Copyright

What is Sampling in Research? - Definition, Methods & Importance

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Relationship Between Population, Sample & Generalizability

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:07 Sampling
  • 1:16 Process
  • 3:57 Importance
  • 6:25 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

The sample of a study can have a profound impact on the outcome of a study. In this lesson, we'll look at the procedure for drawing a sample and why it is so important to draw a sample that represents the population.

Sampling

Brooke is a psychologist who is interested in studying how much stress college students face during finals. She works at a university, so she is planning to send out a survey around finals time and ask some students to rank on a scale of 1 to 5 how stressed out they are.

But which students should she survey? All of the students at the university? Only the students in the psychology department? Only freshmen? There are a lot of possibilities for Brooke's sample. The sample of a study is simply the participants in a study. In Brooke's case, her sample will be the students who fill out her survey.

Sampling is the process whereby a researcher chooses her sample. This might seem pretty straightforward: just get some people together, right? But how does Brooke do that? Should she just stand on a corner and start asking people to take her survey? Should she send out an email to every college student in the world? Where does she even begin?

Because sampling isn't as straightforward as it initially seems, there is a set process to help researchers choose a good sample. Let's look closer at the process and importance of sampling.

Process

So Brooke wants to choose a group of college students to take part in her study. To select her sample, she goes through the basic steps of sampling.

1. Identify the population of interest. A population is the group of people that you want to make assumptions about. For example, Brooke wants to know how much stress college students experience during finals. Her population is every college student in the world because that's who she's interested in. Of course, there's no way that Brooke can feasibly study every college student in the world, so she moves on to the next step.

2. Specify a sampling frame. A sampling frame is the group of people from which you will draw your sample. For example, Brooke might decide that her sampling frame is every student at the university where she works. Notice that a sampling frame is not as large as the population, but it's still a pretty big group of people. Brooke still won't be able to study every single student at her university, but that's a good place from which to draw her sample.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support