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10.4: A word of caution- Questions to ask about samples
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- Identify three questions you should ask about samples when reading research results
- Describe how bias impacts sampling
Who sampled, how, and for what purpose?
- Sometimes researchers may make claims about populations other than those from whom their samples were drawn; other times they may make claims about a population based on a sample that is not representative. As consumers of research, we should be attentive to both possibilities.
- A researcher’s findings need not be generalizable to be valuable; samples that allow for comparisons of theoretically important concepts or variables may yield findings that contribute to our social theories and our understandings of social processes.
- Bias- in sampling, when the elements selected for inclusion in a study do not represent the larger population from which they were drawn due to sampling method or thought processes of the researcher