snowball sampling advantages and disadvantages pdf

Snowball Sampling Advantages And Disadvantages Pdf

By Ben G.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 8:16:52 AM

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Published: 20.04.2021

Conversations about sampling methods and sampling bias often take place at 60, feet. Although these conversations are important, it is good to occasionally talk about what sampling looks like on the ground. At a practical level, what methods do researchers use to sample people and what are the pros and cons of each?

Sometimes researchers need to study a group of population where identifying or finding potential subjects can be difficult because they are either deviant or socially isolated e. Snowball sampling is a technique where a researcher picks the first few samples and either recruits them or asks them to recommend other subjects they know who fit the description of samples needed. This referral technique goes on and on, increasing the size of the respondent population like a snowball rolling down a hill until the researcher has sufficient data to analyze.

Home Consumer Insights Market Research. Snowball sampling or chain-referral sampling is defined as a non-probability sampling technique in which the samples have traits that are rare to find. This is a sampling technique, in which existing subjects provide referrals to recruit samples required for a research study. For example, if you are studying the level of customer satisfaction among the members of an elite country club, you will find it extremely difficult to collect primary data sources unless a member of the club agrees to have a direct conversation with you and provides the contact details of the other members of the club.

Pros and Cons of Different Sampling Methods

If you're interested in researching a specific group of people, like restaurant managers or crime victims, you need to recruit participants for your study. Calling or mailing letters to random people in the phone book would take ages, since most people you contact won't meet your criteria. The solution is snowball sampling, a practice in which a small group of initial participants help researchers find more participants by accessing their social networks. Snowball sampling is convenient, but has significant limitations. The biggest advantage of snowball sampling is that it helps researchers find more participants for studies than would be possible by other methods. A researcher hoping to survey business executives, for example, might struggle to convince busy CEOs to take the time to fill out a survey.

Snowball sampling is a nonrandom sampling method in which the individuals selected to be studied recruit new participants from among their circle of acquaintances. Snowball sampling is often used to access low-incidence populations and individuals who are difficult for researchers to connect with. In theory, it is highly likely that a stamp collector will know other stamp collectors, which makes this an effective method of sampling a group that a researcher would otherwise have difficulty accessing. Naturally enough, the snowball method works especially well when the distinctive characteristic of the population we want to study tends to form groups for social purposes. This is more common than you might initially think. Collectors, athletes and lovers of certain musical genres are the obvious candidates.

Snowball sampling also known as chain-referral sampling is a non-probability non-random sampling method used when characteristics to be possessed by samples are rare and difficult to find. For example, if you are studying the level of customer satisfaction among elite Nirvana Bali Golf Club in Bali, you will find it increasingly difficult to find primary data sources unless a member is willing to provide you with contacts of other members. This sampling method involves primary data sources nominating another potential primary data sources to be used in the research. In other words, snowball sampling method is based on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects. Therefore, when applying this sampling method members of the sample group are recruited via chain referral.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Snowball Sampling

Purposive sampling provides non-probability samples which receive selection based on the characteristics which are present within a specific population group and the overall study. It is a process that is sometimes referred to as selective, subjective, or judgmental sampling, but the actual structure involved remains the same. There are several different purposive sampling types that researchers can use to collect their information. Unlike the other sampling techniques that are useful under probability sampling, the goal of this work is to intentionally select subjects to gather information. Researchers are working with a specific goal in mind through the lens of quantitative research.

Pros and Cons of Different Sampling Methods

Snowball sampling is a non-probability sampling technique that is used by researchers to identify potential subjects in studies where subjects are hard to locate. Researchers use this sampling method if the sample for the study is very rare or is limited to a very small subgroup of the population. This type of sampling technique works like chain referral. After observing the initial subject, the researcher asks for assistance from the subject to help identify people with a similar trait of interest. The process of snowball sampling is much like asking your subjects to nominate another person with the same trait as your next subject.

Snowball Sampling

Snowball sampling is a type of non-probability sampling technique. Non-probability sampling focuses on sampling techniques that are based on the judgement of the researcher [see our article Non-probability sampling to learn more about non-probability sampling]. This article explains a what snowball sampling is, b how to create a snowball sample, and c the advantages and disadvantages limitations of snowball sampling.

In other words, the sample starts small but "snowballs" into a larger sample through the course of the research. Snowball sampling is a popular technique among social scientists who wish to work with a population that is difficult to identify or locate. This often occurs when the population is somehow marginalized, like homeless or formerly incarcerated individuals or those who are involved in illegal activities. It is also common to use this sampling technique with people whose membership in a particular group is not widely known, such closeted gay people or bisexual or transgender individuals. Given the nature of snowball sampling, it is not considered a representative sample for statistical purposes. For instance, if you are studying the homeless, it may be difficult or impossible to find a list of all the homeless people in your city.


If the aim of a study is primarily explorative, qualitative and descriptive, then snowball sampling offers practical advantages. (Hendricks, Blanken and Adriaans.


Advantages of Snowball Sampling

In sociology and statistics research, snowball sampling [1] or chain sampling , chain-referral sampling , referral sampling [2] [3] is a nonprobability sampling technique where existing study subjects recruit future subjects from among their acquaintances. Thus the sample group is said to grow like a rolling snowball. As the sample builds up, enough data are gathered to be useful for research. This sampling technique is often used in hidden populations, such as drug users or sex workers, which are difficult for researchers to access. As sample members are not selected from a sampling frame , snowball samples are subject to numerous biases. For example, people who have many friends are more likely to be recruited into the sample. When virtual social networks are used, then this technique is called virtual snowball sampling.

There are many many different ways to develop your sampling strategy. Judging by the numbers of views these two posts have accumulated it is clear that there is a demand for this type of discussion in a clear and concise manner. It is a form of non-probability sampling and works well based on defined criteria. In my view it maybe best viewed as a complementary strategy, helping to obtain a richer level of depth and detail, and may bring forward elements of research you did not initially consider. It is important however that such an approach is clearly documented and for depth it maybe useful to highlight in your research the original referrer.

Home Consumer Insights Market Research. Snowball sampling or chain-referral sampling is defined as a non-probability sampling technique in which the samples have traits that are rare to find. This is a sampling technique, in which existing subjects provide referrals to recruit samples required for a research study. For example, if you are studying the level of customer satisfaction among the members of an elite country club, you will find it extremely difficult to collect primary data sources unless a member of the club agrees to have a direct conversation with you and provides the contact details of the other members of the club. This sampling method involves a primary data source nominating other potential data sources that will be able to participate in the research studies.

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5 Comments

  1. Jennifer S.

    have traits that are rare to find. In this blog you will read about the types and method of snowball sampling along with its advantages and disadvantages.

    23.04.2021 at 22:59 Reply
  2. Irta C.

    The advantage of this method is that it is efficient in a narrowly defined study population where the study subjects are difficult to identify or reach [.

    24.04.2021 at 17:44 Reply
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    26.04.2021 at 16:27 Reply
  4. CalГ­nica L.

    PDF | Background and Objectives Snowball sampling is applied when samples with and limitations of this research method should be eval-.

    26.04.2021 at 17:52 Reply
  5. Peppin M.

    black market, but also presents a major disadvantage – the absence of objective, quantitative criteria in taking a The “snowball” sampling is a research technique through survey and data he also had the advantage of speaking fluently other languages except English ost-west-trikster.org​pdf.

    29.04.2021 at 08:34 Reply

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