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Convenience Sampling – Definition, Examples, Pros And Cons

HomeEducationConvenience Sampling - Definition, Examples, Pros And Cons

Sampling starts with choosing individuals that can best represent a population. In this regard, sample selection must be carried out by deciding on the best population for a study. Additionally, sampling size and frame selection are also some important steps that a researcher has to follow while conducting sampling for research. To achieve different aims, a researcher has to choose an appropriate technique of sampling that may be either probability sampling or non-probability sampling. This article will discuss the most common type of sampling, namely ‘convenience sampling- a type of non-probability sampling, its definition, examples, pros, and cons. 

Convenience sampling- A brief introduction:

Convenience sampling is a common form of non-probability sampling that focuses on obtaining information from a sample with “convenient” access to the researcher. This sampling method does not require the participants to be selected based on any criteria like age and demographic factors. Instead, the researcher can subjectively select the people who are willing to participate in the study.

It means you do not have to face any restrictions while collecting sampling for a study; you can find the sample anywhere. It simply aims to bring ease to the research sampling process. Therefore, this sampling technique is also named collateral sampling, chance sampling, grab sampling, or availability sampling. Thus, you can use this sampling technique in your research project for the sake of convenience in the hypothesis generation, developing opinions, and carrying on a pilot study before the research. Thus, by definition, convenience sampling is:

It is a type of non-probability sampling that allows researchers to select samples for inclusion that are easy to collect.

There is no hard and fast rule related to the selection of samples by using the convenience technique.

Examples of convenience sampling:

Example # 1:

Suppose you are conducting research to find the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase in the blood serum of atherosclerotic patients admitted to the local health care center near your hometown. If you feel it is convenient to collect the blood samples of 100 patients, then this type of sampling will be called convenience sampling.

Example # 2:

Suppose an industrialist makes a plan to launch a new chain of fast food corners, and he selects the top five cities of London to serve quality services. Then, it will be convenience sampling, as the owner selected cities only by keeping in view his own priorities.

Example # 3:

Have you ever seen entertaining videos in which hosts do funny pranks on the public? How do these hosts select the people to play a prank on? Of course, by chance, by availability, or by convenience; thus, it is also the most appropriate example of convenience sampling.

Pros:

As the name suggests, it is convenient for researchers to collect sampling using the convenience sampling technique, so being convenient is among the most important advantage of this type of sampling. Furthermore, the following is a list of a few additional ones:

  1. Quick results: You do not need to spend time on making inclusion or exclusion criteria for research. Thus, you can reach the desired results as early as possible.  
  2. Economical method:  It allows you to even select a population in your vicinity, so it reduces traveling and other charges to make this method cost-effective.
  3. Easy to use: It would not be wrong to say that this method of sampling is researcher-friendly. It gives researchers the liberty to select and collect samples where and when needed.

Cons:

In reviewing a scientific method, it is important to see both sides of the picture to better judge its effectiveness. Thus, the following is a brief description of a few limitations or cons of this non-probability method of sampling.

  1. Weak In Selecting The Best Representatives Of A Population:  Sometimes, for the sake of the researcher’s convenience, the overall purpose of the research, as well as the generalisation of research, is compromised. The results of convenience sampling are difficult to generalise as the selected members of a population may or may not best represent the whole population under study. 
  2. Biased Results: The results of this type of sampling have relatively high associated biasness as it focuses on a few important units instead of selecting all. Moreover, extraction of results by reviewing a matter from one or two potential aspects while neglecting all others is the leading cause of biasness in results. However, for dissertation research, you must find the best suitable method of sampling that need you to search for all possible techniques that can help you the most. In case of any misunderstanding and confusion, you must feel free to contact dissertation writing services.  

Final Thoughts:

All in all, sampling is the most critical phase of research, irrespective of the discipline. The reason behind this claim is that the quality of the data collected from the given population determines the reliability as well as the validity of the results. Thus, the article has provided all the necessary information that a researcher must know before choosing convenience sampling as a technique to reach his/her target audience.

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