Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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LEARNING CURVE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 102-103

Sample size and its importance in research


Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, Department of Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neurotoxicology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chittaranjan Andrade
Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, Department of Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neurotoxicology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_504_19

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The sample size for a study needs to be estimated at the time the study is proposed; too large a sample is unnecessary and unethical, and too small a sample is unscientific and also unethical. The necessary sample size can be calculated, using statistical software, based on certain assumptions. If no assumptions can be made, then an arbitrary sample size is set for a pilot study. This article discusses sample size and how it relates to matters such as ethics, statistical power, the primary and secondary hypotheses in a study, and findings from larger vs. smaller samples.


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