Weighting Methods

As a researcher, sample balancing should be a tool in your kit. If you incorporate it into your research design you won’t only save time, but also cut costs. You won’t need to recruit more respondents than are really needed. Want to know how this technique works?

Let’s take a look at a common variable: gender. In the population we’re studying males and females are equally divided. We want our sample to be representative, so it has to be balanced to the target population. In some cases it might – for various reasons – be much more cost-friendly to recruit more females than males for your survey.

Of course, if you recruit more females you’ll have no problem reporting on the females in the population. How does this work for the males? By balancing the sample – using a method like sample weighting – you’ll still be able to report on both females and males, if you rebalance the sample to match the population size.
In short: getting a 50/50 sample might cost you a lot of effort, a whole lot of time and therefore more money, whilst getting a 60/40 or 65/35 sample potentially only costs you half the resources. If you include sample balancing in your research design this won’t be your problem, it will be your strength.

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Statistical Weighting

When you want to be certain that you’re sample is representative for the population you’ve studied you can use a technique or procedure called statistical weighting. If you’re looking for a representative sample, it has to be of the same composition as the population that you’re studying.

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Statistical Weighting Methods

When you’re looking for a statistical weighting procedure or application, it is very important to remember that the key to a balanced and representative sample is controlling for known biases in comparison with the target population.

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