Chapter 7: Sampling Techniques

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between the population and the sample.
  • Describe the difference between homogenous and heterogeneous samples.
  • Differentiate between probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling.
  • Explain what is meant by representativeness and generalizability.
  • Discuss sampling error, and differentiate between a random sampling error and a system sampling error.
  • Explain the importance of knowing the who, the how, and the why for the purpose of sampling.

All research projects involve gathering specific data from specific sources in specific places at specific times (Palys & Atchison, 2014). Also known as sampling, the necessity of sampling occurs because we simply cannot gather all data from all sources at all places and all times. In other words, we must make choices when we design our research projects. This chapter focuses on sampling techniques as another level of choice to be made by the researcher.