10 Differences Between random sampling and non random sampling

What is Random Sampling?

Random sampling is a statistical technique used in research to select a subset of individuals from a larger population. It ensures that each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample. This method is widely employed in various fields, such as social sciences, marketing research, and opinion polls.

Examples of Random Sampling:

1. A political analyst selects 500 registered voters randomly from a city population of 10,000 to conduct a survey about their voting preferences.
2. A market researcher selects 100 households randomly from a database of 2,000 to gauge consumer behavior and preferences in a specific region.

Uses of Random Sampling:

1. Provides an unbiased representation of the population.
2. Saves time and resources by efficiently selecting a representative sample.
3. Enhances the generalizability of research findings.
4. Reduces the potential for bias in data collection.
5. Facilitates statistical analysis and inference.

What is Non-Random Sampling?

Non-random sampling, also known as non-probability sampling, is a method of selecting individuals for a sample that does not involve random selection. It is primarily used when random sampling is not feasible or practical. This technique relies on the judgment of the researcher and can introduce bias into the sample.

Examples of Non-Random Sampling:

1. A researcher selects participants for a focus group based on specific criteria, such as age, gender, or occupation.
2. An online survey invites respondents to participate, but only those who actively choose to take part are included in the sample.

Uses of Non-Random Sampling:

1. Allows researchers to target specific subgroups within a population.
2. Offers convenience and cost-effectiveness, especially in situations where random sampling is challenging or time-consuming.
3. Enables in-depth exploration of specific phenomena or characteristics.
4. Can be useful in qualitative research, where the focus is on understanding rather than generalizing findings.

Differences between Random Sampling and Non-Random Sampling:

Difference Area Random Sampling Non-Random Sampling
Basis of Selection Selection is based on chance or probability. Selection is based on the researcher’s judgment or convenience.
Representativeness Provides a representative sample of the population. May not accurately represent the population due to potential bias.
Generalizability Results can be generalized to the population with a certain level of confidence. Results may not be easily generalized due to biased sample selection.
Potential Bias Less prone to bias as each member has an equal chance of selection. More prone to bias due to non-random selection methods.
Statistical Inference Allows for rigorous statistical analysis and inference. May limit the extent of statistical inference.
Sampling Error Sampling error can be estimated through statistical methods. Sampling error estimation may be difficult or impossible.
Resource Requirement Requires a larger sample size to attain the desired level of precision. Can work with a smaller sample size, saving resources.
Time Efficiency Random selection can be time-consuming. Non-random selection is often quicker and more convenient.
Research Scope Appropriate for both exploratory and confirmatory research. Commonly used for exploratory research or targeted investigations.
Representative Diversity Ensures a diverse representation of the population. May result in a lack of diversity in the sample.


In summary, random sampling and non-random sampling are two distinct approaches to selecting a sample from a larger population. Random sampling provides a representative and unbiased sample, facilitating generalizability and statistical inference. On the other hand, non-random sampling allows for convenient selection of specific subgroups but may introduce potential bias and limit generalization. Researchers must carefully consider the objectives, constraints, and potential biases associated with each approach before selecting a suitable sampling method.

People Also Ask:

1. Why is random sampling considered more reliable than non-random sampling?
Random sampling ensures that each member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample, making it more representative and reducing the potential for bias compared to non-random sampling.

2. When should non-random sampling be used?
Non-random sampling should be used when it is impractical or impossible to use random sampling. This could be due to time constraints, limited resources, or the need to focus on specific subgroups within a population.

3. Can non-random sampling be used for quantitative research?
While non-random sampling is commonly associated with qualitative research, it can also be used in quantitative research. However, researchers should be aware that the results may have limitations in terms of generalizability and statistical inference.

4. Does non-random sampling always introduce bias?
Non-random sampling has the potential to introduce bias into the sample selection process, especially when the researcher’s judgment or convenience plays a significant role in participant selection. However, by carefully applying appropriate sampling techniques, researchers can minimize potential biases.

5. What is the role of sample size in random and non-random sampling?
In random sampling, a larger sample size is generally required to increase precision and achieve the desired level of accuracy. Non-random sampling, on the other hand, can often work effectively with a smaller sample size due to its targeted nature. However, the appropriate sample size should be determined based on the research objectives and statistical considerations.

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