Intensity sampling


Intensity sampling uses the same logic as extreme case sampling – that much can be learned from the ends of the distribution range – but with less emphasis on the extremes.

In composing an intensity sample, an evaluator would select cases that exhibited a particular phenomenon intensely. The sample would not contain extreme cases, however.  

In order to compose an intensity sampling, the researcher or evaluator must first explore the variation within the phenomenon under study. This initial work will then allow the evaluator to sample relevant intense examples.


In evaluating teaching skills, an evaluator could sample and interview students in the top tier of a given class or school. These students would not be the best student of all, but rather the group of students who consistently scored well in tests.

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'Intensity sampling' is referenced in:

  • Framework/Guide

    • Rainbow Framework :