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Haphazard Sample

Haphazard Sample

Description:

This lesson will explain haphazard samples.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

In this tutorial, you're going to learn about some of the ways that samples can work against you in experiments. Specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Haphazard Samples
  2. Convenience Samples
  3. Quickie Polls

1. Haphazard Sample

In order to perform research, you always need to select your sample population. While samples will ideally be carefully selected, sometimes selection methods result in haphazard samples.

Term to Know
Haphazard Sample

A sample that's not carefully thought out to limit biases.


2. Convenience Samples

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.

Term to Know

Convenience Sample

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

A convenient sample sounds like something you might want, but it will actually cause your research to suffer.


IN CONTEXT

For instance, suppose that all the students in a human psychology class are going to conduct experiments for their final project, and they all agree to participate in each other's experiments. Because they are aware of the psychological principals they are studied, these students might make sure to get a large sample size for their final experiments. However, that sample won't be representative of all the students at the college. Because of the limited group of students sampled, each experiment can only be representative of students who have taken human psychology.

So because the students sampled for each experiment know the purpose of the experiment, you can't say that the selection was random. Because the students selected their samples through who happened to be close at hand, they're going to pay the price for that convenience, and that price is that they can't generalise their results. There's a large probability for bias in this sample.


3. Quickie Polls

In addition to convenience samples, there's also another kind of haphazard sample. It's called a quickie poll.

Term to Know

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.

A quickie poll is hastily prepared without any care taken for randomness or reduction of biases. Because of this lack of care, these polls are almost always unrepresentative of the population. Furthermore, they're typically voluntary response.

ExampleSo 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.


Summary

So, to recap. You learned about haphazard samples, which included quickie polls and convenience samples. Convenience samples are samples where the participants are chosen based on who's the easiest to obtain. Quickie polls are the ones that are going to be collected hastily and without consideration for bias. In all of these cases, these kinds of polls really shouldn't be accepted. This kind of sampling delivers results that are often going to be unrepresentative of the population at large. So because they're not going to be generalizable, all the results should, essentially, just be thrown out.

Good luck!

Source: SOURCE: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR JONATHAN OSTERS

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Convenience Sample

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

  • 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.

  • 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.