General Question

ImNotHere's avatar

Sociologists: What kind of sampling method is it when you make an open survey that anyone can answer?

Asked by ImNotHere (441 points ) May 12th, 2011

I made an online survey for a sociological research project. It’s open so anyone can participate in it. (I ask them to specify specific demographic info like age and gender in the questions) It’s definitely not random sampling, nor is representative and I’m really not sure what to call it now that I have to describe my methodology and data collection in my final paper.

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8 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

Qualitative cross-sectional, maybe?

Allie's avatar

It’s cross-sectional if you’re only surveying them once. If you do it again at a later point in time, it’d be longitudinal.
Your method of collecting data is a self-administered survey, meaning people fill out a already complete survey with the same questions for everyone and they answer the questions independently (as opposed to someone interviewing them).
You have to think about whether it’s deductive or inductive. Does it use a generalization to explain/reason specific cases, or does it utilize specific instances to make a broad generalization about something that happens? General -> specific = deductive. Specific -> general = inductive. In other words, deductive is when you have a theory and you look for it in the world. Inductive is when you observe behavior and create a theory.

wundayatta's avatar

Sample of convenience.

ImNotHere's avatar

@wundayatta Why did you bothering answering my question?

@Allie and @bkcunningham Thank you for giving real answers, especially @Allie for the thorough explanation.

wundayatta's avatar

@BringsTheNight Because that’s what it is. It is the correct answer.

Cupcake's avatar

Agree with @wundayatta. Since it is open to anyone, it is unlikely to be cross-sectional, since respondents would all need to have a common characteristic.

ImNotHere's avatar

My apologies. I stand corrected. Good answer, @wundayatta.

wundayatta's avatar

@BringsTheNight I appreciate the apology. We’re good now.

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