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Question
Asked 6th Nov, 2018

What is the permissible margin of error when computing a social research sample size?

I am conducting a research on use of social media to improve students' academic performance (qualitative research). I've got my confidence level, but not sure of the allowable margin of error in such research. I would like to know the maximum acceptable margin of error when computing the sample size?
7th Nov, 2018
David L Morgan
Portland State University
A typical specification would work with percentage from a Yes/No question, so you would have a statement such as: "I want to be 95% certain than my estimate is within X percent of the true value in the population." So, if you choose a 3% confidence interval, that would lead to a sample size where you have a 95% confidence level that your estimate was within plus or minus 3% of the true value. For this example, in a large population you would need a sample size of about 1,000.
But you say that you are doing qualitative research, and the samples there are usually so small that it doesn't make sense to think of them in terms of confidence intervals.
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