Cluster Sampling (Political Science)

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  • A multistage research method that involves first dividing a study population into randomly selected “clusters,” or groups, before randomly selecting subject participants from the clusters. In contrast is single-unit sampling, which involves randomly selecting survey subjects from an entire subject population group, without first breaking the population into clusters. An example of a cluster sample could be found in a survey of what political issues are of interest to American college students. The survey would first randomly select colleges (the clusters) from a list of all colleges in the United States and then randomly select students from only these colleges. A single-unit sample would, instead, randomly select college students from all the colleges in the United States. Cluster sampling is often less costly and more ...

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