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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.

Defining the Population

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)

Representative vs. Non-representative Samples (Fig. 6.1)

Two Main Types of Sampling

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

Part of a Table of Random Numbers


(Table 6.1)
011723
912334
086401
059397
666278
051965
063045
560132
727009
000037
667899
042397
987650
091126

223456
379156
016265
022334
106590
004571
786326
345678
344870
121191
234345
045645
568799
021557

222167
233989
411148
080675
879809
036900
098000
356789
889567
258700
076567
030032
070070
102322

032762
109238
251287
454555
899030
037700
510379
033460
324588
088909
090076
657112
143188
209312

062281
934128
602345
011563
909876
500098
024358
050521
400567
015460
345121
675897
198789
909036

565451
987678
659080
237873
198905
046660
145678
342021
989657
223350
121348
079326
097451
342045

Simple Random Sampling

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

Stratified Random Sampling

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

Selecting a Stratified Sample (Figure 6.2)

Cluster Random Sampling

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

Random Sampling Methods (Figure 6.3)

Two-Stage Random Sampling

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.

Nonrandom Sampling Methods

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

Convenience Sampling (Figure 6.4)

Nonrandom Sampling Method (Figure 6.5)

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

The use of 15 subjects per group should probably be replicated

External Validity, a.k.a.


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.

Obtaining a representative sample becomes very important

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.

Population as Opposed to Ecological Generalizing


(Figure 6.6)