Convenience sampling is a non-probability sampling technique where subjects are selected because of their convenient accessibility and proximity to the researcher.

Subjects are selected only because they are easier to recruit for the study and the researcher did not consider selecting subjects representative of the entire population.

In all forms of research, it would be ideal to test the entire population, but in most cases, the population is simply too large to include every single individual. This is why most researchers rely on sampling techniques such as convenience sampling, the most common of all sampling techniques. Many researchers prefer this sampling technique because it is fast, inexpensive, easy, and the subjects are easily available.

One of the most common examples of convenience sampling is the use of volunteer students as subjects for research. Another example is the use of subjects selected from a clinic, class or institution that is easily accessible to the researcher. A more concrete example is the choice of five people from a class or the choice of the first five names from the patient list.

In these examples, the researcher inadvertently excludes a large part of the population. A sample of convenience is a collection of accessible subjects or a self-selection of individuals willing to participate, exemplified by your volunteers. Use

Researchers use convenience sampling not only because it is easy to use, but also because it has other advantages for research.

In pilot studies, the convenience sample is usually used because it allows the researcher to obtain basic data and trends concerning his study without the complications of using a randomized sample.

This sampling technique is also useful to document that a particular quality of a substance or phenomenon occurs within a given sample. Such studies are also very useful to detect the relationships between different phenomena.

Criticisms

The most obvious criticism of sampling for convenience is the distortion of sampling and the fact that the sample is not representative of the whole population. This may be the biggest disadvantage when using a convenience sample because it leads to more problems and criticism.

Systematic bias results from sampling bias. It refers to a constant difference between the results of the sample and the theoretical results of the whole population. It is not uncommon for the results of a study using a convenience sample to differ significantly from the results of the entire population. One consequence of having a systematic bias is to obtain distorted results.

Another significant criticism of the use of a convenience sample is the limitation in the generalization and inference of the entire population. Since the sample is not representative of the population, the results of the study cannot speak for the entire population. This leads to a low external validity of the study.

Notes

When using sampling for convenience, you need to describe how your sample would stand out from an ideal sample that has been randomly selected. You should also describe the individuals who might be left out during the selection process or the individuals who are overrepresented in the sample.

In relation to this, it is best if you can describe the possible effects of people who have been excluded or those who are overrepresented in the results. This will allow readers of your research to have a good knowledge of the sample you were testing. It will also allow them to estimate the possible difference between your results and those of the entire population.