Sampling

INTRODUCTION

In research terms, a sample is a group of people, objects, or items that are taken from a larger population for measurement. The sample should be representative of the population to ensure that we can generalize the findings from the research sample to the population as a whole.

INSIGHTS

Sampling saves money by allowing researchers to gather the same answers from a sample that they would receive from the population. Non-random sampling is significantly cheaper than random sampling because it lowers the cost associated with finding people and collecting data from them.

BENEFITS

Data collection methodologies

  • The second major step in primary quantitative research is data collection. Data collection can be divided into sampling methods and data collection with the use of surveys and polls.
  • Data collection methodologies: Sampling methods

There are two main sampling methods for quantitative research:

  • Probability and Non-probability sampling.
  • Probability sampling: A theory of probability is used to filter individuals from a population and create samples in probability sampling. Participants of a sample are chosen random selection processes. Each member of the target audience has an equal opportunity to be selected in the sample.

There are four main types of probability sampling:

  • Simple random sampling: As the name indicates, simple random sampling is nothing but a random selection of elements for a sample. This sampling technique is implemented where the target population is considerably large.
  • Stratified random sampling: In the stratified random sampling method, a large population is divided into groups (strata), and members of a sample are chosen randomly from these strata. The various segregated strata should ideally not overlap one another.
  • Cluster sampling: Cluster sampling is a probability sampling method using which the main segment is divided into clusters, usually using geographic and demographic segmentation parameters.
  • Systematic sampling: Systematic sampling is a technique where the starting point of the sample is chosen randomly, and all the other elements are chosen using a fixed interval. This interval is calculated by dividing the population size by the target sample size.
  • Non-probability sampling: Non-probability sampling is where the researcher’s knowledge and experience are used to create samples. Because of the involvement of the researcher, not all the members of a target population have an equal probability of being selected to be a part of a sample

There are five non-probability sampling models:

  • Convenience sampling: In convenience sampling, elements of a sample are chosen only due to one prime reason: their proximity to the researcher. These samples are quick and easy to implement as there is no other parameter of selection involved.
  • Consecutive sampling: Consecutive sampling is quite similar to convenience sampling, except for the fact that researchers can choose a single element or a group of samples and conduct research consecutively over a significant period and then perform the same process with other samples.
  • Quota sampling: Using quota sampling, researchers can select elements using their knowledge of target traits and personalities to form strata. Members of various strata can then be chosen to be a part of the sample as per the researcher’s understanding.
  • Snowball sampling: Snowball sampling is conducted with target audiences, which are difficult to contact and get information. It is popular in cases where the target audience for research is rare to put together.
  • Judgmental sampling: Judgmental sampling is a non-probability sampling method where samples are created only based on the researcher’s experience and skill.

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