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The term sampling refers to using data from a selected portion of a population to represent the characteristics of the population. The focus of this entry is random sampling, one form of probability sampling used in data collection when conducting empirical research. When a researcher employs a random sampling method, any member of a sample of equal size drawn from that same population has an equal chance of being selected, and the resulting selection is considered a random sample. Obtaining a random sample provides assurances that the data obtained from such a sample are not biased or the presence of some type of systematic factor does not exist. The assumption becomes that any potential person has equal probability to appear in the random sample.

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