Sampling Methods

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What are the different sampling methods used in research?

An important aspect of experimental research is the process of actually having to gather participants. The individuals who participate in a study make up the “sample”. The “sample” should be a representation of the “target population”.

You can find more about sampling procedures here.

Notes for IA:

Here is another useful link that explains sampling methods. The most common mistakes students make is saying they use random sampling, when they clearly haven’t. Another common mistake is confusing self-selected sampling with opportunity (also known as convenience) sampling. These are very similar methods and how you obtained your sample is really important for your IA. Make sure that the way you got your sample is actually an example of the sampling method you have identified as your choice.

Justifying Your Sample Method:

You need to be able to justify your sampling method. This means that you can provide at least one strong reason why you chose this method over others. If possible, look at the important terms page on the detailed guidebook under the heading “Controls” and see how one sample method over another might be controlling for one of these factors.

Check out this video for some more explanation.


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