APPLICABILITY OF PROBABILITY SAMPLINIG TECHNIQUE IN AFRICAN CONTEXT WRITTEN BY NWOSU KINGSLEY.U. M.Sc (CRIMINOLOGY), NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE. OCTOBER, 2012.
Traditionally, probability method involves quantitative form of research which makes use of statistical tools in data presentation and analysis. Sampling is part and parcel of probability technique which involves the process of selecting a sub-set of individuals from within a population to estimate the characteristics of the whole population (Lindsey and Beach 2002). This is because; researchers rarely survey the entire population taking into consideration, the cost, time, and energy. Therefore, to avoid going into a big task, the sample of the entire population is taking to represent the whole. In doing this, the researcher takes into consideration; the validity and the reliability of the sample size.
Probability sampling therefore is a method of selecting the elements that would be a representative of the entire population in such a manner that all the elements within the population are given an equal opportunity of being included in the sample. The emphasis here is that each element of the population stands a chance of being included in the sample and not that each element must be included in the sample (Ezeah: 2004). One great importance of this method is that the data collected from the sample can be generalized to the entire population “external validity” (Lindsey and Beach 2002).
Probability sampling technique deals with a large population of individuals and thus makes use of different methods such as simple random sampling, stratified random sampling, systematic, and Cluster sampling methods. Under this method, it is important that the researcher obtains an epistemological knowledge and ethical foundations involved in its application to research process and also know the appropriate characteristics of the universe of which the sample would be drawn from. Also, the use of simple random technique in probability sampling demands that the researcher provides a sample from frame for the sampling procedures “a list of the entire universe under study” (Muzammil 2012).
However, the applicability of probability sample demands a great deal of carefulness in dealing with every level and process concerning sampling. Therefore, the question one should ask taking into consideration all the rigorous processes involved and the environment of research area is; how applicable is probability sampling technique in African context especially in Nigeria? This is a serious question because, probability technique involves the researcher taking into account all the socio-cultural elements that can influence the data of a research in a negative way; bearing also in mind the general ethics of social science research process.
In the light of the above, this paper is poised to evaluate how applicable probability sampling technique is in African context considering all the factors that can hinder its validity and reliability.