Written for students and researchers who wish to understand the conceptual and practical aspects of sampling, this book is designed to be accessible without requiring advanced statistical training. It covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of sampling to special topics such as sampling rare populations, sampling organizational populations, and sampling visitors to a place. Using cases and examples to illustrate sampling principles and procedures, the book thoroughly covers the fundamentals of modern survey sampling, and addresses recent changes in the survey environment such as declining response rates, the rise of Internet surveys, the need to accommodate cell phones in telephone surveys, and emerging uses of social media and big data.

Introduction to Sampling

1.1 Introduction

Imagine the following situation. A friend of yours is running for a place on the local school board. You agree to help her by surveying local voters to learn which issues are most important to them and what they would like the school board to do.

In this situation, will you interview every single person in town? The answer almost certainly is no. It would cost too much money and take too much time to gather data from everyone. Instead, you will rely on a sample of the population. But how will you obtain this sample? Should you just interview people that you know? Should you stand on a busy street and ask passers-by for their opinions? Should you call telephone ...

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