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in statistics, an important property of a sample. It consists in the closeness of characteristics of the sample—such as composition and average values—to the corresponding characteristics of the population from which the sample has been taken in accordance with established rules (seeSAMPLE SURVEY).

A judgment as to the degree of representativeness of a sample can be made in two ways. First, the sample is compared with the population with respect to all the characteristics that have been measured in both. Thus, in order to judge the representativeness of the sample households selected for a survey of household budgets, the distribution of households with respect to workers’ wage levels can be compared with the analogous distribution derived from general statistical data. If general data on the distribution are not available, average wage levels can be compared.

Second, a judgment as to the degree of representativeness can be made on the basis of the variability of the statistics under investigation in the sample. For example, if the data of a survey of household budgets indicate that the per capita consumption of bread varies from household to household much less than does the consumption of meat, then the sample can be considered to be more representative with respect to the consumption of bread than it is with respect to the consumption of meat.

The representativeness of a sample is measured by the sampling error, which is the difference between a sampling statistic and the parameter of the population from which the sample was taken. In practice, however, this difference remains unknown. Consequently, there is used as a measure of representativeness the probable value of the difference, as determined by the methods of mathematical statistics, or the root mean square of its possible values (see alsoSAMPLING).


References in periodicals archive ?
Yet investigators have also used representativeness to explain the opposite intuition, in which people assume that a streak of outcomes is likely to continue.
Such reform is of utmost importance for the UNSC to reflect the representativeness and legitimacy it needs to face contemporary challenges, Tshwane Declaration states.
Since its creation, the NTC has increased its representativeness and
The problem of representativeness in the negotiations of the desert has been addressed in a different context this time, the closest problems having to do with who would represents who.
The Kingdom has already showed its commitment to steering the negotiations and advancing them through the "innovative" proposals, such as representativeness and good governance, presented by the Moroccan delegation during the last rounds of informal talks.
The GAO report found problems with timeliness, representativeness, and quality of the wage data gathered by DOL's wage surveys.
The Dahir also ensures that the compsition of the Council combines broad-based membership, competence and know-how, women's representation and regional representativeness.
These amendments bring principles of representativeness and proportionality, participation of women, ethnic groups, youth in decision making process to nothing.
Information about population representativeness and systematic biases of available VA and non-VA administrative databases could facilitate their use for veteran research.
Moving beyond the representativeness issue, let's consider getting invitations through to sample members.
lt;p>"I believe that the United Nations, if they return to representativeness, could help much in the peace process in the Middle East, as a neutral party capable of telling the truth to the Israelis, telling the truth to the Palestinians, to Iranians, to Syrians and to whoever wants to hear the truth.
Wang Ju-hsuan, minister of CLA, reported that CLA is still studying methods for selecting committee members, who must have sufficient representativeness and public credibility.