KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

What Is a Sample, and What Is Sampling?

Erin Ruel

A sample is a subset of the population of individuals needed to answer a research question. We collect only a sample of the population because it is often too expensive and difficult to collect survey data on the entire population (a census). The population itself will change before we would be able to complete our study—some will die, some will migrate in or out, and others will be born. This suggests that collecting a subset of the population may, in fact, be better than collecting the whole population for answering most research questions.

Sampling is the process of collecting a sample from the population. Sampling techniques fall into two broad categories: (1) probability sampling techniques and ...

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