Statistics

A researcher is studying the effects of caffeine on exam scores of college students.
In this study:
What would be the population and sample of this research? Extrapolate your views of the advantages and disadvantages of samples and populations to this example.
Why would the researcher want to use a sample or a population in this study?

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  1. We do not do your homework for you. Although it might take more effort to do the work on your own, you will profit more from your effort. We will be happy to evaluate your work though.

    However, I will give you a start.

    If you are generalizing to all college students, they would be the population, while the students measured would be the sample.

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  2. Could you look over my answers and see if I am right or wrong?

    • On the basis of what you learned in the readings, define the terms "sample" and "population" and describe some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a sample compared to a population. Support your reasoning with examples.
    The population is the whole set of values, or individuals, you are interested in. The sample is a subset of the population, and is the set of values you actually use in your estimation.
    So, for example, if you want to know the average height of the residents of China, that is your population, ie, the population of China. The thing is, this is quite large a number, and you wouldn't be able to get data for everyone there. So you draw a sample, that is, you get some observations, or the height of some of the people in China (a subset of the population, the sample) and do your inference based on that.
    • A researcher is studying the effects of caffeine on exam scores of college students. In this study:
    o What would be the population and sample of this research? Extrapolate your views of the advantages and disadvantages of samples and populations to this example.
    The population would be the college students and the sample would be those who use caffeine and those who don't. Advantage of using population your findings would be representative of the population (since your analyses are based on the population). Disadvantages - to collect all of the information for a population it would likely take a great deal of time, which means more effort and money.
    Advantages to samples - you can make reliable estimates of the population with less time, effort, and money. (If the sample is representative of the population of interest). Disadvantages - None, as long as the sample is representative of the population of interest.
    o Why would the researcher want to use a sample or a population in this study?
    The researcher would want to use a sample because it would cost too much money to survey all college students who drink coffee for exams.

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