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Convenience Sampling Method: Definition, Pros & Cons, and Examples

Aug 2,22

Convenience Sampling

Convenience sampling is a type of non-probability sampling which involves the selection of units (e.g. people, organizations) for research based on their accessibility and convenience to the researcher. According to GoAssignmentHelp research paper writing experts, convenience samples are those that are easiest for the researcher to obtain.

For example, if a researcher wanted to study the effects of a new type of diet pill, she might go to a local gym and ask people who are working out if they would like to participate in her study. The people who agree to participate would then be part of the convenience sample.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using convenience sampling.

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Advantages of Convenience Sampling

Some of the pros of the Convenience Sampling method are:

  • It is less time-consuming and expensive than other methods. Convenience samples can be quickly and easily obtained which makes this method less costly than other methods. It can be used when a researcher has a limited budget and it is easy to obtain a large sample size through this method.
  • It is easy to get started since no special equipment or training is required. Researchers can just go out and start collecting data from the target population.
  • It can be used in both qualitative and quantitative research. In quantitative research like a survey, the researcher can ask a lot of people the same questions and get a large amount of data. In qualitative research like interviews, the researcher can interview a smaller number of people in depth.
  • You can study hard-to-reach populations that might be otherwise unavailable. If you want to conduct research on CEOs of Forbes 500 companies, it might be difficult to get access to them. But if you can find some who are ready to voluntarily participate in your research, then convenience sampling can be a good method to use.
  • It can be used when it is not possible to use other methods, such as when studying a rare phenomenon. Probability-based methods like random sampling are not a good fit in such cases because, in random sampling, each unit has an equal chance of being selected, but there might not be enough units in the population with the rare phenomenon for this to happen.

On the other hand, convenience sampling allows researchers to select units that are more likely to have the rare phenomenon. These units do not have to be selected randomly, so this method can be used even when the population is not evenly distributed statistically.

  • It can be used to get preliminary data that can then be used to design a more comprehensive study. The convenience sampling method is often used in exploratory research as a first step to gather initial data that can be analyzed to see if there are any patterns or trends. This data can then be used to design a more detailed and comprehensive study later.

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Disadvantages of Convenience Sampling

Some of the cons of the Convenience Sampling method are:

  • It is not representative of the population. Convenience samples are often not representative of the target population because the units are selected based on their accessibility and convenience to the researcher, not on any statistical criteria. This means that the sample might be biased and might not accurately reflect the characteristics of the target population.
  • It can lead to errors in research. Convenience sampling can lead to errors in research because the sample is not representative of the population. This can lead to incorrect conclusions being drawn from the data.
  • It can be difficult to generalize the results to the population. The results of a study using convenience sampling can only be generalized to the target population if the sample is representative of that population. If the sample is not representative, then the results cannot be generalized.
  • It can be difficult to replicate the study. Convenience sampling can make it difficult to replicate the study because it is often hard to find the same people who were in the original sample. This can make it difficult to verify the results of the study.

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How to avoid the disadvantages of convenience sampling?

Researchers using this method need to be aware of these disadvantages and take steps to avoid them. These may include:

  • To use a purposive sampling method, which is a type of convenience sampling that uses criteria to select units that are more likely to be representative of the population.
  • Another way is to use a snowball sampling method, which is a type of convenience sampling that starts with a small number of units and then asks them to identify other potential units.
  • A third way is to use a quota sampling method, which is a type of convenience sampling that sets quotas for different subgroups in the population.
  • And lastly, researchers can use a stratified random sampling method, which is a type of probability sampling that ensures that the sample is representative of the population by dividing the population into strata and selecting units randomly within each stratum.

Examples of Convenience Sampling

There are many examples of convenience sampling. Here are a few:

  1. A market researcher conducting a survey on the street about a new product: He uses convenience sampling because he can’t predict who will be interested in the product, so he just asks people who are walking by.
  2. A sociologist conducting a study on teenage drug use: She uses convenience sampling because it would be difficult to get teenagers to participate in the study if she used a random sampling method.
  3. An anthropologist studying a small, remote tribe: He uses convenience sampling because it would be difficult to get the members of the tribe to participate in the study if he used a random sampling method.
  4. A psychologist conducting a study on stress: She uses convenience sampling because it would be difficult to get people to participate in the study if she used a random sampling method.
  5. A pharmacology researcher studying the effect of a new medication on patients in a hospital: He uses convenience sampling because it would be difficult to get patients to participate in the study if he used a random sampling method.

If you also need to come up with a research design and decide whether convenience sampling is the best method for your study, consider using a research consultation service from the GoAssignmentHelp expert.

August 2, 2022

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