Representative Sample

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Definition of 'Representative Sample'

A representative sample is a group of people or things that are chosen to represent a larger group. The sample should be chosen in a way that ensures that it is representative of the larger group. This means that the sample should be similar to the larger group in terms of important characteristics, such as age, gender, race, income, and education level.

There are a number of different ways to choose a representative sample. One common method is to use random sampling. This means that each member of the larger group has an equal chance of being selected for the sample. Another method is to use stratified sampling. This means that the larger group is divided into smaller groups, or strata, and then a random sample is taken from each stratum.

Once a representative sample has been chosen, it can be used to make inferences about the larger group. For example, if a researcher is interested in studying the attitudes of American voters, they could choose a representative sample of American voters and survey them about their attitudes. The results of the survey could then be used to make inferences about the attitudes of all American voters.

It is important to note that a representative sample is not always perfect. There is always the possibility that the sample is not truly representative of the larger group. However, if the sample is chosen carefully, the chances of this happening are reduced.

Representative samples are used in a variety of fields, including marketing, public opinion polling, and social science research. They are an important tool for researchers who want to make inferences about a larger group of people or things.

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