Populations and Samples

Population = the large group of people that the researcher may be interested in studying, e.g. students attending college in the nirth west/children under six with autism/ women in their thirties etc. This is usually called the subset popultation; it is a subset of the general population.

An ideal sample will be represesntative of the general population; this makes generalisation of the findings of the experiment possible. However, this is often diffucult in practice due to the diverse nature of the sample and the bias this results in. In order to minimise this, samples are selcted using various sampling techniques. The main techniques are as follows:

  • Random sample  - a sophisticated form of sampling in which all members of the target population have an equal chance of being selected. A random sample can only be selected if a complete list of all members of the target population is obtained; all of the names on the list must also be assigned a number and the sample must be generated through the…


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