Cluster Sampling

Fundamentals of Social Statistics

 

The final type of probability sampling that we will discuss is cluster sampling.  In a cluster sample, groups are chosen rather than particular individuals.  Let’s say we are doing a national study on police officer’s perceptions of domestic violence.  To use the other probability sampling techniques we’ve already discussed, we’d need to obtain a list of every police officer in the United States.  As far as I know, no such list exists now or is likely to exist in the future (if you know of such a list, please send it to me!)  It is entirely possible, however, to obtain a list of every police department in the United States (hard, but you can do it).  With cluster sampling, we select a random sample of police departments.  The major weakness of this method is that the members of a group may have something in common that contributes to a bias.

Key Terms

Population, Sample, Parameter, Statistic, Probability Sampling, Simple Random Sample, Bias, Sampling Frame, Systematic Sampling, Stratified Sampling, Cluster Sampling


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Last Modified:  06/29/2018

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