Sample surveys: nonprobability sampling.
Smelser, N.J. and Baltes, P.B. (eds.)
International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.
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Nonprobability sampling describes any method for collecting survey data which does not utilize a full probability sampling design. Nonprobability samples are usually cheaper and easier to collect than probability samples. However, there are a number of drawbacks. Such methods can be prone to selection bias, and standard design-based methods of inference cannot be used to ensure approximately unbiased estimators of population quantities or to provide associated measures of precision. In this article, some of the more common methods of nonprobability sampling, quota sampling in particular, are introduced. Their advantages and disadvantages are discussed, and a formal framework for assessing the validity of inferences from nonprobability samples is described.
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