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THE SIMPLE RANDOM SAMPLE 01/27/08 DEFINITION. Statistical inference is a procedure by which we reach a conclusion about a population on the basis of the information contained in a sample that has been drawn from that population . [A sample is a subset , or part of a population.] There are many kinds of samples that may be drawn from a population, but only scientific samples can be used for making valid inferences about a population. The simplest of them is the simple random sample . DEFINITION. If a sample of size n is drawn from a population of size N (N > n) in such a way that every element in the population has an equal chance of being chosen as a part of the sample, then such a sample is called a simple random sample . Correspondingly, every possible sample of size n has the same chance of being selected. [A size of a population (or a sample) is the number of entities in it.] {In general, a procedure used to collect the sample data is called sampling plan or sample design .} The mechanics of drawing a sample
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