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the selection of part of a total population of consumers or products whose behaviour or performance can be analysed, in order to make inferences about the behaviour or performance of the total population, without the difficulty and expense of undertaking a complete census of the whole population.

Samples may be chosen randomly, with every consumer or product in the population having an equal chance of being included. Random samples are most commonly used by firms in QUALITY CONTROL where they are used as a basis for selecting products, components or materials for quality testing.

Alternatively, samples may be chosen by dividing up the total population into a number of distinct sub-groups or strata, then selecting a proportionate number of consumers or products from each sub-group since this is quicker and cheaper than random sampling. In MARKETING RESEARCH and opinion polling, quota sampling is usually employed where interviewers select the particular consumers to be interviewed, choosing the numbers of these consumers in proportion to their occurrence in the total population.

Samples may be:

  1. cross-sectional, where sample observations are collected at a particular point in time, for example data on company sales and the incomes of consumers in the current year, embracing a wide range of different income groups, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income;
  2. longitudinal, where sample observations are collected over a number of time periods, for example data on changes in company sales over a number of years and changes in consumer incomes over the same time periods, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income. See STATISTICAL INFERENCES, QUESTIONNAIRE.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are other audio samples as well demonstrating Tacotron 2's ability to pronounce hard-to-pronounce words and names and nuance the speech with punctuation and pauses.
7 to demonstrate that the embedded audio samples are robust against most common signal processing and attacks, such as Gaussian noise corruption.
This presentation included several audio samples from the Feinberg collection at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
Teachers get comprehensive reports, which include student time on task, audio samples of the student's reading, and word count per minute.
Are we talking about the same Genod Droog who have been wowing Welsh audiences since the beginning of the year with their eclectic mix of Welsh folk, weird audio samples and cutting-edge hip-hop?
The Nexidia language models are developed based on audio samples incorporating gender, dialects, accents, pronunciation patterns and data capture methods.
The information, including consumer entertainment information, audio samples of CDs, reviews of new movies, bibliographic details on novels and descriptions of multimedia video games, will be licensed to the sites.
The educational topics and audio samples of natural Ways are available on the Internet at www.
Find out how jazz has evolved with audio samples to illustrate the lessons.
In the collective Coldcut/ Headspace's Gridio, visitors trigger video projections and audio samples by stepping on pressure pads on the floor.
Each section includes audio samples of each type of music and digital images of sheet music or hymn songs, http://www.