## Wordy Definitions (3)

{module [80]}The distribution of a statistic is officially called the sampling distribution of the statistic.

Broken down a little bit further, the distribution of a statistic is all possible values of the statistic for samples of any given size. Try not to get too crazed by all the fancy lingo when first starting out in a Stat course. Check out our section on What's with the Greek? for more definitions broken down.

**A SAMPLE is a sub-set of the **POPULATION**.**

**A SAMPLE is drawn to represent the population, negating the need to conduct an extensive census. **

**An example of a sample would be:**

You decide you want to take a survey of the student body at your school. Without a team of helpers, it will be nearly impossible to survey EVERYONE in a short period of time. So instead, you decide to draw a SIMPLE RANDOM SAMPLE, which you determine is representative of the population.

**Studying and drawing CONCLUSIONS from a sample would be a heck of a lot easier than trying to survey every person (and study every person) in the Population. **

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**OK, so "population" doesn't exactly merit a "wordy definition" on its own. But when we think of "population" we often think of the U.S. population - such as is recorded by the U.S. Census. **

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**This is not too far off-the-mark. According to Wikipedia: "A population can be defined as including all people or items with the characteristic one wishes to understand."**

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**More simply put, a statistical POPULATION is the POOL from which a SAMPLE can be drawn. **

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**POPULATIONS can often be large, making studies overly complex, time-consuming and expensive. This is why we draw a SAMPLE and go to great lengths to find a SAMPLE that is REPRESENTATIVE of the POPULATION. This yields more time-efficient studies conducted on a SAMPLE instead of the entire POPULATION. **