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Business

Research Methods

Module 3

Sampling Terminology
Sample subset of larger population
Population or universe any complete
group that share some set of characteristics
(e.g., people, sales territories, stores, etc.)
Population element individual member of
population
Census investigation of all individual
elements that make up a population

Why Sample?
It works! Properly selected samples yield
accurate and reliable results.
If elements are similar smaller sample is needed

May even be more accurate than census


Indian Census uses samples to check accuracy
of the Census Data- e.g. RHS

It saves resources

Stages in the
Selection
of a Sample

Define the target population

Select a sampling frame

Determine if a probability or nonprobability


sampling method will be chosen
Plan procedure
for selecting sampling units
Determine sample size

Select actual sampling units

Conduct fieldwork

Target Population
Vitally important decision:
To Whom Do We Want to Talk?

Relevant population
Operationally define
Can be a simple or difficult task

Sampling Frame
A list of elements from which the sample
may be drawn
Mailing lists - data base marketers
Sampling frame error occurs when
population is not accurately represented in
the sampling frame.
Telephone Directory, Electoral Rolls

Sampling Units

Group selected for the sample


Primary Sampling Units (PSU)
Secondary Sampling Units
Tertiary Sampling Units

Random Sampling Error


The difference between the sample results
and the result of a census conducted using
identical procedures
Statistical fluctuation due to chance
variations

Systematic Errors
Unrepresentative sample results (e.g.,
educated vs. uneducated respondents in
mail survey)
Due to study design or imperfections in
execution

Errors Associated with Sampling


Sampling frame error
Random sampling error
Non response error

Two Major Categories of


Sampling
Probability sampling
Known, nonzero probability for every
element

Non-probability sampling
Probability of selecting any particular
member is unknown
Technically, inappropriate to apply statistical
techniques to project beyond the sample
Still often used

A Classification of Sampling Techniques


Sampling
Techniques

Non probability

Convenience Judgmental
Sampling
Sampling

Simple Random
Sampling

Quota
Sampling

Systematic
Sampling

Probability

Snowball
Sampling

Stratified
Sampling

Cluster
Sampling

Other Sampling
Techniques

Non-probability Sampling

Convenience
Judgment
Quota
Snowball

Convenience Sampling
Also called haphazard or accidental
sampling
The sampling procedure of obtaining the
people or units that are most conveniently
available

Judgment Sampling
Also called purposive sampling
An experienced individual selects the
sample based on his or her judgment about
some appropriate characteristics required
of the sample member

Quota Sampling
Ensures that the various subgroups in a
population are represented on pertinent sample
characteristics
To the exact extent that the investigators desire
It should not be confused with stratified
sampling.

Snowball Sampling
A variety of procedures
Initial respondents are selected by
probability methods if possible
Additional respondents are obtained from
information provided by the initial
respondents

Probability Sampling

Simple random sample


Systematic sample
Stratified sample
Cluster sample
Multistage area sample

Simple Random Sampling


A sampling procedure that ensures that each
element in the population will have an equal
chance of being included in the sample

Probability Sampling
Systematic Sampling
Similar to Simple Random Sampling.
Sample is chosen by selecting a random starting point and
then picking every nth element in succession from the
sample frame.
Sample results may be projected to the target population
Only the permissible samples of size n that can be drawn
have a known and equal probability of selection.

Population

100,000
1,000

= sampling interval is 100, random number


is selected, e.g, 23, the sample consist of
element of 23, 123, 223, 423, 523, etc.
Desired Sample

Systematic Sampling
A simple process
Every nth name from the list will be drawn

Stratified Sampling
Probability sample
Sub-samples are drawn within different
strata
Each stratum is more or less equal on some
characteristic
Do not confuse with quota sample

Cluster Sampling
The purpose of cluster sampling is to sample
economically while retaining the characteristics
of a probability sample.
The primary sampling unit is no longer the
individual element in the population
The primary sampling unit is a larger cluster of
elements located in proximity to one another

Examples of Clusters
Population Element

Indian adult population

Possible Clusters in India

States
Districts
District Statistical Area
Blocks
Panchayats
Households

Examples of Clusters
Population Element

Possible Clusters in India

Airline travelers

Airports
Planes

Sports fans

Football stadiums
Cricket Stadium

What is the
Appropriate Sample Design?

Representativeness is Always Important


Degree of accuracy
Resources
Time
Advanced knowledge of the population
National versus local
Need for statistical analysis

Choosing probability vs. non-probability


sampling
Probability
sampling

Evaluation Criteria

Non-probability
sampling

Conclusive

Nature of research

Exploratory

Relative magnitude
sampling vs.
non-sampling error

Larger non-sampling

Larger sampling
errors

error

High
[Heterogeneous]

Population variability

Low
[Homogeneous]

Favorable

Statistical Considerations

Unfavorable

High

Sophistication Needed

Low

Relatively Longer
High

Time
Budget Needed

Relatively shorter
Low

Sample Size
In general, the larger the sample size (selected with
the use of probability techniques) the better. The
more heterogeneous a population is on a variety of
characteristics (e.g. race, age, sexual orientation,
religion) then a larger sample is needed to reflect
that diversity. (Papadopoulos 2003)
Response rates vary on the type of surveys (e.g.
mail surveys, telephone surveys). Response rates
under 60 or 70 per cent may compromise the
integrity of the random sample. (ibid)

Determination of Sample Size


Sample size may be determined by using:
Subjective methods (less sophisticated methods)
The rule of thumb approach: eg. 5% of population
Conventional approach: eg. Average of sample sizes
of similar other studies;
Cost basis approach: The number that can be
studied with the available funds;

Statistical formulae (more sophisticated


methods)
Confidence interval approach.

Sample size determination using statistical formulae:


The confidence interval approach
To determine sample sizes using statistical formulae,
researchers use the confidence interval approach based on
the following factors:
Desired level of data precision or accuracy;
Amount of variability in the population (homogeneity);
Level of confidence required in the estimates of population
values.

Availability of resources such as money, manpower and


time may prompt the researcher to modify the computed
sample size.


where:
is known as the critical value, the
positive value that is at the vertical boundary for
the area of in the right tail of the standard normal
distribution.

is the population standard deviation.


n is the sample size.
This formula can be used when you know and
want to determine the sample size necessary to
establish, with a confidence of 1- , the mean
value
to within + E.
As a general rule of thumb, if your sample size n is
greater than 30, you can replace by the sample
standard deviation s.