Making sense of the social world: methods of investigation

I have 13 picture from the book


Surveys, polls and studies are all around us whether on TV, social media, magazines, newspapers, websites–we are inundated. Find a study or poll to use for this exercise and explore the following in at least 2 paragraphs.

First, identify the sampling technique used for the study/poll. Describe how the group got their sample. Next, using your text as evidence, critique the sampling technique used. In other words, was it an appropriate method of sampling? If yes, why? If no, why not? Finally, select a sampling technique from your text that you believe would work better and deliver a more reliable set of results. Why did you select that method? Finally, why does sampling matter when looking at polls and survey results found in popular media? How does this chapter/activity make you think differently about what you need to know in regards to results found in a survey/poll and the sampling technique used?

For example

I found an article on an online website called TheScientist, which conducted a survey amongst its readers. It appears that the article used Purposive Sampling because the element being sampled is being asked to a subset of the population, those working in a scientific field. The group got their sample by asking their readers “to identify product trends and developments in life science reagents and kits” (The Scientist Marketing Team, 2014). Upon reading my text, “Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation” written by Daniel F. Chambliss and Russell K. Schutt, and the section about purposive sampling, I think the article used an appropriate sampling technique. Chambliss and Schutt (2016) say that the informations should be:

Knowledgeable about the cultural arena,

situation, or experience being studied. Willing

to talk. Representative of the range of points

of view. (107)

The article appears to address these three criteria because the article is in a scientific magazine, it is reaching out to its audience, whom is presumably involved in some aspect of the scientific work, and it is asking everyone for their input. The data would be very representative because the conductors of the survey appeared to take every reply from life-science researchers who took the survey.

If I were to conduct this study again, I would use a Cluster Sampling technique. I would use this technique because it looks at a certain population that is intended to be studied. Not only would this technique find a target population, scientists or those that practice science, but it would allow me to gather data from different levels of those in the scientific field. The data would not be solely from the scientists who do the same kind of research or work. When looking at polls and survey results found in popular media, it is important to know what kind of sampling technique was used because it could greatly affect the data. There are different sampling techniques for different data that is being collected, and depending on the question posed, the wrong technique could give the wrong data. Also, the media is probably not looking at the population it is surveying or polling, and the population being looked at is important when researching because you do not want to survey the same kind of people, you want a diverse sample. Popular media is also more than likely trying to get data that supports whatever statement they believe is correct. Upon reading and completing this activity, I know that understanding the different techniques for sampling is very important, especially if you want data that will be most accurate and representative of the sample you are wanting to look into. Having an understanding of what is being asked and what is being researched can have a huge impact on the results of the survey or poll, and using the correct technique can help ensure the most accurate results.

Chambliss, D. F., & Schutt, R. K. (2016). Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation (Fifth). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Lab Shakers: Usage and Trends. (2014, October 21). Retrieved February 20, 2020, from

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