Representative Sample in Psychology: Definition & Example


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A study of 1000 random people concluded that most people own a dog. Why is this not a representative sample?

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1. To do a study of cheerleaders' future success in the business world, which of the following is LEAST relevant when selecting a representative sample?

2. If approximately 30% of a country's population is of Japanese descent, a sample of ___ out of 1000 people are needed to make the sample representative.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Use this quiz/worksheet combo to assess your understanding of the importance of representative samples in research. Practice questions examine the definition of a representative sample and how to identify relevant characteristics.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In this assessment you will be tested on your ability to:

  • Define a representative sample
  • Determine if a sample is a representative sample
  • Distinguish between relevant and nonrelevant characteristics

Skills Practiced

This assessment will test the following skills:

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about research studies in a different light
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information regarding research study populations and interpret it correctly
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast demographics and characteristics
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding representative samples

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the lesson Representative Sample in Psychology: Definition & Example. This lesson covers:

  • Defining representative samples
  • The importance of representative samples in research
  • Examples of representative samples