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What are the advantages and disadvantages of purposive samples?

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Quick Answer

Purposive samples target a very specific population, which can help gain detailed insight on their characteristics, but a disadvantage is the difficulty in reaching a large sample size. Defining the target for purposive samples can be difficult, as all targets may not be known.

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Full Answer

Purposive samples are surveys that are looking to evaluate the characteristics of a large target population. This is because it often isn't representative of the larger population. Often times, purposive samples are referred to as a snowball sample. The best way to gain insight into other members of the target sample is by asking the current person the researcher may be interviewing, creating a snowball effect with the number of targets.

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