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Rise of single-case experimental designs: A historical overview of the necessity of single-case methodology.

Authors
  • Aydin, Orhan1
  • 1 Faculty of Education, Erzincan Binali Yildirim University, Erzincan, Türkiye.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2024
Volume
34
Issue
3
Pages
301–334
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/09602011.2023.2181191
PMID: 36811612
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

ABSTRACTWindelband ([1894]1980) advocated that two approaches are used for accumulating scientific knowledge. The first is the idiographic approach that derives knowledge from a single unit, and the second is the nomothetic approach that accumulates knowledge of a group. Given these two approaches, the former matches case studies while the latter is more appropriate with experimental group studies. Scientists have criticized both methodologies for their various limitations. Later, the single-case methodology emerged as an alternative that potentially allays these limitations. In this context, this narrative review aims to describe the historical roots of single-case experimental designs (SCEDs) that have emerged to eliminate the tension of nomothetic and idiographic approaches over time. First, the review focuses on the emergence of SCEDs. Second, the strengths and challenges of SCEDs are reviewed, including those to address the limitations of group experimental and case studies. Third, the use and analyses of SCEDs are outlined, considering their current status. Fourth, this narrative review continues to delineate the dissemination of SCEDs in the modern scientific world. As a result, SCEDs can be evaluated as a method that has the potential to overcome the issues encountered in case description and group experimental research. Thus, that helps accumulate nomothetic and idiographic knowledge in determining evidence-based practices.

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