Case-studies are methods which use very few participants (usually just the one). They aim to provide a deep and rich insight into the experience of the single participant to provide greater understanding within the topic.
While traditionally in Psychology the case study method is usually used on a person (often with a unique experience), more and more alternative case-studies are emerging which include events, objects, institutions, organisations etc. Case-studies can be considered a mixed method including both quantitative and qualitative methods.
Case-studies are very much like ethnographic methods and have a relatively long history within Psychology. Some famous case studies include: Sigmund Freud’s ‘Little Hans’ and ‘The Wolfman’; John Money’s work on gender and ‘Genie’ the famous case of severe deprivation.