Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marjorie E. Bond
The sampling distribution of a statistic, S , gives the values of S and how often those values occur. The sampling distribution is a theoretical device that is the basis of statistical inference. One use is to determine if an observed S is rare or common. Recall that a statistic describes the sample and a parameter describes the population. First, one has the population. Then, one takes a random sample of size n from the population and finds the value of S . This value is the first value of the sampling distribution of the statistic. Take another random sample of size n from the population find the value of S . This value is the second value of the sampling distribution. This is repeated. The resulting collection of S s is the sampling distribution of S . Figure 1 gives a visual representation of the process of creating S ...