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Representative Sample

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Representative Sample

 A representative sample is similar to an unbiased market research sample; it is a subset of a population that accurately reflects all members of that population. It is made up of a small quantity of something such as customers, students, materials, products, whose characteristics represent the entire population being studied. Having large numbers of people take part in studies is not enough on its own; the selection of participants is the basis of reliable and meaningful results.

Researchers are often unable to gather data from every single person in a particular population; therefore they rely on a representative sample, which gives an indication of what the population is like, whilst remaining unbiased. The sample needs to remain unbiased to ensure it is not biased towards those more interested in the topic or people who in some way have the same characteristics.

A representative sample is drawn from a population of interest and has demographics and characteristics that match those of the population in as many ways as possible.Some of the factors that are often included in a representative sample include sex, age, level of education, working status and material status. For example, in a work place of thirty employees in which half the employees are male and half are female, a representative sample might include ten males and ten females.

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