Which of the following data sets would be suitable to determine the average score on a test in a class with 25 students? (A) Samples or (B) mass population.
To answer this question, we recall that a population is the complete group of people or objects that are the target of a statistical study. And when we analyze mass population data, the results we gain are exact and provide accurate information about the population. A sample, on the other hand, is a group of individuals smaller than the population. And results from sample data provide estimates about the population. Where possible then or feasible, we should use population data as this provides more accurate results.
In our example, the population is the class of 25 students. And we want to know the class average test score. The mass population data then is the test scores for the 25 students. And since these 25 test scores are accessible, we’ll find a more accurate result for the average by using the mass population data rather than taking a sample. The more suitable data set to determine the average score on a test in a class with 25 students then is (B) the mass population data.