sampling definition


Sampling is the act of selecting a sample, a subset of elements from within a population used to estimate characteristics of the whole population. Two advantages of sampling over measuring the entire population are lower costs and faster data collection. [1]

There is both probability sampling and non-probability sampling.

A sampling control is a qualifying question or questions applied to studies relying on questionnaires that concerns the researcher’s dual abilities to direct the inquiry to a designated respondent and to secure the desired cooperation from the respondent. [1]

Sampling distribution refers to the distribution of values of some statistic calculated for all possible samples that could be drawn from a parent population under a specific sampling plan. [2]

Sampling error is the difference between the observed values of a variable and the long-run average of the observed values in repetitions of the measurement. [2]

Sampling frame refers to the list of sampling units from which a sample will be drawn. The list could consist of geographic areas, institutions, individuals, or other units. [2]

Sample survey refers to a cross-sectional study in which the sample is selected to be representative of the target population and in which the emphasis is on the generation of summary statistics such as averages and percentages. [2]


  1. Common Language in Marketing Project, 2021.
  2. American Marketing Association, AMA Dictionary.

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