Chapter Six: Sampling

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 the who or the what that 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

  • 6.1 Basic concepts of sampling
  • 6.2 Nonprobability sampling
  • 6.3 Probability sampling
  • 6.4 Critical thinking about sampling

Content Advisory

This chapter discusses or mentions the following topics: cancer, substance abuse, homelessness, anti-LGBTQ discrimination, mental health, sexually transmitted infections, and intimate partner violence.


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Foundations of Social Work Research Copyright © 2020 by Rebecca L. Mauldin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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