Friday, January 15, 2010

types of sampling

Simple Random Sampling: A simple random sample (SRS) of size n is produced by a scheme which ensures that each subgroup of the population of size n has an equal probability of being chosen as the sample.

Stratified Random Sampling: Divide the population into "strata". There can be any number of these. Then choose a simple random sample from each stratum. Combine those into the overall sample. That is a stratified random sample. (Example: Church A has 600 women and 400 women as members. One way to get a stratified random sample of size 30 is to take a SRS of 18 women from the 600 women and another SRS of 12 men from the 400 men.)

Multi-Stage Sampling: Sometimes the population is too large and scattered for it to be practical to make a list of the entire population from which to draw a SRS. For instance, when the a polling organization samples US voters, they do not do a SRS. Since voter lists are compiled by counties, they might first do a sample of the counties and then sample within the selected counties. This illustrates two stages. In some instances, they might use even more stages. At each stage, they might do a stratified random sample on sex, race, income level, or any other useful variable on which they could get information before sampling.