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Related to representative sample: Sample size
representative sample[¦rep·ri¦zen·təd·iv ′sam·pəl]
In testing or valuation of a mineral deposit, a sample so large and average in composition as to be considered representative of a specified volume of the surrounding ore body.
A sample whose characteristics reflect those of the population from which it is drawn.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
representative samplea SAMPLE which is (or is assumed to be) a true reflection of the parent population, i.e. has the same profile of attributes, e.g. age structure, class structure, educational background. A representative sample is achieved by ensuring that its selection is entirely random (see RANDOM SAMPLE). It is essential that a sample is representative in order that the conclusions drawn from its study can be accepted as valid information about the parent population. See also SAMPLING ERROR, SAMPLING FRAME, PROBABILITY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000