# Sampling Techniques

## Simple Random Sampling

• Simple Random Sampling (SRS) is a basic sampling technique where each member of the population has an equal chance of being part of the sample.
• In SRS, selection of one individual doesn’t affect the probability of choosing another.
• This method requires a complete and accurate list of the population, often difficult or impossible to achieve in practice.

## Systematic Sampling

• Systematic Sampling involves selecting a random starting point and then sampling every ‘nth’ individual in your population.
• This method is highly efficient, but can introduce bias if there’s a hidden order in the population.
• The gap, or interval, between samples (the ‘n’) must be determined carefully to ensure representativeness.

## Stratified Sampling

• Stratified Sampling involves breaking the population into homogenous sub-groups, called ‘strata’, then taking a simple random sample from each stratum.
• This method can ensure that all subgroups are adequately represented in the sample.
• The sample size within each stratum might be proportional to the size of the stratum within the whole population (proportional stratified sampling) or equal for all strata (equal stratified sampling).

## Cluster Sampling

• Cluster Sampling involves dividing the population into distinct groups, or ‘clusters’, then randomly selecting a certain number of these clusters for inclusion in the sample.
• All observations within selected clusters form the sample and are usually subjected to further, more detailed assessment.
• This method can be more practical than simple random or stratified sampling when the population is widely scattered geographically.

## Quota Sampling

• Quota Sampling involves selecting individuals for the sample so that certain subgroups of the population are represented proportionally.
• This method resembles stratified sampling, but in quota sampling the investigator selects the individuals who will form the quota, potentially introducing bias.
• Despite potential bias, it’s often used in market research because it allows a quick, inexpensive sample that’s likely to be representative of the population.

## Convenience Sampling

• Convenience Sampling involves choosing individuals to be part of the sample purely based on their accessibility and willingness to participate.
• This is a quick and easy way to gather data, but it poses considerable risk of bias, because individuals who can be contacted or who will respond may not be representative of the total population.

Each of these sampling techniques has their own pros and cons and suitability can depend on factors such as the nature of the study, available resources, and the characteristics of the population. It’s important to understand these aspects in order to select the most appropriate sampling method for a particular situation.