Power Calculations and Sample Size Determination

  • Richard Valliant
  • Jill A. Dever
  • Frauke Kreuter
Part of the Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences book series (SSBS, volume 51)


In Chap. we calculated sample sizes based on targets for coefficients of variation (CV s), margins of error, and cost constraints. Another method is to determine the sample size needed to detect a particular alternative value when testing a hypothesis. For example, when comparing the means for two groups, one way of determining sample size is through a power calculation. Roughly speaking, power is a measure of how likely you are to recognize a certain size of difference in the means. A sample size is determined that will allow that difference to be detected with high probability (i.e., a detectable difference). Power can also be determined in a one-sample case where a simple hypothesis is being tested versus a simple alternative. Using power to determine sample sizes is especially useful when some important analytic comparisons can be identified in advance of selecting the sample. Although not covered in most books on sample design, most practitioners will inevitably have applications where power calculations are needed.


Sample Size Calculation Simple Random Sample Rejection Region Scholastic Aptitude Test Determine Sample Size 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Valliant
    • 1
  • Jill A. Dever
    • 2
  • Frauke Kreuter
    • 3
  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.RTI InternationalWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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