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Thread: Help with sampling

  1. #1 Help with sampling 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hi, sorry if this is in the wrong section, but i couldn't find any better to suit!!!

    I am writing my dissertation on basically along the lines of how people learn and react to climate change related knowledge of different education levels and from that how possibley we could change the way people learn about climate change to more effectively reach people with information. To do this i am creating a questionnaire that i need to distribute to many as possible people across the board of education levels.

    As this is obviously just a undergrad project and not a post grad 'serious serious' endeavor i do not have resources nor money for sampling methods more reliable such as random phone calling or door to door.

    What i have done so far is created the questionnaire online which can be accessed by people if they have the link. To advertise to many as people as possible to complete the survey i was thinking of using social networks sites such as Facebook. I would message as many people as possible ask them to complete the survey and then ask them in turn to ask others to do so. This is the only realistic way i can think of, of reaching a large enough audience size and thus gathering a large enough sample size to which i can decipher some useful stats and conclusions from!

    first of all- what do you guys think of this method of sampling- would it effectively be 'respondent driven sampling' or snowballing? And if so is it true to say it is representative of the population that i am seeking to look into aka. education levels? I am worried that the marker may say this is only representative of the people on facebook.

    Secondly- if you guys do think this at all appropriate, what is the best way to star the ball rolling? Is it ok to send it too all the people in my friends list or is that not really suitable?

    I know this is obviously not the best sampling method but it is the only way i can realistically reach enough people.

    thanks in advance for your inputs,


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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    The question is how representative is facebook of your population of interest. I guess your population is everyone, unless you had a subset in mind (a particular country might be a good idea). So how representative is facebook of the general population - i've no idea but i'm sure someone somewhere has published some facebook demographics which you can compare to general population demographics. At least then you can quantify the sampling bias. Just explain it was the best method with the available resources, and how you would have done it with sufficient resources.

    I don't know what course you're doing, but it might be a good idea to explicitly state your hypothesis and outcome measures.

    Last edited by Prometheus; September 19th, 2011 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Washington State
    I doubt facebook is very representative, but could be wrong. Either way you'll need to collect or deduce an approximate of the demographics and describe it, with appropriate caveats in the report.
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