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Encyclopedia Entry

Purposive Sampling

Janice M. Morse

Purposive sampling in qualitative inquiry is the deliberate seeking out of participants with particular characteristics, according to the needs of the developing analysis and emerging theory. Because, at the beginning of the study, the researcher does not know enough about a particular phenomenon, the nature of the sample is not always predetermined. Often, midway through data analysis, the researcher will realize that he or she will need to interview participants who were not envisioned as pertinent for the study at the beginning of ...

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