Whilst many 'physical' scientists avoid case studies, for psychology, anthropology and ecology they are an essential tool.It is important to ensure that you realize that a case study cannot be generalized to fit a whole population or ecosystem.
In a case study, you are deliberately trying to isolate a small study group, one individual case or one particular population.
For example, statistical analysis may have shown that birthrates in African countries are increasing.
Some argue that because a case study is such a narrow field that its results cannot be extrapolated to fit an entire question and that they show only one narrow example.
On the other hand, it is argued that a case study provides more realistic responses than a purely statistical survey.
The author brings to light at least three remaining gaps to be filled in the future: how rival explanations can become more routinely integrated into all case study research; the difference between case-based and variable-based approaches to designing and analyzing case studies; and the relationship between case study research and qualitative research.
This method of study is especially useful for trying to test theoretical models by using them in real world situations.Research should be thorough and note taking should be meticulous and systematic.The first foundation of the case study is the subject and relevance.The case study research design is also useful for testing whether scientific theories and models actually work in the real world.You may come out with a great computer model for describing how the ecosystem of a rock pool works but it is only by trying it out on a real life pool that you can see if it is a realistic simulation.For example, if an anthropologist were to live amongst a remote tribe, whilst their observations might produce no quantitative data, they are still useful to science.Basically, a case study is an in depth study of a particular situation rather than a sweeping statistical survey.Ultimately, Case Study Research and Applications will guide students in the successful design and use ofthe case study research method.New to this Edition Includes 11 in-depth applications that show how researchers have implemented case study methods successfully.Increases reference to relativist and constructivist approaches to case study research, as well as how case studies can be part of mixed methods projects.Places greater emphasis on using plausible rival explanations to bolster case study quality.