Results from polls and other statistical studies reported in a newspaper or magazine often emphasize that the samples were randomly selected. Why the emphasis on randomization? Couldn’t a good investigator do better by carefully choosing respondents to a poll so that various interest groups were represented? Perhaps, but samples selected without objective randomization tend to favor one port of the population over another. For example, polls conducted by sports writers tend to favor the opinions of sports fans. This leaning toward one side of an issue is called sampling bias. In the long run, random samples seem to do a good job of producing samples that fairly represent the population. In other words, randomization reduces sampling bias.
KeywordsNuclear Power Plant Sampling Bias Subjective Sample Nuclear Plant Popular Science
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