Sampling occurs when researchers examine a portion or sample of a larger group of potential participants and use the results to make statements that apply to this broader group or population. The extent to which the research findings can be generalized or applied to the larger group or population is an indication of the external validity of the [Page 1303]research design. The process of choosing/selecting a sample is an integral part of designing sound research. An awareness of the principles of sampling design is imperative to the development of research with strong external validity. In theory, a sound sampling method will result in a sample that is free from bias (each individual in the population has an equal chance of being selected) and is reliable ...
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