Studyspark Study Document

Examining Sampling Methods Essay

Pages:10 (3107 words)




Document Type:Essay



This paper examines three scholarly articles and discusses the sampling technique associated with the studies. The first is a critique by Mayes (2015). The second is a Level VII study by Wetter and Hodge (2016). The third is a Level V study by Pause (2017). These three studies offer different approaches to the sample of data used in each of the studies and thus examining each provides an opportunity to understand how different sets of data may be obtained and what the ethical parameters associated with each one should be.


In the study by Mayes (2015), the study examines the work of bioethicists Peter Singer and Dan Callahan in order to provide a critique of their arguments regarding obesity. The study defines their arguments as essentially that “obesity is not simply a clinical or personal issue but an ethical issue with social and political consequences” (Mayes, 2015, p. 217). The study’s focus is on identifying the problematic parts of the bioethicists approach to the issue of obesity. Because of the nature of Mayes’ (2015) study, the normal ethical considerations related to sampling (such as obtaining consent forms or submitting to an IRB) are not evident in the study. Mayes (2015) presents a critique of two scholars’ recent arguments regarding obesity scholarship.

Thus, the sample in this study is the scholarly work of two bioethicists and the sample is selective in the sense that two specific bioethicists are selected for examination in this study. This is not a general literature review or a systematic literature review of scholarly data on the subject of obesity. Rather, Mayes (2015) specifically sets out to examine the works of Singer and Callahan with regard to their precise position on the issue of obesity.

A reason for the critique is given so as to explain why it is necessary to examine these two bioethicists in the first place. The reason given is that there is already a great deal of scholarly information published on the subject of obesity but that Singer and Callahan have attempted to alter how the academic and medical professional community should view not only the history of literature on the subject but the subject itself. For that reason, Mayes (2015) sets about to identify some of the underlying positions and assumptions of the two bioethicists and show why they are essentially wrong-footed in their approach to the subject of obesity and why their “superficial readings of public health research” are cause for alarm (Mayes, 2015, p. 217).

The issue of inclusion and exclusion criteria is not specifically addressed in the critique, as the sample is not like that of a quantitative sample in which a group of people are included for a certain set of characteristics and those who do not possess the characteristics are dismissed from the sample. Here, the study aims solely to evaluate the theses of the two bioethicists and explore the rationale for why the logic employed in their argument is faulty and contradictory.

Likewise, no sample frame is furnished, as the study is not actually a statistical sample of any group of individuals but rather a critique of two specific works. The characteristics of the two authors whose work is evaluated by Mayes (2015) is that they are making a claim about obesity research and scholarship that is unfounded and in fact harmful, according to Mayes (2015). As Mayes (2015) points out, Singer and Callahan, “in attempting to activate the harm principle both Singer and Callahan rely on superficial readings of public health research to amplify the harm caused by obese individuals and ignore pertinent epidemiological research on the social determinants of obesity” (p. 218). This is the main characteristic that is explored, analyzed and evaluated by Mayes (2015) in the study.

The ethical principles that are reflected in the sampling criteria used for this critique are those that are consistent with any critique of existing literature. The aim is identified, the theoretical approach is discussed, and the analysis is conducted according to the parameters set out at the beginning of the study. Since no participants were included in this study, the ethical principles normally associated with statistical sampling, such as IRB guidelines or the gathering of consent forms from participants, do not apply. The author is making a scholarly, reasoned, and public critique of the works of two bioethicists and publishing it in an academic journal to await response from other medical peers. In this sense, the study follows sound ethical principles in terms of how an academic should go about discussing a piece of scholarship. As for sampling, because the scholars’ arguments were presented in published journals, there is no ethical imperative for Mayes to obtain consent forms in order to name them or discuss their arguments in a separate article in an academic journal.

The data from the sample obtained by Mayes (2015) is presented in a manner that it appears to be applicable to the general public. However, the method in which the sample was obtained is not clearly defined and therefore there is no way for the reader to validate this appearance or to test to see whether there is any case of researcher bias or confirmation bias evident in the study. A lengthier discussion of how the data was gathered, what sample methods were used, how inclusion or exclusion data was applied, and where information was searched would all help to make the study more academically rigorous and appropriate for a scholarly journal publication.

Wetter & Hodge

Wetter and Hodge (2016) provide a Level VII article that relies heavily on a number of statistics and figures presented by expert committees, independent research, and other data sets to present an argument. Every claim is supported by an endnote reference to a study that can be verified by independent review. The sample of data used for the article ranges from scholarly studies published in nutrition journals to news articles from…

Some parts of this document are missing

Click here to view full document

…or if confirmation bias or researcher bias did in fact play a part in which reviews were selected. Since no participants were included in the study through direct involvement, there is no question of any ethical violations in terms of participants not giving their consent or of participant rights being violated. All of the information obtained for the study comes from published articles and there is no indication that any of it was obtained through any set of ulterior means.

