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Level 49

Sampling Methods

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Sampling Frame
is a list of names of all those included in the survey population from which the sample is selected. A typically used frame is the electoral register
Survey population
the group being studied
Sampling Unit
individual or person in your sampling population
Random Sampling
means that every individual in the survey population has an equal chance of being picked out for investigation. e.g. could involve a group of names being pick by a computer randomiser
Random Sampling Negatives
can result in a unrepresentative sample- there my be too many people of one sex, age group or social class or who live in the same area. e.g. could chose purely white audience or females etc
Systematic Sampling
names are selected from the sampling frame at regular intervals until the size of sample is reaced. For example choosing every tenth name on the electoral register, than pick the next tenth name and so on
Systematic Sampling Negatives
This has risk of being unpresentative just like random. As e.g. every tenth person might happen to all be middle class
Stratified Random Sampling
Stratifying the sampling frame into a number of smaller sampling frames dependent on group such as class, age, race , sex etc For instance if researching doctors because you know 8% of doctors are Asian so the sociologist will make sure that 8 % of the sample is asian. So they will take a random sample of asian doctors untill they get there 8%
Quota Sampling
For instance- interviewers are asked to go and interview some male students under 19, some over 19 and the same with female students
Quota Sampling Negatives
The fact that choice of person rests on interviewer means that their might be bias in choices e.g. they may not chose people who they feel uncomfortable approaching or who look standoffish
Snowball Sampling
A individual is approached asked to be involved in research than they are aksi asked if they have friends who would be interested in taking part than those friends are also asked if they know anyone who would be interested. This is useful in situations such as researching criminals and you would insiders to help get your sample
Snowball Sampling Negatives
Sample may just be filled with all the same people as individuals will just recommend friends. And certain types who would be useful for reserach will be overlooked i.e. asking a Black boy to ask his friends you may just get a sample of black/mixed people and not for instance any Chinese etc
Non representative Sampling
Members of a sample may be picked out for being untypical of a population or to study specific charcateristics. This is normally used to falsify (prove wrong stereotypes) e.g. like Fuller who specificallly studied black girls and discovered they actually did better than whites or find key informants such as specifically looking people who have insight i.e. criminals