For example, if the units of interest are people, they can be defined by certain attributes/traits (e.g., age, gender, occupation, health-status, etc.), experiences (e.g., an assault, the break-up of a marriage, a trip to a concert, etc.), attitudes (e.g., supporters of a certain political party, pro-choice in the abortion debate, etc.), and so forth.
A sample may be defined by a small/ large number of characteristics, a narrow/wide range of characteristics, and so forth.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using total population sampling.
These are discussed in turn below: Since total population sampling involves all members within the population of interest, it is possible to get deep insights into the phenomenon you are interested in.
If the list of the population is incomplete or a large (or even small) proportion of members choose not to take part in the research, the ability of the total population sample to allow the researcher to make analytical generalisations can be severely compromised.
To learn more about other purposive sampling techniques, see the article: Purposive sampling.When using total population sampling, it is most likely that these units will be people.In any piece of research, units have certain characteristics that help to define them.With such wide coverage of the population of interest, there is also a reduced risk of missing potential insights from members that are not included.Whilst total population sampling is a purposive sampling technique (i.e., a type of non-probability sampling), which means that it is not possible to make statistical generalisations about the sample being studied, the use of total population sampling does make it possible to make analytical generalisations about the population being studied.Since purposive sampling is just one type of non-probability sampling, see the article: Non-probability sampling.In the methodology section of your dissertation you will be required to provide details about both the population and sample of your study.In sampling, units are the things that make up the population.Units can be people, cases (e.g., organisations, institutions, countries, etc.), pieces of data, and so forth.These sections are a common stumbling block for many students, as students often fail to properly distinguish between their population and their sample.So, what exactly is the difference between the two?