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# Sampling Methods

## 1. Random Sampling

❶Audience measurement Demography Market research Opinion poll Public opinion. There are several variations on this type of sampling and following is a list of ways probability sampling may occur:

## The Purpose of Sampling

As they are not truly representative, non-probability samples are less desirable than probability samples. However, a researcher may not be able to obtain a random or stratified sample, or it may be too expensive.

A researcher may not care about generalizing to a larger population. The validity of non-probability samples can be increased by trying to approximate random selection, and by eliminating as many sources of bias as possible.

A researcher is interested in the attitudes of members of different religions towards the death penalty. In Iowa a random sample might miss Muslims because there are not many in that state. However, the sample will no longer be representative of the actual proportions in the population. This may limit generalizing to the state population. But the quota will guarantee that the views of Muslims are represented in the survey.

A subset of a purposive sample is a snowball sample -- so named because one picks up the sample along the way, analogous to a snowball accumulating snow.

A snowball sample is achieved by asking a participant to suggest someone else who might be willing or appropriate for the study. Snowball samples are particularly useful in hard-to-track populations, such as truants, drug users, etc.

Non-probability samples are limited with regard to generalization. Because they do not truly represent a population, we cannot make valid inferences about the larger group from which they are drawn.

Validity can be increased by approximating random selection as much as possible, and making every attempt to avoid introducing bias into sample selection. Examples of nonprobability samples. Using the random numbers table. Two of each species. Random sample The term random has a very precise meaning.

The defining characteristic of a quota sample is that the researcher deliberately sets the proportions of levels or strata within the sample. This is generally done to insure the inclusion of a particular segment of the population. The proportions may or may not differ dramatically from the actual proportion in the population.

The researcher sets a quota , independent of population characteristics. A purposive sample is a non-representative subset of some larger population, and is constructed to serve a very specific need or purpose. The sample will be representative of the population if the researcher uses a random selection procedure to choose participants.

The group of units or individuals who have a legitimate chance of being selected are sometimes referred to as the sampling frame. If a researcher studied developmental milestones of preschool children and target licensed preschools to collect the data, the sampling frame would be all preschool aged children in those preschools.

Students in those preschools could then be selected at random through a systematic method to participate in the study. This does, however, lead to a discussion of biases in research. For example, low-income children may be less likely to be enrolled in preschool and therefore, may be excluded from the study. Extra care has to be taken to control biases when determining sampling techniques. There are two main types of sampling: The difference between the two types is whether or not the sampling selection involves randomization.

Randomization occurs when all members of the sampling frame have an equal opportunity of being selected for the study. Following is a discussion of probability and non-probability sampling and the different types of each.

Probability Sampling — Uses randomization and takes steps to ensure all members of a population have a chance of being selected. There are several variations on this type of sampling and following is a list of ways probability sampling may occur:. Non-probability Sampling — Does not rely on the use of randomization techniques to select members. This is typically done in studies where randomization is not possible in order to obtain a representative sample. Bias is more of a concern with this type of sampling.

The different types of non-probability sampling are as follows:. The following Slideshare presentation, Sampling in Quantitative and Qualitative Research — A practical how to, offers an overview of sampling methods for quantitative research and contrasts them with qualitative method for further understanding. Examples of Data Collection Methods — Following is a link to a chart of data collection methods that examines types of data collection, advantages and challenges.

Qualitative and Quantitative Data Collection Methods - The link below provides specific example of instruments and methods used to collect quantitative data. Sampling and Measurement - The link below defines sampling and discusses types of probability and nonprobability sampling. Principles of Sociological Inquiry — Qualitative and Quantitative Methods — The following resources provides a discussion of sampling methods and provides examples.

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## Main Topics

Sampling Methods. Sampling and types of sampling methods commonly used in quantitative research are discussed in the following module. Learning Objectives: Define sampling and randomization. Explain probability and non-probability sampling and describes the different types of each.

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There are many methods of sampling when doing research. This guide can help you choose which method to use. Simple random sampling is the ideal, but researchers seldom have the luxury of time or money to access the whole population, so many compromises often have to be made.