Statistics Dictionary

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Simple Random Sampling

Simple random sampling refers to any sampling method that has the following properties.

• The population consists of N objects.
• The sample consists of n objects.
• If all possible samples of n objects are equally likely to occur, the sampling method is called simple random sampling.

An important benefit of simple random sampling is that it allows researchers to use statistical methods to analyze sample results. For example, given a simple random sample, researchers can use statistical methods to define a confidence interval around a sample mean. Statistical analysis is not appropriate when non-random sampling methods are used.

There are many ways to obtain a simple random sample. One way would be the lottery method. Each of the N population members is assigned a unique number. The numbers are placed in a bowl and thoroughly mixed. Then, a blind-folded researcher selects n numbers. Population members having the selected numbers are included in the sample.

 See also: Statistics Tutorial: Simple Random Sampling | More on Simple Random Sampling | How to Choose the Best Sampling Method | Survey Sampling Methods