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2.1 Selecting Sample Size for Estimating Population Mean and Total STAT 506 - Sampling Theory an

# 2.1 Selecting Sample Size for Estimating Population Mean and Total STAT 506 - Sampling Theory an

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STAT 506 - Sampling Theory and Methods ANGEL Department of Statistics Eberly College of Science Home // Lesson 2: Confidence Intervals and Sample Size 2.1 Selecting Sample Size for Estimating Population Mean and Total Submitted by gfj100 on Mon, 11/30/2009 - 18:31 Unit Summary Sample size for estimating a population mean Sample size for estimating a population total How large is a sample size that is large enough for estimating the population mean? If is an unbiased, normally distributed estimator of θ, then Note: because we know that is normal, we can thus use the z distribution. And, if we specify this α we can then try to find out the sample size large enough to achieve the goal of your experiment. So, we need to ask, "What is the goal of your experiment?" This is perhaps the most important question asked as a part of your experiment. Let's think of an example. What if we were interested in estimating the average weight of Penn State male

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students. How many samples should we plan on taking? We want to estimate this mean. What do we need to consider? 1. The variability of the data, the measure that you are estimating is your first concern. This directly affects how many samples you will need. 2. The second thing that you need to think about is the type of conclusion that you would like to report. That is, you need to specify the 1 - α value that you are happy with. 3. How accurate (precision) do you want this estimate to be? You thus need to specify the margin of error.
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