In addition to hundreds of new references features new to this edition include: a comprehensive introduction to qualitative methods including a review of existing computer applications for collecting and analyzing data; the latest information about the use of computers and online research techniques, including the use of the Internet to locate actual research instruments and journal articles; updated coverage on new scales, internal and external validity, and new analytic techniques with extensive references on each; abstracts, citations and subject groupings by measurement tool of the last five years of the American Sociological Review, Social Psychology Quarterly, and the American Journal of Sociology; extensive coverage of how to prepare manuscripts for publication, including a list of all journals covered by Sociological Abstracts along with the editorial office address and URL for each entry; new coverage of ethical issues; expansion of social indicators to include international coverage; discussion of the importance of policy research with presentation and discussion of specific models as an adjunct to both applied and basic research techniques; and the addition of an index to facilitate the reader's ability to quickly locate a topic.
A sample is a set of subjects selected from a population. The goal of sampling is to select a sample where the sampling error (or difference between sample and population characteristics) is minimized. That way, the sample best represents the population of interest, and generalizability, a hallmark of science and particularly inferential statistics (see Part 6), is maximized as well.[Page 52]
Sampling problems may be divided into those that affect (a) the definition of the population, (b) the size of the sample, or (c) the representativeness of the sample. In regard to the definition of the ...