Sampling in Quantitative Research

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  • Sampling is the process of selecting cases to study. The sample is a subgroup of a population or universe. A study of an entire population is a census. Samples are studied to learn about the population. Inference is the process of drawing conclusions about a population based on information from a sample. For example, if 62% of the members of the sample favor gun control, 62% is an estimate of the percentage of the population that favors gun control. The quality of a sample (and inference) depends on the sampling method and sample size; probability samples of sufficient size produce represen tative samples (i.e., samples that provide good estimates of population parameters).

    The two basic sampling methods are probability and nonprobability. With probability samples, the ...

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