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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


SCHOLTZ, Salome E.. Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience: A review of convenience sampling in psychological research in Africa. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2021, vol.47, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: Articles from three African psychology journals were reviewed to indicate their use and reporting practices of convenience samplesRESEARCH PURPOSE: Method-relevant sections of empirical research reports (qualitative, quantitative, mixed method, etc.) were categorised to establish current method use and reporting practices as well as the methodological standards of convenience sampling in three African psychology journals from 2018 to mid-2020MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Convenience sampling is the most popularly used sampling method in psychology. However, little attention is paid to sampling composition and sampling methods in articles, which influences trustworthiness, generalisability and replication of results. Psychology is also experiencing criticism because of the lack of non-Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic (WEIRD) samplesRESEARCH APPROACH/DESIGN AND METHOD: A systematised review design was followed to purposively collect and categorise articles that used convenience samples as a sampling approach (n = 139) from the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, the South African Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Psychology in AfricaMAIN FINDINGS: General reporting practices included sample size, gender, country, sample source (e.g. university) and age. Other sample characteristics indicate that studies were primarily conducted with South Africans speaking Afrikaans or English. English was mainly used to collect data from primarily black (African) and white (Caucasian) racial groups. Participants were largely female from university or college. Some sample differences such as sample size were also noted between qualitative and quantitative research methods. African journals' reporting practices of sample characteristics were found to include standards and frequencies similar to or higher than those of international journalsPRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Journals should pay attention to their role in influencing the reporting practices and standards of convenience samples and consider incorporating the presented categoriesCONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The use of convenience sampling in African psychology journals is presented along with the potential of African research to provide non-WEIRD samples in psychology. Recommendations for improving the use of this sampling method are highlighted

Keywords : Africa; convenience sampling; external validity; psychology; research methodology; sampling; sample diversity; WEIRD samples.

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