Case Study and Observational Study
Case Study and Observational Study
The aim of the research methods is collecting information and data to make accurate decisions on a given topic. That way, to correctly interpret and analyze a series of data, a set of methods can be deployed to deepen the researcher’s knowledge and command of a theme. It is feasible to say that the primary goal of the research methods is producing new knowledge, or increase what it is known of any researchable topic. Strictly speaking, knowledge about methodology will give researchers a framework to place their investigation.
SCOPE OF THE RESEARCH
This essay intends to compare and understand two different research methods, assessing on their differences; likenesses, and their potential uses in research.
Case Study Method
A case study method is best defined as “an intensive study of a single unit with an aim to generalize across a larger set of units.” (Gerring 1). The case study is not itself a research method. Instead, it is a selection of data and analysis that allows investigators to generate adequate material to reach a conclusion. For instance, a case study can be formed by both quantitative and qualitative methods to find an end.
Observational studies are defined as “An alternative to experimental studies. An observational study is sometimes termed a natural experiment. Instead of being randomized into one group or another to ensure statistical balance, subjects are classified either by the presence of an exposure.” (Hoffman & Lim 19). This means that observational methods need natural interactions of the subjects and their environment to reach correct conclusions. Depending on the research, participants know or ignore the nature of the study, since the researcher itself acts as part of the studied group.
Noting that case study is not a method per se, it is important to assess their differences beforehand. That way, a case study can feature an observational study as a part of the chosen methods to complete and understand the data needed for the experiment. Nevertheless, they are different, and it is possible to assess their differences and show them in this essay.
The case study is more related to data analysis than to research itself. It needs interpretation and coding to extract valuable finding relevant to the research. In the same way, most case studies are related to individual patients, rather than to cohorts and focus groups. Hence, case studies are not useful when referring to studies that need groups.
On the other hand, observation method often requires controlled environments as they require a more scientific approach that features a particular environment to achieve a desired set of responses. Likewise, in the observation method, the researcher decides the conditions of the study. Situations such as when; where and how the experiment will take place are completely covered by the investigators. Also, randomizing and quantitative methods are favored in observational methods, whereas case studies are more flexible with their approaches
Their main difference is found in how they are employed. Case studies are most used in psychiatry, as they focus on a single individual and their interactions with their environment. Observational studies are closely related to psychology that aims to find a more general and scientific approach to humans; their behaviors and attitudes.
This essay aimed to find the uses of observational and case studies as research methods. The study found that the first is closely related to group research in a controlled environment. Case studies are a recollection of research that feature a single individual. That way, the two research methods can be intertwined and used together as parts of a greater study, or as individual research aimed at different fields.
Gerring, J. “What Is a Case Study Good For?” Case Study Research Principles and Practices 98.2 (2004): 37-64. Seneca Libraries. Web. 27 Sept. 2015. <http://seneca.summon.serialssolutions.com/#!/search?bookMark=ePnHCXMwbV09D8IgECXGQe1fMIbdkJSWtjA5GD-660zK12SisV38994VqoPO3N1AHse7cLxbkTnUrZ6kB8RRnTkKUQnEC_LZ2Shh2rBKCUBmGmgH64uv7FMul4SheDVte9rRPWR0io11Lwr1NZ0W2oGe7ndHgd7tMnI9Hi77M0szBJgtKqmYsgYqdeGFkRVqmw>.
Hoffman, R.G., and H.J. Lim. “2:Observational Study Design.” Topics in Biostatistics. Vol. 404. Totowa, N.J.: Humana, 2007. 19. Print.
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