cluster sampling is categorised as: Difference Between Stratified and Cluster Sampling with Comparison Chart


Frequently provides more information per unit cost than simple random sampling, in the sense of smaller variances. Need to survey a large segment of the population but short on time and money? Enter cluster sampling, the time- and cost-effective way to gather data across a geographical spread.

Instead, the researcher would use simple or systematic random sampling to select church members from each cluster. The first stage is to sample the clusters and the second stage is to sample the respondents from each cluster. Cluster sampling is a probability sampling technique where researchers divide the population into multiple groups for research. So researchers then select random groups with a simple random or systematic random sampling technique for data collection and analysis. However, in general, with cluster sampling, the target population is divided into multiple clusters.

This is usually in the form of an integer which must be smaller than the number of subjects in the greater population. The analyst then chooses a consistent interval between each member. Systematic and cluster sampling have advantages and disadvantages, but both can be time- and cost-efficient. Stratified sampling achieves homogeneity within the strata, while cluster sampling achieves uniformity between the clusters. To help you pull through with this, here’s a simple step-by-step guide on performing cluster sampling. After selecting a particular class to participate in educational research, the teacher chooses specific students in the class to respond to survey questions.

The researcher would then select those 5,000 high school students from those 15 states either through simple or systematic random sampling. A two-stage cluster sample is obtained when the researcher only selects a number of subjects from each cluster – either through simple random sampling or systematic random sampling. Using the same example as above in which the researcher selected 50 Catholic Churches across the United States, he or she would not include all members of those 50 churches in the final sample.

  • Market research, in this technique, a population is divided into clusters and these clusters are randomly chosen to be a part of the sample.
  • We can take multiple samples and calculate the average height of individuals in the selected samples.
  • An example of single-stage cluster sampling – An NGO wants to create a sample of girls across five neighboring towns to provide education.

Important https://1investing.in/s of non-probability sampling methods are Haphazard, Accidental, or Convenience Sampling, Quota Sampling, Purposive sampling, Snowball sampling. The objective of sampling is to derive the desired information about the population at the minimum cost or with the maximum reliability. Probability sampling methods are considered to be more representative of the population and are therefore often considered to be more scientifically rigorous than non-probability sampling methods. Researchers using stratified sampling divide the population into groups based on age, religion, ethnicity, or income level and randomly choose from these strata to form a sample. Once divided, each subgroup is randomly sampled using another probability sampling method.

Larger the sample size, more accurate our inference about the population would be. Sampling is a method that allows us to get information about the population based on the statistics from a subset of the population , without having to investigate every individual. Data Types, Online Survey, Questionnaires, Research, Sampling, Segmentation, Survey Examples What is Probability Sampling? Pros, Cons, and Examples Data that skews one way or another can lead to bad decisions and incorrect conclusions. Often, data is unreliable because researchers who are unable to survey every member of…

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Both, however, are splitting the population into smaller units to sample. Two-stage sampling can also be seen as a subset of one-stage sampling because certain elements from the created clusters are sampled. For example, you could choose every fifth or twentieth participant, but you must choose the same interval for every population. The process of selecting this nth number is what makes it systematic sampling. In market research, cluster sampling allows organizations to collect relevant responses from a vast target audience spread across multiple geographical locations. Multi-stage cluster sampling improves the validity and quality of research data.

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It’s also not possible to reach every male so we can’t really analyze the entire population. We can take multiple samples and calculate the average height of individuals in the selected samples. If a population is homogeneous (i.e. there are no noticeable differences between individuals) then it’s best to use cluster sampling to obtain a sample. Then, members of the strata are randomly selected to form a sample. Cluster sampling is also used in market research when researchers cannot collect information about the population as a whole.

Different samples are taken from different regions all over the country. Both methods are examples of probability sampling methods – every member in the population has an equal probability of being selected to be in the sample. In cluster sampling, the population is divided into smaller groups called clusters, and a random sample of these clusters is selected.

Cluster Sampling – Definition & Examples

It’s one of four types of measurement validity, which includes construct validity, face validity, and criterion validity. Replicating the research entails reconducting the entire analysis, including the collection of new data. Differential attrition occurs when attrition or dropout rates differ systematically between the intervention and the control group.

