Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. When the defined population with the sample is unavailable, this method can prove effective in finding the sample subjects. He has worked for publication houses like Edward Elgar Publishing and Nelson Thornes in Gloucestershire, England. A researcher aiming to. Snowball sampling is convenient, but has significant limitations. (2010), The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics, Cambridge University Press. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers. What the sampler may end up with is a small subgroup of the entire population. Ethically, the study participants should not be asked to identify other potential participants. Once the original subject has been studied, the researcher asks the subject to find people with similar traits to expand the sampling group. Snowball sampling is also known as cold-calling, chain sampling, chain-referral sampling, and referral sampling. Snowball sampling is defined as a non-probability sampling technique in which the samples have traits that are rare to find. In statistical research, snowball sampling is a non-probability method used for rare studies or research limited to rare small groups of population. https://www.statisticshowto.com/snowball-sampling/, Simple Random Sample: Definition and Examples. These steps are repeated until the needed sample size is found. Ask those subjects to recruit other people (and then ask. Calling or mailing letters to random people in the phone book would take ages, since most people you contact won't meet your criteria. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. Snowball sampling can be a tricky ethical path to navigate. It allows for studies to take place where otherwise it might be impossible to conduct because of a lack of participants. Online Tables (z-table, chi-square, t-dist etc.). A researcher hoping to survey business executives, for example, might struggle to convince busy CEOs to take the time to fill out a survey. It is used where potential participants are hard to find. This pattern is continued until enough number of subjects are available for the sample. The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Self-Completion Questionnaire, Advantages & Disadvantages of Types of Non-Experimental Research, MBA Knowledge: Sampling Methods in Research. The technique works like a chain referral system where existing study subjects recruit additional subjects from their contact groups. For example, psychologists may use snowball sampling to study members of marginalized groups, such as homeless people, closeted gay people, or people who belong to a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. However, other study participants would likely know other people in the same situation as themselves and could inform others about the benefits of the study and reassure them of confidentiality. 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. Snowball sampling is based on researching one subject and using the subject to recruit more members for sampling. When individuals are named, it’s sometimes called “cold-calling”, as you are calling out of the blue. For example, the casual illegal downloader vs. the for-profit downloader. The reason being the original subjects are tasked with adding to the sampling pool by nominating people they know. Advantages of Snowball Sampling. Exponential Non-Discriminative Snowball Sampling:In this type, the first subject is recruited and then he/she provides multiple refe… Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Snowball sampling is based on researching one subject and using the subject to recruit more members for sampling. NEED HELP NOW with a homework problem? As a result, the technique can result in biased samples. The process is cheap, simple and cost-efficient. After the first set of original subjects is researched, the researcher may lose control over the sampling method. Then, the subject is used to find more sample subjects through friends, family and acquaintances. Then, the subject is used to find more sample subjects through friends, family and acquaintances. Need help with a homework or test question? For example, many sexual assault survivors are reluctant to talk about their experiences and avoid identifying themselves as survivors. 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. This causes the sample group to keep growing similar to how a snowball grows. Since this technique uses existing social relationships, researchers have a better chance to recruit new participants. An Example of Snowball Sampling: Snowball sampling is an effective way to find people who belong to groups that are difficult to locate. Snowball sampling method is generally used for low incidence or rare population groups, where sampling poses a big problem. In this blog you will read about the types and method of snowball sampling along with its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you’ll probably be in contact with an institutional review board (like this one) or another department similarly involved in ethics. Another problem is that representatives of the sample are not guaranteed because the researcher has no idea of the true distribution of the sample. After the first set of original subjects is researched, the researcher may lose control over the sampling method. Everitt, B. S.; Skrondal, A. In some cases, sampling of members of a special population segment are require, but prove difficult to locate. What are the advantages & disadvantages of purposive samples? in journalism and a M.A. It involves finding one subject and researching the subject. The researcher is not spending time and money trying to find the sample subjects; rather they are being brought to the researcher. Some people may not want to be found. One problem with snowball sampling is that participants' social networks aren't random. In the snowball sampling method, the researcher actually has very little control over the sampling method. Snowball sampling can present significant ethical problems, especially if the research topic is sensitive or personal. Snowball sampling is where research participants recruit other participants for a test or study. This sampling method is also useful when researching groups, for example a specific recruitment pattern in an organisation. Even You Can Learn Statistics and Analytics: An Easy to Understand Guide to Statistics and Analytics 3rd Edition. Snowball sampling may help you discover characteristics about a population that you weren’t aware existed. Snowball sampling method is generally used for low incidence or rare population groups, where sampling poses a big problem. Before deciding to pursue an advanced degree, he worked as a teacher and administrator at three different colleges and universities, and as an education coach for Inside Track.