Writing a Case Study for Psychology Class

Case-technology is a methodically organized process of analyzing specific situations from the practice of professional activity. As a result of the analysis of situations, students develop professional competencies necessary for the successful implementation of this activity. The case method is oriented not so much to the acquisition of specific knowledge as to the development of abilities and skills, among which special attention is paid to the ability to process and analyze large amounts of information. This allows to learn how to analyze cause-effect relationships and create a ready-made result-oriented predictions and solutions.

Creating a Case for Your Psychology Class

It is important to keep in mind that cases describe real events that, under conditions of scarcity of resources, are not amenable to an unambiguously correct decision. A good case should contain several possible solutions. The construction of the case consists in proposing the possibilities, probabilities, and means of achieving the goal.

The case must meet the following conditions:

  • the presence of a genuinely existing person, situation, group, on the basis of which the problem has been developed;
  • a certain chronology of the development of the case, fixing its time frame;
  • presence in the situation of a real psychology-related problem requiring a decision or at least recommendations;

The case should be presented in the form of an edited text written in the “event” style, with an evolving inner intrigue.

Structure of the case study:

  1. Introduction — the first few paragraphs: formulation of the problem; the names, roles and positions of the main characters; specify the name of the case and authorship.
  2. The problem in a few paragraphs: a brief description of the problem (as it is seen by different participants in the events); description of the structure of the problem situation, if possible.

The materials for the solution are structured in the form of questions and answers or broken down into topics and subtopics. The author independently determines the materials necessary for the decisions of each case.

Example: A woman got under the tremendous influence of the seemingly religious, truly destructive sect.

Description: Jane Gladwell is a 37 years woman, divorced, no children. Her husband cheated on her, she divorced him, but their common friends and her family were surprisingly on his side, were convincing her to save the family. The divorce caused a conflict with the Catholic priest in the church she visited. Jane became a member of a radical seemingly religious group, lost her friends, stopped taking care of her appearance (because now she thinks it is a sin), lost her job because of the radical statements and her appearance, stopped watching TV and browsing through Internet. She is reading only magazines and books recommended in the sect in plans to sell everything that she has to unite totally with her new “brothers and sisters”.

In the case you might asked to define the reasons why Jane became a member of the sect. You should diversify and describe them as follows:

Factors depending on Jane:

  • the problematic life situation in which our heroine turned out to be, and the loneliness associated with it;
  • the emergence of strained relations with parents and friends, the undermining of self-confidence;
  • natural truthfulness;
  • the sect doctrine turned out to be “conformal” to Jane’s inner world, past experience, experiences;
  • the desire to regain a family;
  • disappointment, undermining confidence in the Catholic Church;
  • financial donations to the sect (deposit trap).

Factors depending on the sect representatives:

  • the attitude shown by the recruiter, which proved to be most effective in the situation of strained relations with relatives, the position of the “understanding” side, which contributed to Jane’s well-being;
  • the exploitation of a difficult life situation (divorce, sect as a large family);
  • use of vivid illustrations, neutral information to attract attention to cult literature and at the same time “camouflage,” to soften the flow of information about true intentions;
  • references to a generally recognized, authoritative source (the Bible);
  • distortion of true information for the purpose of worship;
  • full employment of adherents cult activity: Visiting meetings, reading the Bible, studying the Bible at home;
  • work for the benefit of the community, “a testimony of hidden truth” to other people;
  • lack of access to the information beyond the cult-related: lack of free time; a ban on watching television/lack of TV because of its sale in order to raise money for the community;
  • a break in communication with relatives and friends who are not members of the sect;
  • control over the activity of the adept in his/her spare time.

Add research questions valuable for this case study:

  • What is common and specific in such terms as “psychological aggression”, “manipulation”, “zombification”, “psychological violence”, “brainwashing”?
  • Despite the warning information in the media, charlatans, especially in the case of healing and pseudo religions, continue to actively enjoy popularity.
  • Many people resort to manipulation: we educate ourselves, parents, the system of upbringing and education, psychotherapists, social workers, specialists in PR, in politics, in advertising, destructive cults. Manipulation can contribute to both positive and negative changes. How to determine the permissible limit, the boundary of manipulation?
  • What are the signs of psychological violence committed against a person?

Use our theoretical tips and practical example to create the most engaging and well-thought-out case study for your Psychology class. Otherwise you can try professional psychology case study writing assistance from experts online.

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