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Haphazard Sample

Haphazard Sample

Author: Jonathan Osters

This lesson will explain haphazard samples.

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In this tutorial, you're going to learn about haphazard samples. Now a haphazard sample is a sample that's not carefully thought out to limit biases. So there are lots of different kinds of haphazard samples that we could have.

One type is a voluntary response survey or a convenience sample. A convenience sample is going to be a sample that obtains its participants through the easiest possible means. So for instance, suppose that a human psychology class, the students in it, all agree to participate in each other's experiments for their final project. Because they're aware of the psychological principals being studied, they might get a large sample size. But it won't be representative of all the students at the college. It can only be representative of the ones that have taken human psychology.

So because they know the purpose of the experiment. You can't say that it was random. And so they selected their samples through who happened to be close at hand. And they're going to pay the price for it, because they can't generalise their results. There's a large probability for bias in this sample.

Secondly, there's also another kind of haphazard sample. It's called a quickie poll. And a quickie pole is a pole that's hastily prepared and without any care taken for randomness or reduction of biases. And it's almost always unrepresentative of the population, and, typically, they're voluntary response. So for instance, any of these live vote things that you may have seen on a website. You would have to have navigated to the website, and, even then, you would have had to self select yourself to answer the question. So these are almost always not representative of the entire population at large.

So to recap. Convenience samples are samples where the participants are chosen based on who's the easiest to obtain. Haphazard samples, like quickie poles, are the ones that are going to be collected hastily and without consideration for bias. And they really shouldn't be accepted.

They're not going to be generalizable. And so they shouldn't be accepted. All the results should, essentially, just be thrown out. They're often going to be unrepresentative of the population at large. So we talked about haphazard samples which included quickie polls and convenience samples. Good luck, and we'll see you next time.

Terms to Know
Convenience Sample

A sample that obtains its participants through the easiest means possible.

Haphazard Sample

A sample that is not carefully thought out to limit biases; the resulting sample will likely not accurately represent the population at large.

Quickie Poll

A poll that is hastily prepared without care for randomness or reduction of biases. The goal is to get the largest amount of responses in the shortest amount of time.