# What is a Sampling Error?

A sampling error is an error that occurs when a sample population is used to make inferences about the entire population.

A sampling error is an error that occurs when a sample population is used to make inferences about the entire population.

Access the leading survey analysis tools and research marketplace at mTab.

*A sampling error* is a statistical error that occurs when a sample of a population is used to make inferences about the entire population, and the characteristics of the sample differ from the characteristics of the population. In other words, a sampling error is the difference between the results obtained from a sample and the true results that would be obtained from the entire population.

Here are some examples of a sampling error:

**A poll conducted during an election season only surveys voters who are registered with a particular political party**. This could lead to a sampling error if the results of the poll do not accurately reflect the preferences of the entire voting population.**A company conducts a survey of its customers, but only sends the survey to those who have recently made a purchase**. This could lead to a sampling error if the results of the survey do not accurately reflect the opinions of all customers, including those who have not made a recent purchase.**A study is conducted to determine the average height of all adults in a particular city, but the researchers only measure the heights of individuals at a single location, such as a shopping mall**. This could lead to a sampling error if the heights of individuals at that location are not representative of the entire adult population in the city.**An opinion poll is conducted by a news organization, but only a small sample size is used**. This could lead to a sampling error if the results of the poll do not accurately reflect the opinions of the entire population.

In each of these examples, the sampling error arises because the sample used in the study or survey is not representative of the entire population. This can lead to inaccurate or misleading conclusions about the population based on the results obtained from the sample.

Sampling error can occur due to various reasons, including a biased sample selection, inadequate sample size, or measurement error. For example, if a survey on political preferences is conducted only among members of a particular political party, the results may not be representative of the entire population, and this could lead to a sampling error. Similarly, if a survey is conducted with a small sample size, the results may not accurately reflect the true characteristics of the population.

Sampling error can also occur due to measurement error, which is a type of error that arises due to mistakes or inaccuracies in the way data is collected or recorded. For example, if a survey question is worded in a confusing way or if respondents are not truthful in their answers, this could lead to measurement error and contribute to sampling error.

*In order to minimize sampling error,* researchers often use various techniques, such as random sampling, stratified sampling, and cluster sampling, to ensure that the sample is representative of the population as much as possible. By doing so, the results obtained from the sample can be more accurately generalized to the entire population.

There are several types of sampling errors that can occur in statistical sampling, including:

**Selection bias**: This occurs when the sample is not selected randomly, and some members of the population are more likely to be included in the sample than others. This can lead to a biased estimate of the population parameters.**Undercoverage bias**: This occurs when certain members of the population are not included in the sample, or when the sample size is too small. This can lead to an incomplete or biased representation of the population.**Non-response bias**: This occurs when some members of the sample do not respond to the survey or study, leading to a biased sample. For example, individuals who do not respond to a health survey may have different health behaviors and outcomes than those who do respond.**Measurement bias**: This occurs when the measurement instrument used in the study or survey is flawed or inconsistent, leading to inaccurate or inconsistent results.**Sampling frame error**: This occurs when the sampling frame used to select the sample is incomplete or inaccurate, leading to a biased sample. For example, a sampling frame that includes only registered voters may not accurately represent the views of the entire population.**Sampling variability**: This refers to the natural variability that occurs in any sample due to chance, even if the sample is selected randomly. This variability can lead to some degree of uncertainty in the estimates of the population parameters.

These types of sampling errors can occur alone or in combination with each other, and they can affect the validity and reliability of the results obtained from a sample. It is important for researchers and statisticians to be aware of these sources of error and to take steps to minimize their impact on the results.

To detect a sampling error in your survey data, run a standard deviation on mTab for free.