Statistics Dictionary

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Standard Error

The standard error is a measure of the variability of a statistic. It is an estimate of the standard deviation of a sampling distribution. The standard error depends on three factors:

  • N: The number of observations in the population.
  • n: The number of observations in the sample.
  • The way that the random sample is chosen.

If the population size is much larger than the sample size, then the sampling distribution has roughly the same standard error, whether we sample with or without replacement . On the other hand, if the sample represents a significant fraction (say, 1/20) of the population size, the standard error will be noticeably smaller, when we sample without replacement.

See also:   What is the standard error?