Critical Case Sampling


The process of selecting a small number of important cases - cases that are likely to "yield the most information and have the greatest impact on the development of knowledge" (Patton, 2001, p. 236).

Why use this method?

This is a good method to use when funds are limited.  Although sampling for one or more critical cases may not yield findings that are broadly generalizably they may allow researchers to develop logical generalizations from the rich evidence produced when studying a few cases in depth.

To identify critical cases, the research team needs to able to identify the dimensions that make a case critical.

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