SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Sampling Frame, Convenience Sampling, Response Bias
April 6th, 2011
Research Methods I I
•A sample is part of a group.
•A population is the entire group.
•A voluntary response sample is a group of people who chose themselves in
response to a general appeal.
•A representative sample is a group is a group of people chosen so their
characteristics closely match those of the population of interest.
•A convenience sample consists of people who are easiest to reach.
•If respondents are chosen at random and an individual’s chance of being chosen
is known and greater than zero, the respondents constitute a probability sample.
•A sampling frame is a list of all the people in the population of interest.
•A randomizing method is a way of ensuring every person in the sampling frame
has a known, equal, and non-zero chance of being selected.
•A mail questionnaire is a form containing questions is mailed to the respondent
and returned to the researcher through the mail system.
•The response rate is the number of people who answer the questionnaire divided
by the number of people asked to do so, expressed as a percent.
•In a face-to-face interview survey, questions are presented to the respondent by
the interviewer during a meeting.
•In a telephone survey, questions are presented to the respondent by the
interviewer over the phone.
•A closed-ended question provides the respondent with a list of permitted
•Open-ended questions allow respondents to answer questions in their own
Threats to Validity
•Undercounting occurs due to an imperfect sampling frame.
•Non-response occurs when respondents do not answer some or all questions.
•Response bias occurs when respondents do not answer questions completely
•To avoid wording effects, questions should be specific, simple and neutral, and
they should focus on important, singular, current events.
Testing an Association of Spuriousness: