Bias in Research Bias is the distortion of results by a variable. Common types of bias include sampling bias, subject bias, and experimenter bias. Sampling Bias Sampling bias occurs when the sample studied in an experiment does not correctly represent the population the researcher wants to draw conclusions about. Example: A psychologist wants to study the eating habits of a population of New Yorkers who have freckles and are between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. She can’t possibly study all people with freckles in that age group, so she must study a sample of people with freckles. However, she can generalize her results to the whole population of people with freckles only if her sample is representative of the population. If her sample includes only white, dark-haired males who are college juniors, her results won’t generalize well to the entire population she’s studying. Her sample will reflect sampling bias.
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