interventions in the field of social work. They can also be used in the field of psychology
(e.g. Freud developed his theory of personality by conducting a case study with his
children as the subjects) and in the field of medicine, for performing research on rare
medical conditions such as split-brain patients.
a. Explanatory case study – This is a type of case study that involves the close examination of data at both the surface and deep level.
This is usually conducted to determine the cause of a particular phenomenon. Based on the data that’s available to the researcher, the researcher forms a theory and tests the said theory. It can also make use of the pattern-matching procedure for the investigation of certain phenomena in multivariate and complex cases.
b. Descriptive case study - This is a type of case study that aims to describe a natural phenomenon that occurs within the data in question. The researchers describe the data as they occur and this is usually recorded in the narrative form.
This type of case study starts with a descriptive theory and the data gathered from conducting observations of the subjects is compared with the existing theory. In addition, this type of case study can make use of the pattern-matching procedure in order to replicate the results, which will allow for the formulation of hypotheses.
c. Exploratory case study – This is a type of case study that aims to explore a phenomenon based on the data that serves as the researcher’s point of interest.
It can be employed as a prelude for a more in-depth study as it can be used to gather more information before the research questions and hypotheses are developed. It starts with general questions that can be narrowed down to more specific questions through a more in-depth research. In addition, the results of this study can serve as a framework for further studies.
d. Multiple case studies – This type of case study involves two or more observations of the same phenomenon. This enables the replication of results, which in turn enables the confirmation of propositions and constructs. They can be used to obtain information about the complementary aspects of the phenomenon being studied.
e. Intrinsic case – This is a type of case study where the researcher has a personal interest in the case.
f. Instrumental case study – This is a type of case study where the subjects of the study allow the researchers to obtain more information than what observers initially see.
g. Collective case study – This type of case study involves the study of a group of persons.