Accidental sampling (sometimes known as grab, convenience sampling or opportunity sampling) is a type of non-probability sampling which involves the sample being drawn from that part of the population which is close to hand. That is, a sample population selected because it is readily available and convenient. The researcher using such a sample cannot scientifically make generalizations about the total population from this sample because it would not be representative enough. For example, if the interviewer was to conduct such a survey at a shopping center early in the morning on a given day, the people that he/she could interview would be limited to those given there at that given time, which would not represent the views of other members of society in such an area, if the survey was to be conducted at different times of day and several times per week. This type of sampling is most useful for pilot testing.
- Boxill, Ian; Chambers, Claudia; Wint, Eleanor (1997). Introduction to Social Research With Applications to the Caribbean. University of The West Indies Press. Chapter 4, page 36. ISBN 976-8125-22-5.
- Powell, Ronald R. (1997). Basic Research Methods for Librarians (3 ed.). p. 68. ISBN 1-56750-338-1.
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