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SAMPLING

IN RESEARCH 

Research Methodology
& Report Writing

By  
Rabail Arif Shaikh 
Roll No. 43 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION  
UNIVERSITY OF KARACHI 
Report

On

“Sampling in Research”
October, 4th 2010

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION


UNIVERSITY OF KARACHI

Submitted By Submitted to
Rabail Arif Shaikh Ma’am Anila Akhtar
Course and Project Incharge
Dept. of Public Administration
Table of Contents

Sampling in Research and Introduction 1


Definition of Sampling 2
Typology 3-6
Importance of Sampling 6

Arguments of Sampling 7
Conclusion 8
References 9
Research Methods

Sampling in Research

SAMPLING IN RESEARCH

Scientific research consists of an exploration to seek answers from questions, and used the
systematic way to find out the results with the help of evidences. The qualitative type of research
is empirical research in which researcher explores relationship using textual, rather than
quantitative data. Case study, observation, and ethnography are considered forms of qualitative
research. Results are not usually considered generalizable, but are often transferable. This is a
subjective form of research that relies on analysis of controlled observations of the researcher.
The strength of qualitative research is its ability to provide complex textual descriptions of how
People experience a given research issue. Even if it were possible, it is not necessary to collect
data from everyone in a community in order to get valid findings. In qualitative research, only a
sample of a population is selected for any given study. The study’s research objectives and the
characteristics of the study population determine which and how many people to select.

INTRODUCTION

“According to Webster (1985), to research is to search or investigate exhaustively. It is a careful


or diligent search, studious inquiry or examination especially investigation or experimentation
aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the
light of new facts or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws, it can also be
the collection of information about a particular subject.”

Sampling is to pick a sufficient number of people or any element which is considered under
observation for any experiment. In this process we pick a sample of elements and each of the
members of sample is called subject.

For example: if 200 members are drawn from a population of 1,000 blue-collar workers, these
200 members form the sample for the study. That is, from a study of these 200 members the
researcher would draw conclusion about the entire population of 1,000 blue-collar workers. And
each blue-collar worker in the sample is a subject.

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DEFINITION OF SAMPLING

“Sampling is the act, process, or technique of selecting a suitable sample, or a representative


part of a population for the purpose of determining parameters or characteristics of the whole
population.”

&

“Sampling is the process of selecting a sufficient number of elements from the population, so that
a study of the sample and an Undertaking of its properties or characteristics would make it
possible for us to generalize such properties or characteristics to population element.”

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TYPOLOGY

There are two major types of sampling probability sampling and non-probability sampling. In
probability sampling, the elements in the population have some known chance or probability of
being selected as sample subjects. In non-probability sampling, the elements do not have a
known or predetermined chance of being selected as subject. Probability sampling designs are
used when the representativeness of the sample is of importance in the interests of wider
generalizability. When time or other factors, rather than generalizability, become critical, non-
probability sampling is generally used.

These types further divided into their sub types.

PROBABILITY SAMPLING:

Probability samples are selected in such a way to be representative of the population. They
provide the most valid or convincing results, because they reflect the characteristics of the
population.

• Simple random sampling


• Systematic sampling
• Stratified sampling
• Cluster sampling
• Area sampling
• Double sampling

Simple random sampling: In the simple random sampling, every element in the
population has an equal chance of being selected as a subject. It means each member in
the population of interest has an equal likelihood of selection.
The statement of an equal chance of selection means that sources such as a telephone
book or voter registration lists are not adequate for providing a random sample of a
community. In both these cases there will be a number of residents whose names are not
listed. Telephone surveys get around this problem by random digit dialing, but that
assumes that everyone in the population has a telephone. The key to random selection is
that there is no bias involved in the selection of the sample. Any variation between the
sample characteristics and the population characteristics is only a matter of chance.

Systematic sampling: when the sample is selected from the population at a regular
interval (e.g. every 5th member from a subject pool is selected). This sampling is used
when there is a large frame of population. In this type before sampling the population is
divided into characteristics important for the research, for example by gender, social

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class, education level, religion, etc. then population is randomly sampled with each of the
stratum. For example if 20% of the population is college educated, then 20% of sample is
randomly selected from college educated people.

