Re: a hard case

Bob Green (
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 21:38:45 +1000


I have used 8 A4 case studies which I asked participants in a research
project to read. Even people who read them found they weren't prepared for
the process of construct elicitation. The problem would most likely have
been less if they were personally familiar with the cases.

If you want to directly compare experienced/non-experienced persons you
probably need to have standardised elements, e.g a brief description of
cases. However a basic problem is capturing the complexity of a person in a
brief scenario. Perhaps it might be necessary for your and the participants
sanity, to pick as elements simple descriptions, e.g:

Client who reacts angrily by threatening to harm you when her past is raised
Dependent man who is continually asking about your personal life

An alternative might be to have one case scenario which included various
behaviours/situations which could be the elements.

Tim's situation has merit also, however each person may have a very
different conception of what a liked client is etc, which is not to deny
people won't have individualised responses any form of elements.

I came across a book by Stone M (1993). Abnormalities of Personality. This
book had a section on difficult cases which might be of some use..

Your choice of elements should either be informed by literature or some
conception of what you are exploring. BTW are you interested in types of
constructs used or do you have some other idea of data analysis?


Bob Green