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A group of research participants selected randomly from a particular target population. A true random sample is one for which each member of the population of interest has an equal chance of being chosen. Random sampling is an essential initial step when conducting research as it is thought to generate a group of participants who are representative of the population as a whole. Most research samples represent convenience (i.e., not random) samples and leave themselves open to the potentially negative effects of sampling bias. One way to randomly sample from a population is to select every nth individual in a telephone directory to participate in a research study. For more information, see Kane (2002).

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