of stereotypes. One of the biggest case study strengths and weaknesses revolve around how case studies are used.

It is okay to say that women are stereotypically weaker than men. When a stereotype is used as evidence, then it is damaging, such as if a man was hired over a woman to do the builder’s laboring jobs. Just because the stereotype of men being stronger exists, it doesn’t mean the man and woman going for the laboring job will follow the stereotype. One of the strengths and weaknesses of case studies is that it may expose problems such as this and it may also cause problems like this.

A case study presentation is not like a stereotype, but it is as damaging as using a stereotype when a case study presentation is used as evidence. Imagine if you did a case study on the strength of women and you did it on a bodybuilding woman. Imagine if you tried to use that case study to claim that mixed fights were fair, not only would it be a damaging idea in terms of male-female dynamic, it would also cause physical damage when they tried to fight men. There are women who can beat up men easily, but most men are physically bigger than women. In this situation, using a case study as evidence is as damaging and dangerous as using stereotypes as evidence. There is nothing wrong with stereotypes because they are needed, but neither case studies nor stereotypes should be used as evidence to prove a point. You may enjoy the advantages of case study work so long as you do not use case studies as evidence to prove points that may affect other people.

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