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Is 30 people big enough for a sample?

While I was writing up my final assignment draft for the university year, I spotted an article on MSNBC about dress style and fertility:

A study of young college women showed they frequently wore more fashionable or flashier clothing and jewelry when they were ovulating, as assessed by a panel of men and women looking at their photographs.

“They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably,” said Martie Haselton, a communication studies and psychology expert at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study.

I can see the point of the research, but as usual it raises the question for me that, OK, money might be a constraint, but 30 for a sample of, uh, people being tested seems a little small to me.

(If you can't be bothered wading through digital rights management hoops for an earlier version of the paper, bothering to Google comes up with a proof version in the author's online papers list, DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.07.007. If you don't mind wading through, for an earlier similar paper from the same journal, prod your favourite web browser at DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.10.006 via your favourite library journal database or link resolver for some reading.)


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