Case study

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSUS1PS7114

Course Coordinator and Team: AsmaNisar (Kashmere Gate); Sunaina K (Karamapura)

Email of course coordinator: asma[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in;

Pre-requisites: None


The study of the unique individual forms one of the bedrocks of contemporary Psychology. This course will help students learn the processes of psychological measurement, interviewing, observation and case study taking. Each student will select an individual of their choice and administer one intelligence test, structured personality test and a semi projective technique to the same person, across the span of the semester. Here, broad aspects of psychometric theory as well as the process of conducting and analyzing tests would be discussed. Following up the tests with an interview and some observational work, students will compile all of the above to form a case study. The course, which lies at the clinical-research axis, will require a close interaction with an individual of the student’s choice over a period of 3 months, comprising in-depth weekly interviews with the participant, family members, co-workers, teachers and peers if possible. The student would write submit a case study report at the end of the semester with a thematic analysis, research ideas, confusions and questions around this project.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

I: Introduction to case study:This unit will introduce the student to the conceptualization of a case study. Who or what constitutes a case, why is a detailed study required for a case. What are the factors influencing one’s selection of a case?

II: Case-Profiling 1- Intelligence test. (SPM / WAIS/ Bhatia’s battery test of Intelligence). The administration, analysis, interpretation of the test on the selected case will be followed by reporting the results and the subsequent impressions of what constitutes intelligence.

III: Case profiling 2- Personality testing –objective (Cattell’s 16 PF/ Eysenck’s personality Inventory etc)

IV: Case profiling 3- Semi-projective technique (Word association test, Holtzman inkblot technique/ Rotter’s incomplete sentences). This unit sculpts the student’s imagination towards ambiguous and therefore often neglected behaviors of human beings as important indicators of who the individual is.

V: Case profiling 4- Interviewing and observation - Using clinical vignettes and feature films, this unit will orient the student towards verbal and non-verbal involvement with their selected case. Questions such as the difference between open ended and close ended interviewing, what kinds of observations are required in different settings will be discussed.

The course will end with the student making a comprehensive case profile report using the above describedmethods/techniques.

Tentative Assessment schedule with details of weightage*:

S.NoAssessmentDate/period in which Assessment will take placeWeightage
1Class testAug 31-Sept 525%
2Research Paper reviewSept 10-1520%
3Class PresentationOct 15-2030%
4Report submissionMid November35%

* Kindly get in touch with course coordinators in respective campuses for the assessment plan.


Reading List:

  • Anastasi, A., &Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological testing (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ, US: Prentice Hall/Pearson Education.
  • Bryman, A.(2004). Quantity and Quality in Social Research.Routledge.
  • Byrne, D. &Ragin, C. (2009). The SAGE Handbook of Case-Based Methods
  • Byrne-Armstrong H, Higgs J and Horsfall D (eds) 2001 Critical Moments in Qualitative
  • Fiss& Peer, C. (2010). The Encyclopedia of Case Study Research.
  • Research Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford
  • Singh, A.K. (2009). Tests, Measurements and Research Methods in Behavioural Sciences. BharatiBhawan, New Delhi
  • The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis, (2014)
  • The SAGE Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences, (2011)
  • Zamora-Bonilla, J. &Jarvie, I.C. (2011) The SAGE Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences.