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GE 1702: Essential Academic English

Shinawatra University

What is Sampling?
When undertaking a research project, a researcher has a question or set of questions that hoe
or she wants to answer. For example, if the researcher would like to know the information
technology needs of University students in Thailand, she would have to identify the
population. In this case, the population would be all university students at in Thailand.
This illustrates a basic problem that all researcher have to face in their research project.
There are hundreds of thousands of university students in Thailand? . Clearly, the
researcher cannot study every university students in Thailand. This is where sampling comes
into the research process.
Sampling can be defined as .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 the population from which they were chosen (Trachoma, 2006, n.p.). It is
possible therefore to use sampling techniques to select a smaller group - or sample - from the
population that will statistically represent the whole population. It is often necessary to use
sampling because researchers usually do not have the time, energy, money or resources to
study the whole population.
Sampling Methods
Sampling methods are normally classified as either probability or non-probability. In
probability samples, each member of the population equal chance of being chosen to be in the
sample. According to StatPac (2012, n.p.) The advantage of probability sampling is that
sampling error can be calculated. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample might
differ from the population. When inferring to the population, results are reported plus or
minus the sampling error. Probability sampling methods include random sampling,
systematic sampling, and stratified sampling.
In non-probability sampling, the sample group is selected from the population and the how
the sample differs from the the population cannot be determined. Non-probability methods
include convenience sampling, judgment sampling and quota sampling.

Selecting an Appropriate Sample Size


In 1975 Roscoe (1975) proposed a number of rules of thumb that can be used to select an
appropriate sample for behavioral research.. An abbreviated set of these rules are reproduced
here
1. The use of statistical analyses with samples less than 10 is not recommended.
2. In simple experimental research with tight controls (eg. matched-pairs design),
successful research may be conducted with samples as small as 10 to 20.
3. In most experimental research, samples of 30 or more are recommended.
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GE 1702: Essential Academic English

Shinawatra University

4. There is seldom justification in behavioral research for sample sizes of less than 30 or
larger than 500.
5. Within these limits (30 to 500), the use of a sample about 10% size of the parent
population is recommended.

In 1970 Krejcie & Morgan (p.608) produced a table for determining sample size based on
work done by the National Education Association . According to this table, if you have a
finite population of 380 an appropriate sample size would be 191.

Table One: Required Sample Size


N-n
N-n
N-n
N-n
N-n
10 - 10
100 - 80
280 - 162
800 - 260
2800 - 338
15 - 14
110 - 86
290 - 165
850 - 265
3000 - 341
20 - 19
120 - 92
300 - 169
900 - 269
3500 - 346
25 - 24
130 - 97
320 - 175
950 - 274
4000 - 351
30 - 28
140 - 103
340 - 181
1000 - 278
4500 - 354
35 - 32
150 - 108
360 - 186
1100 - 285
5000 - 357
40 - 36
160 - 113
380 - 191
1200 - 291
6000 - 361
45 - 40
170 - 118
400 - 196
1300 - 297
7000 - 364
50 - 44
180 - 123
420 - 201
1400 - 302
8000 - 367
55 - 48
190 - 127
440 - 205
1500 - 306
9000 - 368
60 - 52
200 - 132
460 - 210
1600 - 310
10000 - 370
65 - 56
210 - 136
480 - 241
1700 - 313
15000 - 375
70 - 59
220 - 140
500 - 217
1800 - 317
20000 - 377
75 - 63
230 - 144
550 - 226
1900 - 320
30000 - 379
80 - 66
240 - 148
600 - 234
2000 - 322
40000 - 380
85 - 70
250 - 152
650 - 242
2200 - 327
50000 - 381
90 - 73
260 - 155
700 - 248
2400 - 331
75000 - 382
95 - 76
270 - 159
750 - 254
2600 - 335
100000 - 384
(Given A Finite Population, Where N = Population Size and n = Sample Size)

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GE 1702: Essential Academic English

Shinawatra University

References

Krejcie & Morgan (1970,) Determining Sample Size for Research Activities. Retrieved
October 28. 2012 From: http://people.usd.edu/~mbaron/edad810/Krejcie.pdf
Trachoma, William M.K. (2006). Sampling. Retrieved October 28. 2012 From: http://
www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/sampling.php
StatPac. (2012). Survey Sampling Methods. Retrieved October 28. 2012 From: http://
www.statpac.com/surveys/sampling.htm

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