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Accidental sampling (sometimes known as grab, convenience sampling or opportunity sampling) is a type of nonprobability 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. For example surveying the first hundred people passing on a street. 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 (1997). Introduction to Social research With Applications to the Caribbean, Chapter 4, page 36, University of The West Indies Press.
- Powell, Ronald R. (1997). Basic Research Methods for Librarians, 3.