Stratified sampling: When the population is divided into categorical subgroups, it is


good choice when differentiated information is needed regarding various strata within the
population, which are known to differ in their limit. It provides more exact results than a
simple random sample of same size, so the small sized sample is required which saves
money. Stratified sampling designs falls into one of the two categories;
1. Proportionate stratified sampling
2. Disproportionate stratified sampling

Proportionate stratified sampling:

In this type of stratified sampling technique the sample size of each stratum is
equal to the population size of the stratum. Each stratum have equal fraction of
sample.

Disproportionate stratified sampling:

In this type of design sampling fraction may vary from stratum to stratum.

Cluster sampling: In this type of sampling chunks of elements that ideally would have
heterogeneity among the members within each group are chosen for study. Most large scale
surveys are done by this technique. Cluster sampling is further divided into two types:

1. One-stage sampling: In this type all the members within selected cluster are
directly included in the sample
2. Two-stage sampling: In this type a sub-set of elements within selected clusters
are randomly picked up for the inclusion in sample.

Area sampling: When the total area under investigation is divided into small sub-areas, this
includes geographical clusters. Each of chosen sub-areas then fully inspected and enumerated
and may form a frame for further sampling if required.

Double sampling: A sample is designed initially to get some basic information of interest, and
later a sub-sample of the same primary sample is used to get further information in detail, this
sub-sample of the previous sample is used to examine the matter in more detail.

Non-probability sampling:

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Non-probability samples are limited with regard to generalization. Because they do not truly
represent a population, we cannot make valid inferences about the larger group from which they
are drawn. Validity can be increased by approximating random selection as much as possible,
and making every attempt to avoid introducing bias into sample selection. There are two types of
non-probability sampling:

• Convenience sampling
• Purposive sampling
Convenience sampling: This sampling generally assume a homogeneous population, this is the
collection of information from people who are conveniently available, and pretty much alike.
Use people in the street, people you know, people who work with you, customers and so on. For
example you decided to take interview of 15 people next morning, you just wake up and went for
your work where you get some people around you get the desire information from them, it can
save your time as well as cost. It is the poorest type of sampling in all sampling methods.

Purposive sampling: This type of non-probability sampling is used when you want to target a
specific group of people, who fits in a particular profile. Purposive sampling starts with a
purpose in mind and the sample is thus chosen to take account of people of interest and keep out
those who do not suit the rationale.

Purposive sampling further divides into two major types:


1. Judgment sampling
2. Quota sampling

Judgment sampling: Judgment sampling is the one that is done when there is no time, and you
want a quick sample and you believe that you are able to select a satisfactorily representative
sample for the motive.

For example, a researcher may decide to draw the entire sample from one representative town,
even though the population includes all towns. When using this method, the researcher must be
secure that the chosen sample is truly representative of the entire population.

Quota sampling: This is done when you need a desire sample size and you use all possible
efforts to fulfill your demand. It is used when you know that the magnitude of particular sub-
groups within a population and you want to ensure each group is proportionately represented.

Example: A researcher is interested in the attitudes of members of different religions towards the
death penalty. In Iowa a random sample might miss Muslims (because there are not many in that
state). To be sure of their inclusion, a researcher could set a quota of 3% Muslim for the sample.
However, the sample will no longer be representative of the actual proportions in the population.

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This may limit generalizing to the state population. But the quota will guarantee that the views of
Muslims are represented in the survey.

The basic problem with this form of sampling is that even when we know that a quota sample is
representative of the particular characteristics for which quotas have been set, we have no way of
knowing if sample is representative in terms of any other characteristics. If we set quotas for
gender and age, we are likely to attain a sample with good representativeness on age and gender,
but one that may not be very representative in terms of income and education or other fact.

Quota sampling can be describes in two ways:

1. Proportionate quota sampling


2. Snowball sampling

Proportionate quota sampling: In this type of sampling a predetermined proportion of people


are picked up from different groups to form a sample, it is used when you know the distribution
of target people across a set of collections.

