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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.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Creative's most advanced PCI-e sound card Sound Blaster AE-9, the pinnacle of PC audio innovation
Another enhancement present on the headset is the FPS mode button on the virtual 7.1 sound card. When you press the button, the higher frequencies are boosted to be advantageous in FPS games.
Acoustisoft, in collaboration with IBF-Akustik in Germany, is offering a combination single-ended microphone preamp and external USB sound card. This custom box includes the RplusD dynamic sound card calibration using the unused left channel of the stereo soundcard.
Beginners will appreciate how All Sound Recorder XP can automatically detect the recording formats that are supported by your sound card, and then adjust the application's settings for the best possible performance.
The XPS model features a 460-watt power supply, Creative Audigy 2 sound card, 128MB ATI Radeon X300SE graphics cards and Serial ATA hard drives in a RAID 0 or RAID 1 configuration.
OctiVox achieves a 90% decrease in PC latency (sound card to OS).
Setting a new benchmark for the PC, the new Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS sound card from Creative Technology Ltd.
For quality performance, RSS recommends the following minimum computer requirements: a Windows-based PC platform, Pentium 166MMX, 8x CD-ROM, display at 800 x 600 pixels, and a sound card and speakers.
Sound quality is excellent - at least CD quality - and is particularly good through headphones, provided, of course, you have a decent set of bins.Rating: 9/10Modular Technology DAB PCI card pounds 99 THIS PCI card pops in a free slot on your PC and works with your sound card. Installation is a five-minute job (make sure you earth yourself before touching your PC's innards) and after installing the software (you must be running Windows 98 or beyond) and restarting, it's a question of plugging in the antenna and scanning for your local stations.
My sound card, which is fitted directly on to my motherboard, does not work.
To receive or transmit through the Internet, the user needs a computer equipped with a sound card, microphone, and speakers, along with the Internet Explorer Web browser.
TextAloud requires Windows 9x or higher, 64 MB of RAM or more, 10 MB disk space, and a sound card.