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    Sampling: Importance, challenges, and validity

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    What is the purpose of sampling? What are some concerns and dangers of sampling? How important is the sample design to data validity? Explain. Provide an example where a sample might misrepresent data validity.

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    Ultimately when we conduct a study, we want to draw conclusions about our population. If you're developing a program to help people stop smoking, you hope it will work for all smokers. If you're developing a new type of contact lens that will be more comfortable, you hope it will be more comfortable for all people who wear contact lenses. That being said, it's not very feasible to track down every contact lens wearer (or smoker) in the province/country/world. It would take far too much time and money! So instead, we collect data on a sample of people that we've selected from that population of people who live in our province/country/world. We then generalize the results from that sample to our population. As long as we've drawn a sample of people who represent our population well, we should expect that our findings will generalize well to the population; that is, that people in our population who weren't in our sample will respond in the same way that people in our sample did. So basically, we ...