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# Sampling

Sampling
Chapter Six

What is a Sample?

## Sampling is the process of selecting a

number of individuals from a population,
preferably in a way that the individuals are
representative of the larger group from
which they were selected.
A sample is any group on which information
is obtained.

## A population refers to all the members of a

particular group.
The first task in selecting a sample is to define
the population of interest.
In Educational Research, the population of
interest is a group of persons who possess certain
characteristics.
A target population is the actual population that
the researcher would like to generalize.

## Considered rarely available

The accessible population would be the group that
is available (realistic choice)

## Sampling may be either random or nonrandom

Random sampling is a method of selecting
subjects from a population by chance, so that
biases do not alter the sample.
The 3 most common ways of obtaining this type
of sample are:

## Simple Random Sampling

Stratified Random Sampling
Cluster Sampling

(Table 6.1)
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## A Simple Random Sampling is a sample selected from a

population in such a manner that all members have an equal
chance of being selected
If the sample is large, it is the best method to obtain a
sample representative of the population from which it has
been selected
The larger the sample size, the more it is likely to represent
the population
Any differences that occur are the result of chance rather
than bias on the part of the researcher
Disadvantages of this method are: 1) the difficulty of
performing the sampling and, 2) this method does not
ensure that subgroups are present in the sampling in the
same proportion as they are in a population

## A Stratified Random Sampling is a sample selected

so that certain characteristics are represented in the
sample in the same proportion as they occur in the
population
The term strata refers to sub-groups
The advantage of stratified random sampling is that
it increases the likelihood of representation,
especially if the sample size is small
It virtually ensures that any key characteristics of
individuals in the population are included in the
same proportions in the sample size
The disadvantage is that it requires still more effort
on the part of the researcher

## A Cluster Random Sampling is a sample obtained

by using groups as the sampling unit (cluster),
rather than individuals
There are instances where it is not possible to
select a sample of individuals from a population
This is considered more effective with large
numbers of clusters
Advantages include more efficient and easier to
implement in schools
Its disadvantage is that there is a great chance of
selecting a sample that is not representative of
the population

## This method selects groups randomly and

then chooses individuals randomly from
these groups.
This becomes a combination of a cluster
random sampling with individual random
sampling.
Considered less time consuming but
allows for a good representation of the
groups at random.

## There are 3 main types of nonrandom sampling methods

used in Educational Research
A Systematic Sample is a sample obtained by selecting
every nth name in a population
A Convenience Sample is any group of individuals that is
conveniently available to be studied

## Are not considered representative of the population and should be

avoided, if possible

## A Purposive Sample is a sample selected because the

individuals have special qualifications of some sort, or
because of prior evidence of representation

## Personal judgment is used for selection purposes

A major disadvantage is that the researchers judgment could be in
error

Sample Size

## The question remains as to what constitutes an adequate

sample size.
Samples should be as large as a researcher can obtain with
a reasonable expenditure of time and energy.
The recommended minimum number of subjects are as
follows for the following types of studies:

## 100 for a Descriptive Study

50 for a Correlational Study
30 in each group for Experimental and Causal-Comparative
Study

Generalizability

## The whole notion of science is built on

generalizing.
External Validity refers to the extent that the
results of a study can be generalized from a
sample to a population.
Population generalizability is the degree to which
a sample represents the population of interest.

## Ecological generalizability refers to the extent to

which the results of a study can be generalized to
conditions or settings other than those that
prevailed in the study.

(Figure 6.6)