The number. Your sample size needs to reflect the total population that your research covers. In this case, that’s women from the whole of the UK, a number of about 32 million. Geography. If your sample is supposed to represent the whole of the UK, then it should include people from all over the UK. A major issue in experiments is that the vast majority are done on people from one small area (namely, from a round the universities) and then interpreted to represent the entire world! Socioeconomic Status. This means that if it’s possible social status and income might make a difference in what you are testing, then you should make sure your sample represents as much diversity in that area as possible. In the UK, there’s an established link between income and weight (the richer are thinner), so for any kind of size research you really must do this. Other relevant demographic variables. In this case, age might be a significant variable; for example, we know that size changes much with age. How are you finding your sample? The methods you use to find your sample set can make a hugedifference to results. Imagine if you were doing research on bra fit, and your sample only came from shops who told their unhappy customers to come and see you? If you surveyed women who just made a bra purchase they loved, you could get a completely different result!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Catherine Clavering of Kiss Me Deadly wrote a blog post about why the sampling methods of breast and bra-related studies matter for the calculation of valid statistics on The Lingerie Addict. Think critically before taking the results on any of the studies that reach the news as fact. This is what you should consider before deciding if the statistics are representative of its population.