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When to Use Total Population Sampling in a Research Study


Researchers must be very careful in the selection of the target respondents in a research study. Since it is impossible to include all people around the world in a certain study, it is better to select a sample. In a research work, sample refers to the group of individuals who will actually be involved in the study at hand. There are many techniques to be considered in determining the sample of the study. For the purpose of this discussion, the purposive sampling technique is taken for consideration as its focus.

Purposive sampling technique refers to a non-probability sampling technique where the units, sample, or target respondents are based on the criteria set by the researchers. Usually, the researchers look for the similarities of the target respondents to be considered in their study. Upon establishing the commonalities, they will look into the distribution of the respondents by specific units. Most of the research instructors or paper advisers prefer to consider all the target respondents of the study because of too little number. The purposive sampling technique comes into many types: maximum variation sampling, homogeneous sampling, typical case sampling, extreme or deviant case sampling, critical case sampling, total population sampling, and expert sampling. Each of them is used in a research work which is a case to case basis. For a meaningful discussion, this paper is focused on total population sampling.

Total population sampling is a type of purposive sampling technique that involves examining the entire population that have a particular set of characteristics. Most of the time, researchers consider this as their sampling method because the entire population is so small and well-define, and a fraction of which may no measure what is required. It can eliminate any potential bias occurring through sampling technique, but other than that it is really not justified to consume more resources and time.

By employing total population sampling in a study, researchers may be benefited with its advantages. These advantages include: it is a way of taking advantage of the numerous qualitative research designs, it is an opportunity to create generalizations from the data gathered, it involves multiple phases that is linked with one another, it helps in saving time, money, and efforts while performing the collection of data, it can be an avenue to target niche demographics to obtain specific data points, it is a way to achieve a maximum level of variation in the given sample, it allows the researchers to look at the weighted mean average in the data, it paves the way to see the information from the various extremes of population groups, everyone is considered as a target respondents for the study being conducted, the information gathered in this type of sampling has a low margin of errors, and it can produce results that are available in real-time. Through these advantages, one can see the usefulness and essence of considering everyone as the target respondents of the study. These also serve as the reasons why most instructors and research paper advisers prefer to have this type of sample in conducting a study.

The flaws of total population sampling include the provision of significant number of inferential statistical procedures that are not acceptable, the method is extremely prone yo researcher bias, it chases challenge in defending the representation of the sample, the target respondents can manipulate the data being collected, it is not suitable method when this is applied to large population groups, and it blocks the way in evaluating the reliability of the expert or the person in authority. Researchers must look into these disadvantages in order to come up with a reliable result of the research work being conducted.

Researchers need to become selective in considering the sampling method of the study. By deeper and critical thinking, they need to scrutinize every single important information in order for these researchers to arrive with what is suited in the determination of the selection and identification of the sample of the research study. It is a great help if the advantages and disadvantages must be looked into in order to avoid errors or problems after arriving at the results of the study. Researchers need also to consult the expertise of those who are inclined with the conduct of research most especially in the selection of the sample of the study.


Bella May A. Perez on March 18, 2020:

Researcher must really be sensitive with his topic that the result would be a helpful innovation to the institution where he belongs and not just for compliance.