AP Statistics : How to define a survey population

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Statistics

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Example Questions

Example Question #24 : Data Collection

A company asks you to conduct a survey to discover what consumers generally want. What should the survey population be? 

Possible Answers:

Past consumers

All of the company's customers

All possible consumers

Future consumers

Correct answer:

All possible consumers

Explanation:

The company wants a survey on what consumers want. That means they are interested in all possible consumers. The other groups are too specific. 

Example Question #25 : Data Collection

Your AP Statistics teacher asks you to conduct a survey to determine the most popular cereal brand at your high school. Which of the following should be the survey population in your study? 

Possible Answers:

All high school students in the United States 

All students in your high school

All high school students in your city

Students in your grade level

Students in your AP Statistics Class

Correct answer:

All students in your high school

Explanation:

Since your teacher has asked that you determine the most popular cereal brand at your high school, the survey population should be limited to only your high school. Other students' preferences of cereal brands around the nation will have no impact on the survey results.

Additionally, surveying only students in your AP Statistics class or only students in a particular grade level would not be representative of all students in your high school. Therefore, the correct survey population is all students in your high school. 

Example Question #1 : How To Define A Survey Population

Shawn would like to determine what the most popular television channel is in his town, called Hearne. 

Which of the following would be an appropriate target population for the survey? 

Possible Answers:

Purchasers of a television at the local electronics store 

Residents of the town whose contact information can be found in the local directory

Students at the local high school 

Shoppers at the local grocery store

Attendees of a mass at a local Church

Correct answer:

Residents of the town whose contact information can be found in the local directory

Explanation:

Since Shawn would like to know the most popular television channel in his town, he must include all residents of the town in his target population. The sample must come from the directory and each person in the directory should have an equal chance of being selected. The incorrect options are too narrowly focused and are not representative of the town.

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