Sampling penneates nearly every facet of our lives, because "in science and human affairs alike we lack the resources to study more than a fragment of the phenomena that might advance our knowledge" (Cochran, 1977, p. 1). It is a truism that decisions, impressions, opinions, beliefs, and the like are based on partial infonnation. Infonnally, oftentimes unconsciously, we are constantly engaged in some sort of sampling activity. Thus, we do not usually reserve judgment about the food we eat until we have finished consuming it. As Samuel Johnson (quoted by Coser, 1975) put it: "You don't have to eat the whole ox to know that the meat is tough" (p. 698). Similarly, limited observations, bits and pieces of infonnation, are generally resorted to when fonning impressions and drawing conclusions about people, groups, objects, events, and other aspects of our environment.