The use of an IRB is also not evident and it appears that the researcher set about this article with the intention of furthering the discussion on fat stigma but not in a scholarly or academic way that invites rigorous examination of the author’s approach to the subject, inclusion of data, sampling methods, or approach to the topic. The article could be supported by a better discussion of how material was selected for analysis, as this would give the article more weight and help it to be better received by the academic community. It would also help readers to better evaluate whether the author’s methods were suitable. The other reason why it is important to discuss how a sample is collected is that it allows for other researchers to duplicate the study’s approach and sample method practices. Duplication is one way that the academic community can test the work of other researchers to see whether the claims are validated by external review. That is, after all, the purpose of peer-review in scholarly journals, but Pause (2017) does not appear interested in maintaining that sort of standard.


Sampling methods are important in scholarly research because they help other researchers to see how data was obtained, what sampling methods were used and where information came from. This is helpful because it is the job of researchers to validate and test the claims and arguments of other researchers, and if it cannot be shown how researchers set about obtaining a sample of data, the sample itself can become immediately suspect. This is why it is so crucial that researchers explain clearly in a step-by-step manner without any ambiguity how information is obtained and where it comes from. Other researchers want to be sure that no confirmation bias or researcher bias is evident in the article written by another scholar, and discussing the sampling methods can help to clarify this question. If a researcher does not clarify it then the readers and the academic world are essentially in the dark regarding how information was obtained or why specific information was focused on as opposed to other information sets. This is especially true with regard to information provided in scholarly articles that are information, argumentative or of a level other than that which facilitates the arrangement of information procured from statistical analysis. For a sample to be worthwhile, the parameters used to obtain the data must be identified and must be appropriate for the purposes of the study. For the three studies…

Sample Source(s) Used


Mayes, C. (2015). The harm of bioethics: A critique of Singer and Callahan on obesity. Bioethics, 29(3), 217-221.

Pause, C. (2017). Borderline: The ethics of fat stigma in public health. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 45, 510-517.

Wetter, S., Hodge, J. (2016). Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages to lower childhood obesity. Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics, 44, 359-363.

Cite this Document

Join thousands of other students and "spark your studies."

Sign Up for FREE
Related Documents

Studyspark Study Document

Sampling Strategy and Sample Size for Quantitative

Pages: 5 (1450 words) Sources: 5 Subject: Sports - Women Document: #26896414

Sampling Strategy and Sample Size for Quantitative Research Plan Referred to as modern-day slavery, the criminal and devastating incidences of human trafficking is something that are of responsibility of the entire international stage. This paper will look at the global emergency of human trafficking and will seek to examine the best method of gathering a sample for a quantitative research study. This research study seeks to accumulate the most relevant and

Studyspark Study Document

Developing a Sampling Plan

Pages: 17 (5476 words) Sources: 25 Subject: Teaching Document: #16249528

Sampling Plan Before discussing a sampling plan, there has to be clear and unambiguous definitions of what a sample and sampling are. Despite diversity in the definition of a sample, the best meaning is that a sample could be considered as a subset of a population, with which a researcher would like to use as participants in a given research study (Landreneau & Creek, 2012). According to Deming (1990), sapling is

Studyspark Study Document

Population Sampling Population and Sampling

Pages: 2 (742 words) Sources: 2 Subject: Business Document: #97099044

This means that smaller segments will require lower numbers of respondents. As a result, 20 people were selected based on the small group of executives that can discuss the cultural challenges of working overseas. (Thomas, 2006, pp. 9 -- 14) Describes the Eligibility Criteria for Study Participants The eligibility requirements are all respondents must have worked in an overseas location for at least nine months. This was selected based on the

Studyspark Study Document

Snowball Sampling Vs Random Sampling in Research

Pages: 7 (2209 words) Sources: 7 Subject: Education Document: #75548600

Counterintelligence issues within the U.S.
Research Design and Methods Section
There is no standard ethical framework in counterintelligence, which presents a problem because of the risk of subjective or questionable morality seeping into counterintelligence activities (Valentine 2016). To understand the problem, this research design is qualitative because the subject is exploratory in nature. The aim of the research is to explore by way of comparative case study analysis the counterintelligence

Studyspark Study Document

Analyzing the Study Method

Pages: 12 (3750 words) Sources: 12 Subject: Disease Document: #24146111

data collection and the sources to be utilized for this project. The highlighted gaps in knowledge will be investigated with the help of two research methods. The research methods have been chosen on the basis that they have the best chance of answering the research questions. Lastly, the procedures that will be utilized to analyse the results and also the limitations of the methods will be highlighted. Ethical considerations

Studyspark Study Document

Exposure Testing a Comparison of Methods for

Pages: 6 (1763 words) Sources: 17 Subject: Engineering Document: #92064056

Exposure Testing A Comparison of Methods for Toxin Exposure Measurement: Personal Exposure v Colorimetric Tubes Several incidents in the past decade have created an increased attention to the issue of toxin exposure level measurements in both the public sphere and amongst security and emergency response agencies. The need to accurately measure the presence of a variety of air-borne and other toxic substances in specific environments in an incredibly rapid manner can be

Join thousands of other students and

"spark your studies".