# Statistical Sampling vs Nonstatistical Sampling: Understanding the Differences

Statistical sampling and nonstatistical sampling are two different approaches used in various fields such as research, quality control, and auditing. While statistical sampling relies on probability-based methods and mathematical calculations, nonstatistical sampling is based on judgment and experience. In this article, we will explore the characteristics and applications of both methodologies.

## Statistical Sampling

Statistical sampling involves the selection of a sample from a population using a random or probability-based method. In this approach, each sampling unit within the population has an equal chance of being selected. The selection process is governed by probability theory and mathematical calculations, ensuring a representative sample.

One of the key features of statistical sampling is its reliance on quantifiable measures. By using probability theory, auditors, researchers, or quality control professionals can determine the appropriate sample size and draw conclusions about the population based on the sample results. Statistical sampling provides a measurable level of sampling risk and allows for statistical inference, enabling professionals to make inferences about the entire population based on the characteristics observed in the sample.

Statistical sampling is widely used in research studies to estimate population parameters, quality control processes to assess product quality, and auditing procedures to evaluate the reliability of financial statements. It provides an objective and systematic approach to sampling, ensuring that the sample represents the population accurately.

## Nonstatistical Sampling

Nonstatistical sampling, also known as judgmental or haphazard sampling, takes a different approach. Unlike statistical sampling, nonstatistical sampling does not rely on random selection or probability-based methods. Instead, the auditor, researcher, or professional uses their judgment and experience to select items they believe are representative of the population.

In nonstatistical sampling, the selection of items is subjective and based on the auditor’s expertise and knowledge of the subject matter. The auditor may choose items that are easily accessible, significant in value, or likely to contain errors. This approach allows for flexibility and tailored selection based on specific circumstances.

One limitation of nonstatistical sampling is the absence of quantifiable measures of sampling risk. Since the selection process is not governed by probability theory, it is challenging to determine the level of confidence in the conclusions drawn from the sample. Nonstatistical sampling does not provide statistical inference, which limits its ability to make population-wide inferences based on the sample results.

Nonstatistical sampling is often used when statistical sampling is not feasible or practical. It may be employed in situations where limited resources, time constraints, or unique characteristics of the population make random selection difficult. While it lacks the rigor and objectivity of statistical sampling, nonstatistical sampling can still provide valuable insights and help professionals make informed decisions.

### Conclusion

In summary, statistical sampling and nonstatistical sampling are two distinct approaches with different characteristics and applications. Statistical sampling relies on random selection, probability theory, and mathematical calculations to ensure a representative sample and provide quantifiable measures of sampling risk. It is widely used in research, quality control, and auditing. On the other hand, nonstatistical sampling relies on judgment and experience, allowing for flexibility in selecting items but lacking quantifiable measures of sampling risk. It is often employed when statistical sampling is not feasible or practical.

Both methodologies have their strengths and limitations. The choice between statistical sampling and nonstatistical sampling depends on the nature of the study, available resources, and specific requirements of the situation.

## FAQs

### What is statistical sampling?

Statistical sampling is an approach that involves the selection of a sample from a population using a random or probability-based method. Each sampling unit has an equal chance of being selected, and the process relies on probability theory and mathematical calculations.

### What is nonstatistical sampling?

Nonstatistical sampling, also known as judgmental or haphazard sampling, does not rely on random selection. Instead, it is based on the judgment and experience of the auditor or researcher in selecting items they believe are representative of the population.

### What is the main difference between statistical and nonstatistical sampling?

The main difference lies in the selection process. Statistical sampling uses random or probability-based methods, ensuring a representative sample, while nonstatistical sampling relies on judgment and experience, allowing for tailored selection based on specific circumstances.

### Which sampling approach provides quantifiable measures of sampling risk?

Statistical sampling provides quantifiable measures of sampling risk. By using probability theory and mathematical calculations, professionals can determine the appropriate sample size and draw conclusions about the population based on the sample results.

### When is statistical sampling commonly used?

Statistical sampling is commonly used in research studies to estimate population parameters, quality control processes to assess product quality, and auditing procedures to evaluate the reliability of financial statements.

### When is nonstatistical sampling typically employed?

Nonstatistical sampling is often employed when statistical sampling is not feasible or practical. It may be used in situations where limited resources, time constraints, or unique characteristics of the population make random selection difficult.

### Does nonstatistical sampling provide a quantifiable measure of sampling risk?

No, nonstatistical sampling does not provide a quantifiable measure of sampling risk. Since the selection process is not governed by probability theory, it is challenging to determine the level of confidence in the conclusions drawn from the sample.

### Can both statistical and nonstatistical sampling be used together?

Yes, it is possible to use both approaches together in certain situations. Professionals may employ statistical sampling for a large portion of the population and then use nonstatistical sampling to supplement the analysis or address specific areas of interest.