N and n

Posted on November 27, 2009 by

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Pop’s Popcorn Factory employs 1000 people. Management wants to know employee views on a number of topics such as whether they would prefer having underground parking built for them or a soda-fountain shop opened in the factory. They randomly chose a sample of 150 people from the list of 1000 employees to take a survey. “N” and “n” are notations for the number of the population and the number of the sample respectively. So in this case N = 1000 and n = 150. The purpose of sampling is to gather data from a subset of the population in order to draw inferences about the whole population. This subset is smaller than the population. So the uppercase “N” is the large letter representing the larger number of the whole population. The lowercase “n” is the smaller letter representing the smaller number of the sample.

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