# What are quantitative research sampling methods?

By Riya Jain & Priya Chetty on February 17, 2020

The quantitative research sampling method is the process of selecting representable units from a large population. Quantitative research refers to the analysis wherein mathematical, statistical, or computational method is used for studying the measurable or quantifiable dataset. The core purpose of quantitative research is the generalization of a phenomenon or an opinion. This involves collecting and gathering information from a small group out of a population or universe.

For instance, in order to find out what drives Amazon’s popularity as the most preferred e-commerce company, a small group of Amazon’s customers can be surveyed. It will help arrive at a consensus on the most significant traits that make it successful. Therefore, an assumption about a population is based on a small or selected dataset. In order to derive accurate results, it is essential to use an appropriate sampling method. The purpose of this article is to review different quantitative sampling methods and their applicability in different types of research.

## Quantitative research sampling methods

By examining the nature of the small group, the researcher can deduce the behaviour of the larger population. Quantitative research sampling methods are broadly divided into two categories i.e.

1. Probability sampling
2. Non-probability sampling

## Probability sampling method

In probability sampling, each unit in the population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample. The purpose is to identify those sample sets which majorly represent the characteristics of the population. Herein, all the characteristics of the population are required to be known. This is done through a process known as ‘listing’. This process of listing is called the sampling frame. As probability sampling is a type of random sampling, the generalization is more accurate.

Probability sampling is quite a time consuming and expensive. Hence, this method is only suitable in cases wherein the population are similar in characteristics, and the researcher has time, money, and access to the whole population. Probability sampling is further categorized into 4 types: simple random, systematic, stratified and cluster sampling. The figure below depicts the types of probability sampling.

The difference between and applicability of these sampling methods are depicted in the table below.

Table 1: Probability-based Quantitative research sampling methods

## Non-probability sampling method

Non-probability based quantitative research sampling method involves non-random selection of the sample from the entire population. All units of the population do not an equal chance of participating in the survey. Therefore, the results cannot be generalized for the population.

The non-probability technique of sampling is based on the subjective judgement of the researcher. Hence this method can be applied in cases wherein limited information about the population is available. Moreover, it requires less time and money. Non-probability sampling method can be of four types as shown below.