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Few terms or concepts in the study of research design are as self-explanatory as convenience sampling. Convenience sampling (sometimes called accidental sampling) is the selection of a sample of participants from a population based on how convenient and readily available that group of participants is. It is a type of nonprobability sampling that focuses on a sample that is easy to access and readily available. For example, if one were interested in knowing the attitudes of a group of 1st-year college students toward binge drinking, a convenience sample would be those students enrolled in an introductory biology class.

The advantages of convenience sampling are clear. Such samples are easy to obtain, and the cost of obtaining them is relatively low. The disadvantages of convenience sampling should ...

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