Sampling theory

Sampling theory

Sampling theory is a statistics field dealing with data collection, analysis, and interpretation from samples collected randomly in a population (Tuckman & Harper, 2012). In research the target population is large, and it is expensive conducting such a study while considering all the individuals. To reduce the cost, the researchers come up with a smaller sample that is representative or is a true reflection of the entire target population and uses it to conduct the study. This ensures that the results obtained from the study is representative and can be used to generalize or draw a conclusion about the entire population. The selection of the sample should be done properly to ensure that all the target groups attributes or characteristics under study are well represented and that the sample selected is spread throughout the entire population.

An example of a sample in research can well be demonstrated in a health based research involving a community of 245,000 people. The research could be about the mortality rate of a certain disease like HIV/ Aids, and this can be done by sampling some of the households in the community. One can have a sample of 245 households and use them in the study such that one household will be representing one thousand households. In this study, the samples should be selected randomly from the entire community and should not originate from one locality to ensure there are no biases and that the sample selected is representative.

In nursing, some of the campaigns or research programs conducted can be effected and made successful by making sure that the target population gives the best sample that can aid in the research process (Ellis, 2016). If the sample is not carefully selected during such research, the data obtained might be biased and hence not representative. This, therefore, means that the results cannot be used to generalize the population characteristics about what is being studied.


Ellis, P. (2016). Understanding research for nursing students.

Tuckman, B. W., & Harper, B. E. (2012). Conducting educational research. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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