Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch

Random Variation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_2924


Variability of a process caused by many irregular (and individually unimportant) fluctuations or chnace factors that (in practical terms) cannot be anticipated, detected, identified, or eliminated. As such, random variation represents the sum of many small variations, arising from real but small sauses that are inherent in — and part of — a process, which cannot be tracked back to a root cause. Random variation follows the laws of propability — behaves statistically as a random propability function . Also, the tendency for the estimated magnitude of a parameter (e. g. based upon the average of a sample of observations of a treatment effect) to deviate randomly from the true magnitude of that parameter.

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© Springer-Verlag 2008