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What is Sampling in Research? - Definition, Methods & Importance

1. Random Sampling

❶In the example above, an interviewer can make a single trip to visit several households in one block, rather than having to drive to a different block for each household.

The Purpose of Sampling

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In quota sampling the selection of the sample is non- random. For example, interviewers might be tempted to interview those who look most helpful. The problem is that these samples may be biased because not everyone gets a chance of selection. This random element is its greatest weakness and quota versus probability has been a matter of controversy for several years. In imbalanced datasets, where the sampling ratio does not follow the population statistics, one can resample the dataset in a conservative manner called minimax sampling.

The minimax sampling has its origin in Anderson minimax ratio whose value is proved to be 0. This ratio can be proved to be minimax ratio only under the assumption of LDA classifier with Gaussian distributions. The notion of minimax sampling is recently developed for a general class of classification rules, called class-wise smart classifiers. In this case, the sampling ratio of classes is selected so that the worst case classifier error over all the possible population statistics for class prior probabilities, would be the.

Accidental sampling sometimes known as grab , convenience or opportunity sampling is a type of nonprobability sampling which involves the sample being drawn from that part of the population which is close to hand. That is, a population is selected because it is readily available and convenient. It may be through meeting the person or including a person in the sample when one meets them or chosen by finding them through technological means such as the internet or through phone.

The researcher using such a sample cannot scientifically make generalizations about the total population from this sample because it would not be representative enough. This type of sampling is most useful for pilot testing. Several important considerations for researchers using convenience samples include:.

In social science research, snowball sampling is a similar technique, where existing study subjects are used to recruit more subjects into the sample. Some variants of snowball sampling, such as respondent driven sampling, allow calculation of selection probabilities and are probability sampling methods under certain conditions. The voluntary sampling method is a type of non-probability sampling. A voluntary sample is made up of people who self-select into the survey.

Often, these subjects have a strong interest in the main topic of the survey. Volunteers may be invited through advertisements on Social Media Sites [9]. This method is suitable for a research which can be done through filling a questionnaire. The target population for advertisements can be selected by characteristics like demography, age, gender, income, occupation, education level or interests using advertising tools provided by the social media sites.

The advertisement may include a message about the research and will link to a web survey. After voluntary following the link and submitting the web based questionnaire, the respondent will be included in the sample population. This method can reach a global population and limited by the advertisement budget. This method may permit volunteers outside the reference population to volunteer and get included in the sample.

It is difficult to make generalizations about the total population from this sample because it would not be representative enough. Line-intercept sampling is a method of sampling elements in a region whereby an element is sampled if a chosen line segment, called a "transect", intersects the element.

Panel sampling is the method of first selecting a group of participants through a random sampling method and then asking that group for potentially the same information several times over a period of time. Therefore, each participant is interviewed at two or more time points; each period of data collection is called a "wave". The method was developed by sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld in as a means of studying political campaigns. Panel sampling can also be used to inform researchers about within-person health changes due to age or to help explain changes in continuous dependent variables such as spousal interaction.

Snowball sampling involves finding a small group of initial respondents and using them to recruit more respondents. It is particularly useful in cases where the population is hidden or difficult to enumerate. Theoretical sampling [12] occurs when samples are selected on the basis of the results of the data collected so far with a goal of developing a deeper understanding of the area or develop theories. Sampling schemes may be without replacement 'WOR'—no element can be selected more than once in the same sample or with replacement 'WR'—an element may appear multiple times in the one sample.

For example, if we catch fish, measure them, and immediately return them to the water before continuing with the sample, this is a WR design, because we might end up catching and measuring the same fish more than once. However, if we do not return the fish to the water, this becomes a WOR design.

If we tag and release the fish we caught, we can see whether we have caught a particular fish before. Sampling enables the selection of right data points from within the larger data set to estimate the characteristics of the whole population. For example, there are about million tweets produced every day. It is not necessary to look at all of them to determine the topics that are discussed during the day, nor is it necessary to look at all the tweets to determine the sentiment on each of the topics.

A theoretical formulation for sampling Twitter data has been developed. In manufacturing different types of sensory data such as acoustics, vibration, pressure, current, voltage and controller data are available at short time intervals. To predict down-time it may not be necessary to look at all the data but a sample may be sufficient. Survey results are typically subject to some error. Total errors can be classified into sampling errors and non-sampling errors.

