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Lecture 4

CMN 3102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: World Values Survey, Sampling Error, Sample Size Determination

Course Code
CMN 3102
Ivan Katchanovski

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Lecture 4
Sampling and Survey Research
Survey Research
!A major method of quantitative research
!Use in CSL research projects or MC research projects
!Advantages and disadvantages
!!Textbook survey of American students
!!World Values Surveys
Designing Survey
!Research question and/or hypothesis
o!Examples: What are attitudes of Canadians towards social
o!Attitudes of Canadians towards social media differ by age
!Selecting sample
!Type of survey
!Pilot testing
Population and Sample
!Population: all cases about which one seeks knowledge
o!Population of Canada
o!University of Ottawa students
!Sample: people/elements selected for investigation
o!Sample of Canadians
o!Sample of University of Ottawa students
o!Primarily used in survey research
!Representative sample: a sample containing the essential
characteristics of the population
!Probability sample: a sample selected using a random process such
that each element in the population has a known probability of
being selected
!Weight: Makes a sample representative when there are small
o!Example: Many samples in World Values Surveys

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Non-probability Sampling
!Convenience sample
o!Participants/respondents are selected based on their
convenient availability
!!E.g. Students in a university class
!Snowball sample
o!The researcher makes contact with some individuals, who in
turn provide contacts for other participants
!!E.g., sometimes students who participate in survey
studies are asked to come up with the names of some
non-students who may be willing to participate
!Purposive sample
o!Non-random selection of participants/respondents based on a
specific purpose of a project
!!Sample of university students
!!Sample of Facebook users
!Volunteer sample
o!Self-selected participants/respondents
!Quota sample
o!Set quotas for specific groups
!Non-probability/non-random samples are difficult to generalize to
o!Generally not representative of the population
Sampling Error and Response Rate
!Sampling error: errors of estimation that occur as a result of
differences between the characteristics of the sample and those of
the population
!Non-sampling error
!Non-response: occurs if people selected for the sample do not
supply the required data
!The response rate is the percentage of the sample that participates
in the study
o!An effort should be made to determine whether people who
are selected for the sample but decline to participate differ in
some important way from those who participate
Sample Size
!It is the absolute size of the sample that matters, not the
proportion of the population that it comprises
!As sample size increases, sampling error tends to decrease
!Typical sample sizes in national surveys:
o!1000, 1600, and 2500
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