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.

Estimating Population Characteristics From Samples

We began this book by asking you to 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.

We introduced the idea that you would rely on a sample of the population, and your sample should provide an accurate representation of the broader population; for example, if your data show that 64% of the respondents want the school district to place more emphasis on reading skills, you want this 64% figure to be an accurate reflection of feelings among the population at large. There ...

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