Sampling is the process of choosing a portion of people or groups from a broader population in order to undertake research.
Studying human populations is a common task for social scientists, and ensuring that the population of interest is well represented in the research results requires careful sampling. In social research, there are various sampling techniques, including:
Every person of the population has an equal chance of being chosen for the study using simple random selection. Each participant is given a number, and a sample is chosen by utilising a random number generator or a table of random numbers.
The population is divided into subgroups, or strata, according to pertinent factors like age, gender, or socioeconomic position, in the stratified random sampling technique. Then, a sample is chosen by straightforward random selection from each stratum.
In this technique, the population is segmented into clusters or groups, such as neighbourhoods or educational institutions, and a random sample of the clusters is chosen. The investigation then includes every person in the chosen clusters.
Systematic sampling: This approach selects people from the population at predetermined intervals. A list of members of a community organisation, for instance, might have every tenth individual chosen for the study.
Convenience sampling: This technique involves choosing participants for the study who are readily available or accessible.
This can include people who are chosen from a public area, such a park or a shopping centre, or who are participants in an easily available group or organisation.
Using the snowball sampling technique, the researcher chooses people they know and then asks them to think of others who might be interested in taking part in the study.
This is frequently employed in studies where it is challenging to reach the people or where it is stigmatised.
Simply random sampling, stratified random sampling, cluster sampling, systematic sampling, convenience sampling, and snowball sampling are a few of the sampling techniques used in social research.
The research objective, the population’s characteristics, and the study’s resources all influence the sampling technique that is used.