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CORRESPONDENCE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 487

External validity & non-probability sampling


Department of Community Medicine, Dr RP Government Medical College, Tanda 176 001, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication24-Jun-2015

Correspondence Address:
Sunil Kumar Raina
Department of Community Medicine, Dr RP Government Medical College, Tanda 176 001, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.159311

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How to cite this article:
Raina SK. External validity & non-probability sampling. Indian J Med Res 2015;141:487

How to cite this URL:
Raina SK. External validity & non-probability sampling. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Nov 19];141:487. Available from: http://www.ijmr.org.in/text.asp?2015/141/4/487/159311

Sir,

Apropos of the article on determinants of Indian physicians satisfaction and dissatisfaction from their job published recently [1] , the authors deserve credit for their efforts. As the title and the conclusions suggest, the aim was to study the job satisfaction and dissatisfaction levels among Indian physicians and compare it with levels across the world. The authors conclude that "the pattern of high proportion of satisfaction of the Indian physicians reported was similar to the physicians' satisfaction working particularly in the developed countries". I have a few concerns here as the methodology used for the purpose of this study may score low on external validity and, therefore, making a conclusion based on non-probability (convenience sampling in this case) sampling may not be correct. This keeping in view the fact that the two institutions chosen for the purpose of this study are not actually representative of institutions across India. One of the institutions chosen is a postgraduate institute only and fully autonomous and the second institution is a central government medical college. Now compare these institutions with other medical institutions across India [private, government ( State and central), undergraduate, and undergraduate and postgraduate both, autonomous and non-autonomous, rural and urban] and we can understand the limits in generalizing the findings of this study to medical colleges across India.

The question that needs to be addressed here is to what extent the results of a study conducted in one setting can be generalized to other settings. As pointed above, the situation in this study is not representative of other settings. Further, this representativeness can be expressed in two ways: experimental realism and mundane realism. Experimental realism is the degree to which participants' psychological experience of a situation is representative of the experience they would have in other situations [2] . As is obvious, working in the above mentioned institutions is psychologically very different from other institutions across India. Experimental realism asks: Are participants feeling time pressure, or social rejection, or conformity pressure at levels similar to others? Mundane realism is the degree to which the physical setting in a study superficially resembles other physical settings [2] , again questionable in this study. Though the study has been done wonderfully well in its limited settings but may not be used as a surrogate for Indian physicians.

 
   References Top

1.
Sharma M, Goel S, Singh SK, Sharma R, Gupta PK. Determinants of Indian physicians' & dissatisfaction from their job. Indian J Med Res 2014; 139 : 409-17.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
External Validity - Hanover College Psychology Department. Available from: psych.hanover.edu/classes/Research Methods/.../External_Validity.pdf, accessed on April 25, 2015.  Back to cited text no. 2
    




 

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