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When researchers need to select a representative sample from a larger population, they often utilize a method known as random selection. In this selection process, each member of a group stands an equal chance of being chosen as a participant in the study. Random selection refers to how the sample is drawn from the population as a whole, while random assignment refers to how the participants are then assigned to either the experimental or control groups.
It is possible to have both random selection and random assignment in an experiment. Imagine that you use random selection to draw people from a population to participate in your study.
You then use random assignment to assign of your participants to a control group the group Random Selection - Various Artists* - Special Edition does not receive the treatment or independent variable and you assign of the participants to the experimental group the group that receives the treatment or independent variable.
Why do researchers utilize random selection? The purpose is to increase the generalizability of the results. By drawing a random sample from a larger population, the Mis Planes - Coti* - Coti is that the sample will be representative of the larger group and less likely to be subject to bias.
Imagine that a researcher is selecting people to participate in a study. In order to pick participants, they might choose people using a technique that is the statistical equivalent of a coin toss.
They might begin by using random selection to pick geographic regions from which to draw participants. They might then use the same selection process to pick cities, neighborhoods, households, age ranges, and individual participants. Another important thing to remember is that larger samples tend to be more Random Selection - Various Artists* - Special Edition because even random selection can lead to a biased or limited sample if the sample size is small. When the sample size is small, an unusual participant can have an undue influence over the sample as a whole.
Using a much larger sample size tends to dilute the effects of unusual participants from skewing the results. Ever wonder what your personality type means? Sign up to find out more in our Healthy Mind newsletter.
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Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Research Methods in Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; Hockenbury, D. Discovering Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers. Continue Reading. Related Articles. Understanding the Frameworks Used in Developmental Psychology. Understanding Internal and External Validity. Why Selective Attrition Happens in Experiments.
The Pros and Cons of Naturalistic Observation.
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