Synthetic subjects are often chosen to allow the maximum degree of control over confounds and to be maximally revealing of the phenomenon of interest. Generality is based on understanding what is going on. Additional important considerations include the convenience of using a particular synthetic subject. A rat is simply easier to deal with than a whale or a person. The optimal synthetic subject is also one which is optimized to reveal information on the dimension of interest, e.g., giant axons of squid. This is especially true in pure research settings where the goal is understanding general mechanisms of action rather than developing an analog of a specific applied problem. Alternatively, representative samples can be used. If you measure each of a small population from which you determine a functional relationship, you have therefore measured the entire target population and your
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representative, entire population, representative., entire target population