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.

Setting Sample Size

This chapter begins our discussion of how to control sampling error by discussing how to set sample size. As we will see, the level of sampling error is determined by the sample size, which means that sample sizes can be calculated to produce acceptable levels of sampling error. In this chapter, you will learn the following:

  • How sampling error relates to sample size
  • How to calculate a sample size that provides an acceptable level of sampling error
  • How to calculate a sample size based on hypothesis testing power
  • How to calculate a sample size based on the value of information
  • Informal methods for setting sample size

The discussion in this chapter presumes the use of simple random sampling. In some situations, it may be possible to make ...

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