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Statistical Samples

Selecting a sample for a study involves drawing a specified number of units from a sampling frame. There are various ways of choosing which units will end up in the sample. The definitions given are not necessarily complete but rather emphasize the key distinctions.

Cluster Sampletwo or more naturally-occurring groups of units from a sampling frame
Complete Enumerationall units in a population
Convenience Samplesample frame consists of the units easiest to obtain
Full-Probability Sampleevery unit in sampling frame has an equal probability of selection
Simple Random Sampleevery possible sample size has an equal probability of being drawn
Stratified-Random Sampleprobability samples drawn from homogenous subsets of a sampling frame.
Systematic Random Samplea systematic sample in which first unit drawn at random
Systematic Sampleevery nth unit in a sampling frame.
Purposive Sampleunits selected on the basis of your own judgement
Quota Sampleselecting units on the basis of prespecified characteristics
Snowball Sampleinitial units provide additional units for study

Prof. Nute

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