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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Attn: JMS, Re: No Hugo for *SiL*
    Date: 9/18/1999 4:07:00 PM  

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(5 messages)

>You can get some data out of it, but it's simply not an "utterly
>uncontestable fact" that a greater sample size confers more accuracy
>on a self-selected survey.

What I was responding to was the statement that more responses made a survey
*less* accurate. Surely you're not saying that that's the case? And yes, a
larger sampling universe *does* make a survey more accurate within that
preselected universe. As long as the sampling within that universe is random
-- and there's a wide range of diversity withih that preselected universe --
the survey is accurate.

For instance, phone surveys preselect anyone who has a phone. At one point,
there were still not a lot of phones in common use in the hinterlands, but that
doesn't disqualify the poll. A street corner poll preselects those who happen
to be walking by the street corner.

Now, if you're going to preselect for some particular specific variable -- all
asians, for instance, or only people under 25 -- then you start to skew the
data and thus the results, making it inapplicable to the greater, non-sampled

Point is, insisting that more numbers make a sample *less* accurate -- as VB
was doing -- is utterly and totally inaccurate.


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