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Types of Samples

When conducting research, it is almost always impossible to study the entire population that you are interested in. As a result, researchers use samples as a way to gather data. A sample is a subset of the population being studied. It represents the larger population and is used to draw inferences about that population. It is a research technique widely used in the social sciences as a way to gather information about a population without having to measure the entire population. Explore the different types and ways of choosing a sample from a population.

Convenience Sample
A convenience sample is one in which the researcher uses any subjects that are available to participate in the research study. Read about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of sample and see an example.

Systematic Sample
The simple random sample is the basic sampling method assumed in statistical methods and computations. Read about the different kinds of random samples and examples of each, including how to use a random number table.

Stratified Sample
The simple random sample is the basic sampling method assumed in statistical methods and computations. Read about the different kinds of random samples and examples of each, including how to use a random number table.

Cluster Sample
The simple random sample is the basic sampling method assumed in statistical methods and computations. Read about the different kinds of random samples and examples of each, including how to use a random number table.

Random Sample
The simple random sample is the basic sampling method assumed in statistical methods and computations. Read about the different kinds of random samples and examples of each, including how to use a random number table.

Snowball Sample
A snowball sample is a non-probability sampling technique that is appropriate to use in research when the members of a population are difficult to locate. Read more about snowball sampling and see an example.

Quota Sample
A quota sample a type of non-probability sample in which the researcher selects people according to some fixed quota. Learn more about quota samples and read an example.

Purposive Sample
A purposive sample, also commonly called a judgmental sample, is one that is selected based on the knowledge of a population and the purpose of the study. The subjects are selected because of some characteristic.

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