random sample


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Related to random sample: stratified random sample

random sample

a SAMPLE from a parent population selected by ensuring that each member of that population has an equal chance of being selected. When this is observed the sample should have the same profile of features as the parent population, i.e. it should be a valid representation of it. Data collected by random sampling (assuming the sample is large enough) should reflect the parent population, but methods which are not random (e.g. QUOTA SAMPLING) cannot be relied on to do so. However, it is recognized that samples are not entirely accurate, thus account must be taken of SAMPLING ERROR.

The methods used to achieve random selection may be based on random number tables or, more usually in social surveys, on systematic sampling, i.e. selecting individuals, households, etc. according to their position on a list, such as the ELECTORAL REGISTER, when a sample of every name at a fixed interval, say the tenth on the list, is made. See also PROBABILITY.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
The matched sample means generally fall between the prematch MA and TM means, while the random sample means are similar to the larger, prematch TM sample.
These foundational ideas were developed in the next component of the investigation, namely, exploring random samples from the ABS CensusAtSchool website.
In a simple random sample, every item in a population has the same probability of selection.
The second, by Netmums, interviewed a random sample of 8500 mums between February 18 and 25.
Using student evaluators and a random sample of online instructional sites, this study assesses the usefulness of on-line instructional sites for learning.
The Benchmark Survey was conducted in November 2003 and reflects the responses from 1,001 telephone interviews conducted from a random sample of Indiana households.
Use Benford's Law, a statistical formula for evaluating the frequency of given values in a random sample, to expose implausible numeric data.
The explanation, according to Ioannidis, who teaches at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and TuftsNew England Medical Center, is that the first study was not based on a random sample of the population.
Lee is the first historian to make systematic use of these sources, which were opened to scholars only in the late 1980s, and her careful analysis of a random sample of 600 of these files grounds a wonderfully lucid overview of the nuts and bolts of Chinese exclusion policy.
Now, however, officials say the National Center for Educational Statistics will conduct a random sample from just 300 schools.