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Sample Size

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03/21/2010

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# Survey Sample Size

Sample Size Determination

 Convenience – Say … about 100. Rule of Thumb - At least 30 per each

subgroup (e.g., males/females) that will be analyzed.  Budget Constraint - Have a \$300 budget for sampling. On average it costs \$2 per returned questionnaire. Then go for sample size of 150.

Comparable Studies or Industry Average
Typical Sample Sizes for Studies of Human and Institutional Populations
Number of Subgroup Analyses None or few Average Many People or Households National 500-1500 1500-2500 2500+ Regional or Special 200-500 500-1000 1000+ Institutions National 200-500 500-1000 1000+ Regional or Special 50-200 200-500 500+

Determining Sample Size Using Statistical Methods
There are statistical formulas for computing sample sizes. These consider three aspects:

Precision:

Percent of sampling error deemed acceptable by the researcher researcher that the true average value lies in the interval [lower, upper] estimated

Confidence: How confident is the

Variance:

Dispersion of the true

Determining Sample Size
In general:
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If you desire greater precision in your estimate, you need a larger sample size, other things being equal If you want greater confidence in your estimate, you need a larger sample size If the estimated variance in the population is high, then you need a larger sample size

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The calculated sample size is the number of desired actual responses, or completed questionnaires In the real-world not all surveys sent out are completed (response rates are less than 100%) You must incorporate the expected response rate when deciding how many questionnaires to send out or how many people to call

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Response Rate Calculation
For Mail Surveys:
Response # Usable Surveys Returned = # Surveys - # Surveys Returned Rate Mailed " Not Deliverable"

Mail Surveys
Estimating the number of surveys required to achieve given sample size:

n Surveys Required = [(1-U) RR]
n = required sample size U = estimated proportion “not deliverable” RR = estimated response rate (proportion)

Mail Survey Example

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You have determined that sample size of 200 will allow reasonable precision and confidence for your estimates of important population parameters. You will be conducting a mail survey of households in Highland Park. You expect that about 5% of mail will be undeliverable and the expected response rate is 10%. How many mail questionnaires should you send out?

Response Rate Calculation
For Telephone Surveys:

RR = #Completed + #Refusals + #No Answers Interviews

#Completed Interviews

Telephone Survey
Estimating the number of calls required to achieve given sample size:

n Total Calls = [(1-NE) (1-R) (1-NA)]
where: n NE R NA = = = = required sample size estimated proportion of non-eligibles estimated proportion of refusals estimated proportion of no answers

Telephone Survey Example
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You have determined that a sample size of 200 will allow reasonable precision and confidence for your estimates of important population parameters. You will be conducting a telephone survey of university students ages 20 and older. After checking with university registration officials you know that 50% of all university students meet this criterion. Further, you expect about 20% of the people you contact not to participate in the survey and about 15% not to be reachable even after trying at several different times on different days of the week. How may total calls should you expect to make for this project?

Thank You!

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