Confidence and Population Means
The major difficulty in putting the properties of the special batch discussed in Chapter 8 to use is that we had to know a good deal about the population from which the sample was drawn in order to specify the characteristics of the special batch. We knew that the mean of the special batch was the same as the mean of the population and that the standard deviation of the special batch (that is, the standard error) was the standard deviation of the population divided by the square root of the number in the sample. In real life, however, we do not know either the mean or the standard deviation of the population from which our sample is drawn. Indeed, those are precisely the things we are likely to be trying to infer on the basis of a sample. Thus we must find a way to use the special batch without first knowing these characteristics of the entire population.
KeywordsConfidence Level Normal Curve Error Range Radiocarbon Date Infinite Population
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