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Random Sampling Might Not Be Impossible after All

J. J. Ray
Political Psychology
Vol. 6, No. 1 (Mar., 1985), pp. 141-146
DOI: 10.2307/3791275
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791275
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Random Sampling Might Not Be Impossible after All
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Abstract

Treatises on sampling generally seem to assume that a random sample has been obtained. In real-life sampling, however, this seems never to be so-due to refusals to cooperate on the part of some of those drawn. Most of our statistics are therefore based on mythical assumptions. A way out of this problem would seem to emerge from a recent paper by Heaven (1983) which reports that in a door-to-door survey of white South Africans there were 106 completed interviews out of 110 planned. The present author has also carried out a random doorstep survey in another part of South Africa and obtained similar results. Refusals to cooperate are also very rare in India. It seems that with a little more effort the first truly random sample of a significant human population may be gathered from one of these two societies. Since white South African society is in almost all ways very similar to other Western societies, South Africa may be an important future venue for research where the theory to be tested demands rigorous accuracy in sampling.

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