Population of Interest

In: Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods

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Most scientific research has some specifie groups of interest and attempts to make generalizations about the characteristics of those groups. This is what is termed the population of interest. For example, a public health study assesses medical needs among senior citizens; an educational study examines the relationship between high school students' academic performance and their parents' academic attainment; and a marine biology project attempts to investigate the life cycle of humpback whales. The population of interest in the first study is the senior citizens; the second high school students; and the third humpback whales. The same applies to applied social science studies that employ surveys.

While closely related to one another, the population of interest is more loosely defined than the population of inference ...

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