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Nonprobability sampling is a category of sampling that “involves a strategy in which subjects are not selected at random” (Houser, 2018). There are two subcategories to nonprobability sampling which are convenience sampling and purposive sampling. Convenience sampling is when subjects for the sample population “are chosen by the research because they are accessible” (Houser, 2018). Understanding this approach helps put the proper perspective when interpreting findings. For example, one must understand “all convenience samples have less clear generalizability than probability samples” (Jager, 2017). This means that since subjects were specifically chosen, based on ease of access, it is unlikely that they will reflect a sampling of attributes for a full population, and therefore, the results may not be able to be generalized.
However, to overcome this known implication, it is recommended to use a homogeneous convenience sample, which means, subjects “are intentionally limited to specific sociodemographic subgroups” (Jager, 2017). Therefore, by limiting the population from which the sample is selected will allow the results to be generalized to that larger population. One example is to choose a convenience sample from Hispanic males between the age of 25-40. Since the population of the sample is restricted to a specific group, the results can then be generalized for the entire group.
Houser, J. (2018). Nursing research: Reading, using, and creating evidence (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.
Jager, J., Putnick, D. L., & Bornstein, M. H. (2017). More than just convenient: the scientific merits of homogeneous convenience samples. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 82(2), 13–30. https://doi.org/10.1111/mono.12296.
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