Sampling Errors

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Definition of 'Sampling Errors'

Sampling errors occur when a sample is not representative of the population from which it was drawn. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as:

* The sample size is too small.
* The sample is not randomly selected.
* The data collection method is biased.

Sampling errors can lead to inaccurate conclusions about the population. For example, if you want to know the average height of American adults, you could not simply measure the height of the first 10 people you meet. This would not give you a representative sample of the population, because the people you meet are likely to be taller or shorter than average.

To avoid sampling errors, you need to make sure that your sample is large enough, randomly selected, and collected in a way that is not biased. You can also use statistical methods to estimate the size of the sampling error.

Here are some examples of sampling errors:

* A poll of 100 people is conducted to determine the outcome of a presidential election. The results of the poll show that the incumbent president is ahead by 5 points. However, the actual election results show that the challenger won by 10 points. This is an example of a sampling error.
* A study is conducted to determine the effectiveness of a new drug. The study is conducted on a group of 100 patients. The results of the study show that the drug is effective in reducing the symptoms of the disease. However, when the drug is released to the market, it is found to be ineffective in most patients. This is an example of a sampling error.

Sampling errors can have a significant impact on the results of a study or poll. It is important to be aware of the potential for sampling errors and to take steps to minimize them.

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