Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Representative Sample

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2476
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Definition

“Representative sampling” is a type of statistical sampling that allows us to use data from a sample to make conclusions that are representative for the population from which the sample is taken.

Description

Quality of life researchers often only interview a sample of people instead of a whole population (a census). This has several advantages in terms of lower costs, greater depth, and the measurement of more variables. When taking a sample of a population, however, researchers need to be sure that the sample is also genuinely representative of that group.

In many cases, quality of life researchers use convenience samples, snowball samples, or quota samples. However, these do not allow the making of any statistical inference about the population from which it is taken, as they are not based on probability theory. To come to conclusions that are representative for a population, probability sampling is required, where each member of a population has known probability of being...

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References

  1. Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods (2nd ed.). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, Chapters 7 & 11.Google Scholar
  2. De Vaus, D. (1996). Finding a sample. In Surveys in social research. London: UCL press, Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  3. Kish, L. (1995). Survey sampling. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  4. Levy, S., & Lemeshaw, S. (1991). Sampling of populations: Methods and applications. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  5. Poate, C. D., & Daplyn, P. F. (1993). Data for agrarian development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Chapters 1, 2, 3,4, 7 and 8.Google Scholar
  6. Treiman, D. J. (2009). Sample design and survey estimation. In Quantitative data analysis: Doing social research to test ideas. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Chapter 9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of East AngliaNorwichUK