The term "error" here includes systematic biases as well as random errors. Non-sampling errors are other errors which can impact the final survey estimates, caused by problems in data collection, processing, or sample design. After sampling, a review should be held of the exact process followed in sampling, rather than that intended, in order to study any effects that any divergences might have on subsequent analysis.

A particular problem is that of non-response. Two major types of non-response exist: In this case, there is a risk of differences, between respondents and nonrespondents, leading to biased estimates of population parameters. This is often addressed by improving survey design, offering incentives, and conducting follow-up studies which make a repeated attempt to contact the unresponsive and to characterize their similarities and differences with the rest of the frame.

Nonresponse is particularly a problem in internet sampling. Reasons for this problem include improperly designed surveys, [16] over-surveying or survey fatigue , [11] [19] and the fact that potential participants hold multiple e-mail addresses, which they don't use anymore or don't check regularly.

In many situations the sample fraction may be varied by stratum and data will have to be weighted to correctly represent the population.

Thus for example, a simple random sample of individuals in the United Kingdom might include some in remote Scottish islands who would be inordinately expensive to sample. A cheaper method would be to use a stratified sample with urban and rural strata. The rural sample could be under-represented in the sample, but weighted up appropriately in the analysis to compensate.

More generally, data should usually be weighted if the sample design does not give each individual an equal chance of being selected. For instance, when households have equal selection probabilities but one person is interviewed from within each household, this gives people from large households a smaller chance of being interviewed. This can be accounted for using survey weights. Similarly, households with more than one telephone line have a greater chance of being selected in a random digit dialing sample, and weights can adjust for this.

Random sampling by using lots is an old idea, mentioned several times in the Bible. In Pierre Simon Laplace estimated the population of France by using a sample, along with ratio estimator. He also computed probabilistic estimates of the error.

His estimates used Bayes' theorem with a uniform prior probability and assumed that his sample was random. Alexander Ivanovich Chuprov introduced sample surveys to Imperial Russia in the s.

In the USA the Literary Digest prediction of a Republican win in the presidential election went badly awry, due to severe bias [1]. More than two million people responded to the study with their names obtained through magazine subscription lists and telephone directories. It was not appreciated that these lists were heavily biased towards Republicans and the resulting sample, though very large, was deeply flawed.

The textbook by Groves et alia provides an overview of survey methodology, including recent literature on questionnaire development informed by cognitive psychology:. The other books focus on the statistical theory of survey sampling and require some knowledge of basic statistics, as discussed in the following textbooks:.

The historically important books by Deming and Kish remain valuable for insights for social scientists particularly about the U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For computer simulation, see pseudo-random number sampling. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. How to conduct your own survey. Model Assisted Survey Sampling. The" panel" as a new tool for measuring opinion. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 2 4 , — Analysis of Sampling Algorithms for Twitter. International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Survey nonresponse in design, data collection, and analysis.

There are a lot of possibilities for Brooke's sample. The sample of a study is simply the participants in a study. In Brooke's case, her sample will be the students who fill out her survey. Sampling is the process whereby a researcher chooses her sample. This might seem pretty straightforward: But how does Brooke do that? Should she just stand on a corner and start asking people to take her survey? Should she send out an email to every college student in the world?

Where does she even begin? Because sampling isn't as straightforward as it initially seems, there is a set process to help researchers choose a good sample. Let's look closer at the process and importance of sampling. So Brooke wants to choose a group of college students to take part in her study. To select her sample, she goes through the basic steps of sampling. Identify the population of interest. A population is the group of people that you want to make assumptions about.

For example, Brooke wants to know how much stress college students experience during finals. Her population is every college student in the world because that's who she's interested in. Of course, there's no way that Brooke can feasibly study every college student in the world, so she moves on to the next step.

Specify a sampling frame. A sampling frame is the group of people from which you will draw your sample. For example, Brooke might decide that her sampling frame is every student at the university where she works. Notice that a sampling frame is not as large as the population, but it's still a pretty big group of people. Brooke still won't be able to study every single student at her university, but that's a good place from which to draw her sample.

Specify a sampling method. There are basically two ways to choose a sample from a sampling frame: There are benefits to both. Basically, if your sampling frame is approximately the same demographic makeup as your population, you probably want to randomly select your sample, perhaps by flipping a coin or drawing names out of a hat. But what if your sampling frame does not really represent your population? For example, what if the school where Brooke works has a lot more men than women and a lot more whites than minority races?

In the population of every college student in the world, there might be more of a balance, but Brooke's sampling frame her school doesn't really represent that well. In that case, she might want to non-randomly select her sample in order to get a demographic makeup that is closer to that of her population. Determine the sample size. In general, larger samples are better, but they also require more time and effort to manage.

