SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Tipton, E. (2014). Stratified sampling using cluster analysis. Evaluation Review37, 109–139.

Abstract: An important question in the design of experiments is how to ensure that the findings from the experiment are generalizable to a larger population. This concern with generalizability is particularly important when treatment effects are heterogeneous and when selecting units into the experiment using random sampling is not possible—two conditions commonly met in large-scale educational experiments.

This article introduces a model-based balanced-sampling framework for improving generalizations, with a focus on developing methods that are robust to model misspecification. Additionally, the article provides a new method for sample selection within this framework: First units in an inference population are divided into relatively homogenous strata using cluster analysis, and then the sample is selected using distance rankings.

In order to demonstrate and evaluate the method, a reanalysis of a completed experiment is conducted. This example compares samples selected using the new method with the actual sample used in the experiment. Results indicate that even under high nonresponse, balance is better on most covariates and that fewer coverage errors result.

The article concludes with a discussion of additional benefits and limitations of the method.

Journal Article 2: Yang, K., & Banamah, A. (2017). Quota sampling as an alternative to probability sampling? An experimental study. Sociological Research Online19, 1–11.

Abstract: In spite of the establishment of probability sampling methods since the 1930s, non-probability sampling methods have remained popular among many commercial and polling agents, and they have also survived the embarrassment from a few incorrect predictions in American presidential elections. The increase of costs and the decline of response rates for administering probability samples have led some survey researchers to search for a non-probability sampling method as an alternative to probability sampling. In this study we aim to test whether results from a quota sample, believed to be the non-probability sampling method that is the closest in representativeness to probability sampling, are statistically equivalent to those from a probability sample. Further, we pay special attention to the effects of the following two factors for understanding the difference between the two sampling methods: the survey's topic and the response rate. An experimental survey on social capital was conducted in a student society in Northeast England. The results suggest that the survey topic influences who responded and that the response rate was associated with the sample means as well. For these reasons, we do not think quota sampling should be taken as an acceptable alternative to probability sampling.