The Problem of Sample Representativeness for Conducting Experimental and Broad Psychological Research
The article is devoted to the problem of creating a representative sample of respondents in the course of experimental and broad psycholinguistic research, first of all, its quantitative composition and structure. The primary method of research was the psycholinguistic experiment, the main stage of which is a free association experiment with "playfulness" as a stimulus word. The use of mathematical and statistical procedures confirmed the hypothesis and helped to achieve the goal. The hypothesis of the experimental psycholinguistic research into "playfulness" stimulus as a stable personality trait was to prove the effectiveness of applying specific strategies to determine the representative quantitative composition of samples by means of comparing the frequency of the studied characteristics. In terms of theoretical substantiation, the approaches to the determination of the quantitative composition of the experimental sample and the statistical calculations based on the results of the practical research into associative reactions to the stimulus "playfulness", it is proved that as the size of the sample decreases, the distinction grows, meaning that groups with fewer respondents do not reflect all the characteristics of the general population. The assumption was proved that the number of 100 people or close to that could not meet this requirement in the case of extensive research, the minimum size of the sample should be about 400-500 people, though this number is not always sufficient either. The sufficient quantitative composition of the experimental sample, in large general populations, varies from 400 to 1500 persons and depends on the quantitative and qualitative structure of the general population and the organizational peculiarities of the research. So, the sample should be enough to meet the requirement, which is to reflect the main tendencies and characteristics of both the general population and the purpose of the study.
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