# Sample - Samples And Populations, Random Samples, Sample Size And Accuracy

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literature grade english observations

A sample is a subset of actual observations taken from any larger set of possible observations. The larger set of observations is known as a *population*. For example, suppose that a researcher would like to know how many hours the average 11th grade student in the United States spends studying English literature every night. One way to answer that question would be to interview a select number (say 50, 500, or 5,000) of 11th grade students and ask them how many hours they spend on English literature each evening. The researcher could then draw some conclusions about the time spent studying English literature by all 11th grade students based on what he or she learned from the sample that was studied.

## Additional Topics

Sampling is a crucial technique in the science of statistical analysis. It represents a compromise between a researcher collecting all possible information on some topic and the amount of information that he or she can realistically collect. For example, in the example used above, the ideal situation might be for a researcher to collect data from every single 11th grade student in the United State…

The key to using samples in statistical analysis is to be sure that they are random. A random sample is one in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample. For example, a researcher could not choose 11th grade students for a sample if they all came from the same city, from the same school, were of the same sex, or had the same last name. In such cases,…

The choice a researcher always has to make is how large a sample to choose. It stands to reason that the larger the sample, the more accurate will be the results of the study. The smaller the sample, the less accurate the results. Statisticians have developed mathematical formulas that allow them to estimate how accurate their results are for any given sample size. The sample size used depends on …

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