These case studies are likely to appear in formal research venues, as journals and professional conferences, rather than popular works.
The resulting body of 'case study research' has long had a prominent place in many disciplines and professions, ranging from psychology, anthropology, sociology, and political science to education, clinical science, social work, and administrative science.
Freud (1909a, 1909b) conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses.
Even today case histories are one of the main methods of investigation in abnormal psychology and psychiatry. Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical (i.e. The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior.
Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event or community.
Typically, data are gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods (e.g. The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e. In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual.
Because of their in-depth, multi-sided approach case studies often shed light on aspects of human thinking and behavior that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways.
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.
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.
Case studies are widely used in psychology and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud, including Anna O and Little Hans.