If Brooke ends up having to go through 1, surveys, it will take her more time than if she only has to go through 10 surveys. But the results of her study will be stronger with 1, surveys, so she like all researchers has to make choices and find a balance between what will give her good data and what is practical. Once you know your population, sampling frame, sampling method, and sample size, you can use all that information to choose your sample. As you can see, choosing a sample is a complicated process.

You might be wondering why it has to be that complicated. Why bother going through all those steps? Why not just go to a class and pull some students out and have them fill out the survey? Why is sampling so important to research? Get access risk-free for 30 days, just create an account. To answer those questions, let's look at an example of an actual study that was done in the mids.

A researcher mailed out surveys to a bunch of married women and asked them questions about their marriage. As you can imagine, this study sent shockwaves through America as husbands looked at their wives and calculated the probability of dissatisfaction or affairs. Those who got the survey, filled it out, and returned it were much more likely to be dissatisfied than those who didn't return it. Maybe those who were happy in their marriage were too busy having fun with their spouse to cheat. That's why sampling is so important to research.

If a sample isn't chosen carefully and systematically, it might not represent the population. And if it doesn't represent the population, then the study can't be generalized to the world beyond the study. Let's go back to Brooke for a moment.

She wants to know, in general, how much stress college students experience during finals. Let's say that she decides to save some time and bypass the normal sampling method. Instead, she just sets up a table outside the mental health office on campus where students go to see counselors. As students go in or out of the office, she gives them the survey. But in this example, Brooke's sample might end up being only college students who are seeing counselors. They might be more anxious or depressed or high-strung in general, so the stress of finals might hit them particularly hard.

As a result, Brooke's sample doesn't represent the population, and she might end up thinking that college students experience more stress than they actually do. The sample of a study is the group of subjects in the study. Sampling is the process whereby a researcher chooses his or her sample. The five steps to sampling are:. It is important for researchers to follow these steps so that their sample adequately represents their population. If not, the results of the study could be misleading or skewed.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. In 5 of those surveys, the confidence interval would not contain the population percent. Eberly College of Science. Printer-friendly version Sampling Methods can be classified into one of two categories: Sample has a known probability of being selected Non-probability Sampling: Sample does not have known probability of being selected as in convenience or voluntary response surveys Probability Sampling In probability sampling it is possible to both determine which sampling units belong to which sample and the probability that each sample will be selected.

Simple Random Sampling SRS Stratified Sampling Cluster Sampling Systematic Sampling Multistage Sampling in which some of the methods above are combined in stages Of the five methods listed above, students have the most trouble distinguishing between stratified sampling and cluster sampling. With stratified sampling one should: With cluster sampling one should divide the population into groups clusters.

Stratified sampling would be preferred over cluster sampling, particularly if the questions of interest are affected by time zone. For example the percentage of people watching a live sporting event on television might be highly affected by the time zone they are in.

Cluster sampling really works best when there are a reasonable number of clusters relative to the entire population. In this case, selecting 2 clusters from 4 possible clusters really does not provide much advantage over simple random sampling. Either stratified sampling or cluster sampling could be used. It would depend on what questions are being asked. For instance, consider the question "Do you agree or disagree that you receive adequate attention from the team of doctors at the Sports Medicine Clinic when injured?

In contrast, if the question of interest is "Do you agree or disagree that weather affects your performance during an athletic event? Consequently, stratified sampling would be preferred. Cluster sampling would probably be better than stratified sampling if each individual elementary school appropriately represents the entire population as in aschool district where students from throughout the district can attend any school.

Stratified sampling could be used if the elementary schools had very different locations and served only their local neighborhood i.

Again, the questions of interest would affect which sampling method should be used. Non-probability Sampling The following sampling methods that are listed in your text are types of non-probability sampling that should be avoided: Welcome to STAT !


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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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- Definition, Methods & Importance The sample of a study can have a profound impact on the outcome of a study. In this lesson, we'll look at the procedure for drawing a sample and why it is so important to draw a sample that represents the population.

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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. Sampling is the process of selecting units (e.g., people, organizations) from a population of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our results back to .

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This was a presentation that was carried out in our research method class by our group. It will be useful for PHD and master students quantitative and qualitat. In probability sampling it is possible to both determine which sampling units belong to which sample and the probability that each sample will be selected. The following sampling methods are examples of probability sampling: Of the five methods listed above, students have the most trouble.