Snowball sampling: This sampling is done when the subjects are hard to locate. The process of
snowball sampling is much like asking your subjects to nominate another person with the same
characteristic as your next subject. The researcher then observes the chosen subjects and
continues in the same way until the obtaining enough number of subjects.

IMPORTANCE OF SAMPLING

Sampling is a very important aspect of any research, because it makes work easy and trouble-
free. We obtain sample rather than a complete enumeration of population for many reasons;
obviously it is cheaper to observe a part rather than the whole population, if you take under
consideration the whole population it will take a huge amount of time. A sample may provide
you with needed information quickly. The economic advantage of using a sample in research
obviously, taking a sample requires fewer resources than consider the whole population. There
are some people that are very difficult to access so we can pick a sample easily to observe their
nature. The importance of sampling should not be underestimated, as it determines to whom the
results of your research will be applicable. It is important, therefore to give full consideration to
the sampling strategy to be used and to select the most appropriate. Before you go to select a
sample you should have a better know how about sampling techniques, you should know which
type of sampling is suitable in what circumstances. A sample may be more accurate than a whole
survey; a messily conducted survey can provide less reliable information than a carefully
obtained sample. The reason for using a sample rather than collecting information from the entire
population, are self-evident. In research investigations involving several hundreds or even

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thousands of elements, it would be practically impossible to collect information or examine


every element.

The goals of sampling are to decrease time and money costs, to increase the amount of data and
detail that can be obtained, and to increase accuracy of data collection by preventing errors.

ARGUMENTS ON SAMPLING

As we all know this is 21st century people have no enough time to expand their work if they have
a simple alternative available. Sampling is the trend which needs lesser time, fewer resources and
gives almost equal or sometime better results than applying the whole survey process. It is true
that sampling is more economical than other lengthy procedures; it consumes less money and
other resources. . For complete count, we need a big team of supervisors and enumeration who
are to be trained and they are to be paid properly for the work they do. Thus the sample study
requires less time and less cost. As we talk about the reliability of the sampling technique, if we
collect the information about all the units of population, the collected information may be true.
But we are never sure about it. We do not know whether the information is true or is completely
false. Thus we cannot say anything with confidence about the quality of information. We say that
the reliability is not possible.

Unfortunately, all samples deviate from the true nature of the overall population by a certain
amount due to chance variations in drawing the sample's few cases from the population's many
possible members. This is called sampling error. The sample which has an error can become a
disaster to your research as its bases are not perfect. The whole research is based upon the
sample you are considering if that has some error or defect in it, so it’s very hard to conclude the
desire results. The two basic causes of sampling errors are chance which occurs just because of
bad luck and another is sampling bias, sampling bias is a tendency to favors the selection of units
that have particular characteristics. If It is an error caused naturally or by a mistake that occurred
during research and that cannot be treated its’ your bad luck, bias in sampling is a systematic
error in sampling procedures, which leads to a distortion in the results of the study. Once a story
was told of a French astronomer who once proposed a new theory based on spectroscopic
measurements of light emitted by a particular star. . When his collogues discovered that the
measuring instrument had been contaminated by cigarette smoke, they rejected his findings.

As somewhere sampling is the better option to get desire information, on the other side it has
some serious hazards as well. This can make your research useless for you and waste your
applied resources as well

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CONCLUSION

Considering the significance, advantages and disadvantages of sampling in research, we can say
that sampling is a technique which is very important for the present era. Because as the world
growing with the faster rate people wants to complete their works with a good result and
minimum time, sampling is the method which can give you nearly accurate results in a short
period of time as compare to the detailed survey work. And it’ll obviously consume lesser cost
then the complete counts.

In wrapping up, it can be said that using a sample in research saves mainly on money and time, if
an appropriate sampling strategy is used; appropriate sample size selected and necessary
precautions taken to reduce on sampling and measurement errors, then a sample should yield
convincing and reliable information.

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REFERENCES

1. Uma Sekaran-4th edition Research methods for business-A skill building approach
2. www.foundationsforliteracy.ca/index.php/Glossary
3. www.socialresearchmethod.net
4. Utexas.edu
5. Changingminds.org
6. Oandp.org
7. www.statpac.com/surveys/sampling.htm
8. stattrek.com/Lesson6/STR.aspx