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From each school, you randomly select a sample of seventh-grade classes. SampleYou assign a number to each school and use a random number generator to select a random sample. QuestionPro’s robust suite of research tools provides you with all you need to derive cluster sampling. So choose from over 22 million+ mobile-ready respondents to conduct ongoing market research studies for your research. Since there can be large samples in each cluster, loss of data accuracy in information per individual can be compensated. Cluster samples, whole clusters are chosen to be a part of the sample group.

Here, every individual is chosen entirely by chance and each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected. Each individual is numbered from 1 to 20 and is represented by a specific color . Each person would have odds of 1 out of 20 of being chosen in probability sampling.

It is made up of 4 or more questions that measure a single attitude or trait when response scores are combined. The type of data determines what statistical tests you should use to analyze your data. An experimental group, also known as a treatment group, receives the treatment whose effect researchers wish to study, whereas a control group does not. What is the difference between single-blind, double-blind and triple-blind studies? A quasi-experiment is a type of research design that attempts to establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Single-stage Cluster Sampling

As a rule of thumb, cluster sampling is categorised as related to thoughts, beliefs, and feelings work well in focus groups. Take your time formulating strong questions, paying special attention to phrasing. Be careful to avoid leading questions, which can bias your responses.

Discrete variables represent counts (e.g. the number of objects in a collection). In your research design, it’s important to identify potential confounding variables and plan how you will reduce their impact. Sometimes only cross-sectional data is available for analysis; other times your research question may only require a cross-sectional study to answer it. Sampling bias is a threat to external validity – it limits the generalizability of your findings to a broader group of people. Determining cause and effect is one of the most important parts of scientific research. It’s essential to know which is the cause – the independent variable – and which is the effect – the dependent variable.

Determine Type of Cluster Sampling

This means that you need to use multiple steps to obtain the desired sample, and at each stage, you are left with a smaller and smaller sample group. Carrying forward the previous example, if your sample is too large even after eliminating the clusters that weren’t selected, you may use two-stage sampling to further narrow down the sample. For example, if you’re conducting a study across all cities in the United States, you can use cluster sampling to eliminate certain cities, or clusters, in order to select your final sample group. Researchers conduct online surveys to understand opinions that are relevant to their target audience . Cluster sampling is better used when there are different subsets within a specific population. In contrast, systematic sampling is better used when the entire list or a number of a population is known.


In stratified sampling, a two-step process is followed to divide the population into subgroups or strata. As opposed, in cluster sampling initially a partition of study objects is made into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive subgroups, known as a cluster. Thereafter a random sample of the cluster is chosen, based on simple random sampling. Here, instead of selecting all the elements of a cluster, only a handful of members are chosen from each group by implementing systematic or simple random sampling.

Scientists and researchers must always adhere to a certain code of conduct when collecting data from others. After data collection, you can use data standardization and data transformation to clean your data. You’ll also deal with any missing values, outliers, and duplicate values.

For systematic sampling, it is important to ensure there are no patterns in the group; otherwise, you risk choosing similar subjects without representing the overall population. For cluster sampling, it is important to ensure that each cluster has similar traits to the whole sample. This method is used when different subsets of groups are present in a larger population. These groups are known as clusters and are commonly used by marketing groups and professionals.

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Rather than comb through potentially hundreds of thousands of responses, this technique allows you to narrow responses down to the thousands or even hundreds . Each cluster should have a similar distribution of characters as the distribution of the greater population. Each cluster’s population needs to be diverse, representing every possible characteristic of the identified population as a whole.

Cluster Sampling Guide: Types, Methods, Examples & Uses

Researchers sometimes will use pre-existing groups such as schools, cities, or households as their clusters. Longitudinal studies and cross-sectional studies are two different types of research design. In a cross-sectional study you collect data from a population at a specific point in time; in a longitudinal study you repeatedly collect data from the same sample over an extended period of time. In non-probability sampling, the sample is selected based on non-random criteria, and not every member of the population has a chance of being included.