Probability Versus Non-probability Sampling

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Probability sampling is used to assist researchers in generalizing from observed cases to unobserved cases. As a research method, probability sampling is a method of selection in which each member of a population has a known chance or probability of being selected. If it is the case that all members of a population are similar in all respects, there is no need for sampling procedures. A sample must contain essentially the same variations that exist in the population. The original sampling method must be known to evaluate the quality of a sample and findings based on that sample’s responses and behavior, and findings will only be as generalizable as the sample is to the original larger target population.


The purpose of this discussion is to understand that there are various methods of sampling and that a successful study relies on the thoughtful sample planning to choose the best research method to effectively investigate social processes without having to consider every setting or person. Based on your reading assignment and any additional research needed, address the following in your main post:

  • Explain how sampling as a research method is used for statistical data analysis in criminology or criminal justice.
  • Differentiate probability based sampling designs and non-probability-based designs.
  • Explore whether a non-probability-based design could have been conducted instead with the probability-based design.

Special Instructions:

Create a 1 page essay using APA format according to the instructions above. Place each topic above, regarding the essay in the appropriate order as you construct your essay, positioning each topic as sub-header with an explanation. Use 3 scholarly sources for references; whereas, 2 will be provided for you. Utilize in-text citations.

Sources given to use:

1. Bachman, R. D. Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

2. Mosher, Clayton, Miethe, D., T., Hart, C., T. The Mismeasure of Crime.