# Sampling

**Topics:**Sampling, Sample, Stratified sampling, Research, Sample size, Cluster sampling /

**Pages:**6 (1314 words) /

**Published:**Jun 29th, 2013

Purposive sampling, also known as judgmental, selective or subjective sampling, is a type of non-probability sampling technique. Non-probability sampling focuses on sampling techniques where the units that are investigated are based on the judgement of the researcher.

Purposive sampling explained

Purposive sampling represents a group of different non-probability sampling techniques. Also known as judgmental, selectiveor subjective sampling, purposive sampling relies on the judgement of the researcher when it comes to selecting the units(e.g., people, cases/organisations, events, pieces of data) that are to be studied. Usually, the sample being investigated is quite small, especially when compared with probability sampling techniques.

Unlike the various sampling techniques that can be used under probability sampling (e.g., simple random sampling, stratified random sampling, etc.), the goal of purposive sampling is not to randomly select units from a population to create a samplewith the intention of making generalisations (i.e., statistical inferences) from that sample to the population of interest. This is the general intent of research that is guided by a quantitative research design.

The main goal of purposive sampling is to focus on particular characteristics of a population that are of interest, which will best enable you to answer your research questions. The sample being studied is not representative of the population, but for researchers pursuing qualitative or mixed methods research designs, this is not considered to be a weakness. Rather, it is a choice, the purpose of which varies depending on the type of purposing sampling technique that is used. For example, inhomogeneous sampling, units are selected based on their having similar characteristics because such characteristics are of particular interested to the researcher. By contrast, critical case sampling is frequently used in exploratory, qualitative research in order to