Practical sampling methods in research with examples
Find practical sampling methods in research and choose the best methodology for your next study
Inside this Article…
- What is sampling?
- Sampling benefits
- What to consider when sampling
- Information you need to choose a sampling method
- Sampling methods used in Online Research
- Sample Size Calculator
- Sampling methods to consider for your study design
- Probability sampling methods: Simple Random, Cluster, Stratified, and Systematic
- Non-probability sampling methods: Convenience, Quota, and Judgemental
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- Population total: Give the number of people that your survey results will be representing. This is not your sample size, but the entire population you are trying to represent. Examples would be The State of California (39.51 million) or Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) customers (16 million). Enter your target population total.
- Margin of error: The margin of error represents how precise your results will be. The margin of error represents the difference in proportion from the true proportion that is acceptable to the researcher. In the social sciences, five percent is an acceptable margin of error. You can change the margin of error depending on your precision needs. If you have no preference, choose five percent default. Sample size increases as the margin of error decreases.
- Confidence level: Select the reliability level. In statistics, this a measure of the reliability of a result. A confidence level of 95 percent means there is a probability of at least 95 percent the result is within a given range. Increasing the confidence level will increase the sample size.
What are probability sampling methods, and how are they used?
The sample units are selected through random processes in probability sampling. In this type of sampling, each element of the population has the same probability of being chosen. It is based on the equal probability principle, that is, all individuals are equally likely to be chosen to form part of a sample and consequently all possible sample sizes have the same probability of being chosen.
Probability sampling methods ensure that the samples drawn are representativeness of the population, and, therefore, it is recommended. It is possible to know the margin of error and the level of confidence.
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