10.0 Chapter introduction

Sampling involves selecting a subset of a population and drawing conclusions from that subset. How you sample and who you sample shapes what conclusions you are able to draw. Ultimately, this chapter focuses on questions about who or what you want to be able to make claims about in your research. In the following sections, we’ll define sampling, discuss different types of sampling strategies, and consider how to judge the quality of samples as consumers and creators of social scientific research.

Chapter Outline

  • 10.1 Basic concepts of sampling
  • 10.2 Sampling in qualitative research
  • 10.3 Sampling in quantitative research
  • 10.4 A word of caution: Questions to ask about samples

Content Advisory

This chapter discusses or mentions the following topics: cancer, substance abuse, homelessness, elderly adults living in nursing homes, mental health, sexually transmitted infections, and intimate partner violence.


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