# Research Methods Probability Sampling

Research Methods Probability Sampling Identify possible sources of bias in each survey: Customers at a supermarket are sampled to determine their opinion about a controversial political issue.

Television viewers are invited to call an 800 number to report their opposition to a bill to increase state gasoline taxes. A large company selects names from a telephone book to sample for a survey on household spending habits.

Administrators at a local hospital want to determine which activity employees would most enjoy as an annual event: a family picnic, an employee golf outing, a dance, or a day at the races. The administrators have one week to survey employees and gather the input it needs to make a decision. Because XYZ Hospital has over 2,000 employees, contacting each employee is not feasible, so the administrators agree to contact a sample of employees.

1. Several administrators have ideas on how to gather this information. Consider each of the following suggestions. Comment on the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
2. Jane suggests that the eight administrators should vote on which activity is most favorable.
3. Bill suggests that each member ask 15 hospital acquaintances which activity they prefer. Therefore, 120 employees would be sampled.
4. Choi suggests placing a suggestion box in the cafeteria so that any employee can participate in the sample.
5. Juan thinks that the administrators should select several nursing supervisors at random and survey nurses on their unit.
6. Chantal knows that the computer in the main office can select employees at random who can be included in the sample.
7. Describe a different method that could be used to generate a sample of XYZ Hospital employees to vote on which activity they prefer. Use what you know about sampling to justify your answer.
8. For each of the following sample methods, identify the groups in the population that are underrepresented.
9. To obtain a sample of households, a computer reporter dials numbers taken at random from a telephone directory.
10. A pharmaceutical manufacturer wishes to survey a sample of physicians, so s/he randomly selects the names of physicians from a medical society list.
11. A college professor wants to know what percentage of young adults, ages 18-22, consider education a top priority. S/he obtains a list of all students on campus from the registrar and randomly selects names from the list.
12. A radio station wishes to examine the proportion of its listeners who voted in the last presidential election. They conduct a poll by asking listeners to call the station.

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