cluster sampling is categorised as: Cluster Sampling: Definition, Methods & Applications

stratified sampling

Cluster sampling divides a population into groups, then includes all members of some randomly chosen groups. This tutorial provides a brief explanation of both sampling methods along with the similarities and differences between them. The most common form of systematic sampling is an equiprobability method. Combining link-tracing sampling and cluster sampling to estimate the size of hidden populations.

time and cost

The resulting cluster sampling is categorised as is much smaller and therefore easier to collect data from. There not be any overlap between clusters (i.e. the same people or units do not appear in more than one cluster). Consider a scenario where an organization is looking to survey the performance of smartphones across Germany. They can divide the entire country’s population into cities , select further towns with the highest population, and filter those using mobile devices. Stratified sampling, the objective is to accurately represent the population and obtain results that aptly represent the population.

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This adds complexity to the study or survey, but also ensures greater representation of the entire population. Because cluster sampling uses randomization, if the population is clustered properly, your sample will reflect the characteristics of the larger population which means high validity. Of course, as you go farther down the multistage rabbit hole reducing cluster sizes, it’s likely to have a negative impact on validity. The choice between probability and non-probability sampling methods will depend on the research question, the resources available, and the specific needs of the study. Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research.

  • When the clusters do not mirror the population’s characteristics or serve as a mini-representation of the population as a whole, there will be less statistical certainty and accuracy.
  • This makes it a very practical sampling method for statisticians undergoing research.
  • The researcher could, however, create a list of churches in the United States, choose a sample of churches, and then obtain lists of members from those churches.
  • Closed-ended, or restricted-choice, questions offer respondents a fixed set of choices to select from.

To get the best results in cluster sampling design, differences between clusters are made as small as possible. It is common to have a systematic sample of size 1, such as the above 1 in 3 systematic sample. In quota sampling, the chosen sample might not be the best representation of the characteristics of the population that weren’t considered. Convenience sampling is prone to significant bias, because the sample may not be the representation of the specific characteristics such as religion or, say the gender, of the population. Monte Carlo methods use repeated random sampling for the estimation of unknown parameters. So now that we have an idea of these two sampling types, let’s dive into each and understand the different types of sampling under each section.

What are the types of cluster sampling?

Random sampling enhances the external validity or generalizability of your results, while random assignment improves the internal validity of your study. In an experimental design, you manipulate an independent variable and measure its effect on a dependent variable. For a probability sample, you have to conduct probability sampling at every stage. Exploratory research is often used when the issue you’re studying is new or when the data collection process is challenging for some reason. Because clusters are usually naturally occurring groups, such as schools, cities, or households, they are often more homogenous than the population as a whole.

Defining your variables, and deciding how you will manipulate and measure them, is an important part of experimental design. Theindependent variableis the amount of nutrients added to the crop field. Categorical variables are any variables where the data represent groups. This includes rankings (e.g. finishing places in a race), classifications (e.g. brands of cereal), and binary outcomes (e.g. coin flips).

The clusters should be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. A random sampling technique is then used on any relevant clusters to choose which clusters to include in the study. In single-stage cluster sampling, all the elements from each of the selected clusters are sampled. In two-stage cluster sampling, a random sampling technique is applied to the elements from each of the selected clusters. In this sampling plan, the total population is divided into these groups and a simple random sample of the groups is selected.

Some common types of sampling bias include self-selection bias, nonresponse bias, undercoverage bias, survivorship bias, pre-screening or advertising bias, and healthy user bias. In randomization, you randomly assign the treatment in your study to a sufficiently large number of subjects, which allows you to control for all potential confounding variables. In matching, you match each of the subjects in your treatment group with a counterpart in the comparison group. The matched subjects have the same values on any potential confounding variables, and only differ in the independent variable. Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses, by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.


Without data cleaning, you could end up with a Type I or II error in your conclusion. These types of erroneous conclusions can be practically significant with important consequences, because they lead to misplaced investments or missed opportunities. Every dataset requires different techniques to clean dirty data, but you need to address these issues in a systematic way. You focus on finding and resolving data points that don’t agree or fit with the rest of your dataset.

Make sure to pay attention to your own body language and any physical or verbal cues, such as nodding or widening your eyes. Right-hand-side variables (they appear on the right-hand side of a regression equation). Naturalistic observation is a qualitative research method where you record the behaviors of your research subjects in real world settings. You avoid interfering or influencing anything in a naturalistic observation. A successful reproduction shows that the data analyses were conducted in a fair and honest manner.

Cluster Sampling Definition

It is the number of or items to be taken in a sample that would be enough to make inferences about the population with the desired level of accuracy and precision. Sampling is done to draw conclusions about populations from samples, and it enables us to determine a population’s characteristics by directly observing only a portion of the population. Because you’re surveying a sample of a population and not the entire population, cost can be greatly reduced. Stratified sampling divides a population into groups, then includes some members of all of the groups. Systematic sampling is the selection of Participants from an ordered sampling frame. Stratified sampling is a method of sampling from a population that can be partitioned into subpopulations.

sampling and cluster

The two types of external validity are population validity and ecological validity . A statistic refers to measures about the sample, while a parameter refers to measures about the population. Using careful research design and sampling procedures can help you avoid sampling bias. Grounded theory involves collecting data in order to develop new theories. A Likert scale is a rating scale that quantitatively assesses opinions, attitudes, or behaviors.

Because there are no restrictions on their choices, respondents can answer in ways that researchers may not have otherwise considered. Correlational and descriptive designs are used to investigate characteristics, averages, trends, and associations between variables. In this process, you review, analyze, detect, modify, or remove “dirty” data to make your dataset “clean.” Data cleaning is also called data cleansing or data scrubbing. Dirty data can come from any part of the research process, including poor research design, inappropriate measurement materials, or flawed data entry.

What Is Meant by Cluster Sampling?

Data collection is the systematic process by which observations or measurements are gathered in research. It is used in many different contexts by academics, governments, businesses, and other organizations. In scientific research, concepts are the abstract ideas or phenomena that are being studied (e.g., educational achievement). Variables are properties or characteristics of the concept (e.g., performance at school), while indicators are ways of measuring or quantifying variables (e.g., yearly grade reports).

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If you’re using single-stage cluster sampling, you’re ready to begin collecting data. If you’re using the two-stage or multiple-stage approach, it’s time to break your cluster down into a more manageable group, as described in the previous section. Cluster samplingis a type of sampling method in which we split a population into clusters, then randomly select some of the clusters and include all members from those clusters in the sample.

When a researcher includes all of the subjects from the chosen clusters into the final sample, this is called a one-stage cluster sample. Let’s say that the researcher selected 50 Catholic Churches across the United States. He or she would then survey all church members from those 50 churches.

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On the other hand, the standard situation for cluster sampling is when the diversity within clusters and the cluster should not vary from each other. In this article, we learned about the concept of sampling, steps involved in sampling, and the different types of sampling methods. Sampling has wide applications in the statistical world as well as the real world. One big advantage of this technique is that it is the most direct method of probability sampling. But it comes with a caveat – it may not select enough individuals with our characteristics of interest. Random sampling helps ensure the sample is a good representation of the greater population.

Types of Cluster Sampling

Moreover, this method of sampling is reliable and affordable for the researchers. Ideally, each cluster should be a mini-representation of the entire population. Though systematic and cluster sampling are forms of random sampling, they arrive at their sample size differently. Systematic sampling chooses a sample based on fixed intervals in a population, whereas cluster sampling creates clusters from a population. Systematic sampling selects a random starting point from the population, and then a sample is taken from regular fixed intervals of the population depending on its size.

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