Total survey error (TSE) is a term that is used to refer to all sources of bias (systematic error) and variance (random error) that may affect the validity (accuracy) of survey data. Total error in surveys can be conceptualized and categorized in many ways. One traditional approach is dividing total error into sources of sampling error and sources of nonsampling error. Another categorization is dividing it between coverage error, sampling error, nonresponse error, and measurement error. A more modern approach is to group various sources of error into the classes of representation and measurement. This entry provides a big picture perspective on all of the major types of error that occur in surveys and thus comprise total survey error.

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