Sample

What is a 'Sample'

A sample is a subset containing the characteristics of a larger population. Samples are used in statistical testing when population sizes are too large for the test to include all possible members or observations. A sample should represent the whole population and not reflect bias toward a specific attribute.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sample'

A sample is a smaller, manageable version of a larger group. For example, if you wanted to test an investment strategy on past stock data, you would have an enormous number of stocks to test. Instead of testing the strategy on every stock, you would use a sample, which allows you to draw statistical insights from a smaller group of stocks. The sample should not contain any bias, such as the survivorship bias, where you might only use stocks that have survived the entire length of time you wish to test. Choosing a sample randomly should eliminate the possibilities of bias.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How can a representative sample lead to sampling bias?

    Learn how using representative samples alone is not enough to make sampling bias negligible and why elements such as randomization ... Read Answer >>
  2. What percentage of the population do you need in a representative sample?

    Learn about representative samples and how they are used in conjunction with other strategies to create useful data with ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between a representative sample and a convenience sample?

    Learn the difference between convenience sampling and representative sampling and the advantages and disadvantages of each ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between a representative sample and a random sample?

    Explore the differences between representative samples and random samples, and discover how they are often used in tandem ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between systematic sampling and cluster sampling?

    Learn about the differences between systematic sampling and cluster sampling, including how the samples are created for each ... Read Answer >>
  6. What's the difference between a representative sample and an unbiased sample?

    Discover how the different techniques used to select representative samples and unbiased samples are often exploited and ... Read Answer >>
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