Case Study Psychology

1090 Words 5 Pages
Psychology, the study of how mental processes and behavior are affected by internal processes and the environment, uses three main methods to study behavior: Case studies, correlational studies, and experiments. Each of these studies has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is impossible to determine which is better, as each study’s effectiveness depends on its nature. Case studies, experiments, and correlational studies all have something in common, though: they can all be affected by research bias. This is a disadvantage in any study, and can sometimes drastically affect the results.
A case study can be defined as “an intensive description and analysis of a specific group.” (Christensen, 2013). In a case study, one person is extensively
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(McGavran & Lowe, 2007). In a correlational study, two or more variables are compared to each other to see if they relate in any way. For example, in a correlational study about the effect of vitamin J on memory, people who have and have not taken the drug would be surveyed using a questionnaire along with a test. The results of these surveys would be compared to who has taken the drug, and a general idea about the relationship between memory and vitamin J would be formed. Researchers are able to see whether or not a correlation exists between these variables, however, they cannot manipulate them. This makes it easy to obtain a vast amount of information about a subject that cannot be studied using an experiment. (Cherry, n.d.). Correlational studies are important because they can be used to collect a vast amount of information. In addition, they make it easy to study the relationship between a wide range of variables. (Crane & Hannibal, 2012). Correlational research also can be used to study variables not easily produced in a lab. (Crane & Hannibal, 2012). This research method is a tremendously good way to study the interrelations of variables, however, correlation does not indicate causation in many cases. Also, similarly to case studies, it is impossible to determine cause-and-effect through a correlational study. Because of this, only a prediction about certain behavior can be …show more content…
(n.d.). Correlational Research. Retrieved from About Education: http://psychology.about.com/od/researchmethods/a/correlational.htm
Christensen, D. (2013). Case Studies. Retrieved from Shoreline.edu: http://www.shoreline.edu/dchris/psych209/Documents/Case%20Studies.pdf
Crane, J., & Hannibal, J. (2012). What is Psychology? In J. Crane, & J. Hannibal, IB Psychology: Course Book (pp. 7-37). Oxford University Press.
McGavran, M. B., & Lowe, J. (2007, April 12). PSY 430 001 Research in Personality Lecture/Lab. Retrieved from University of Kentucky: http://www.uky.edu/Classes/PSY/430-001/
Occupytheory. (2014, May 15). Advantages and Disadvantages of Experimental Research. Retrieved from Occupy Theory: http://occupytheory.org/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-experimental-research/
Solomon, J. (2006). Case Studies: why are they important? Retrieved from Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine:

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