Synthetic subjects are often chosen to allow the maximum degree of control over confounds and to be

Synthetic subjects are often chosen to allow the maximum degree of control over confounds and to be

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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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