1. Introduction

  1. Steven K. Thompson

Published Online: 10 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch1

Sampling, Third Edition

Sampling, Third Edition

How to Cite

Thompson, S. K. (2012) Introduction, in Sampling, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch1

Author Information

  1. Simon Fraser University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 FEB 2012

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Walter A. Shewhart and
  2. Samuel S. Wilks

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470402313

Online ISBN: 9781118162934



  • estimation;
  • sampling;
  • sampling errors;
  • statistical model


This introductory chapter of the book discusses the basic ideas of sampling and estimation. In the basic sampling setup, the population consists of a known, finite number of units—such as people or plots of ground. Only a sample of the units in the population are selected and observed. The procedure by which the sample of units is selected from the population is called the sampling design. The basic sampling view assumes that the variable of interest is measured on every unit in the sample without error, so that errors in the estimates occur only because just part of the population is included in the sample. Such errors are referred to as sampling errors. But in real survey situations, nonsampling errors may arise also. A “robust” approach to sampling uses models to suggest efficient procedures while using the design to protect against departures from the model.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

estimation; non-sampling errors; sampling; sampling errors