Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Random

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2919

Definition

Something that is random is unpredictable and governed by chance. The opposite of random is determined. The chief importance of randomness in research is that by using it to select or assign subjects, researchers increase the probability that their conclusions will be valid. Random numbers are used to select random samples or assign subjects randomly. Random assignment increases internal validity. Random sampling increases external validity.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008