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**A sampling distribution of sample means is a distribution using the means computed from all
**

possible random samples of a specific size taken from a population.

Sampling error is the difference between the sample measure and the corresponding

population measure due to the fact that the sample is not a perfect presentation of the

population.

Properties of the Distribution of Sample Means

1. The mean of the sample means will be the same as the population mean.

2. The standard deviation of the sample means will be smaller than the standard deviation

of the population, and it will be equal to the population standard deviation divided by

the square root of the sample size.

Example: Suppose a professor gave an 8-point quiz to a small class of four students . The

results of the quiz were 2, 6, 4, and 8. Assume the four students constitute the population.

2+6+ 4+8

=5

4

μ=

The mean of the population is

The standard deviation of the population is

√

2

2

2

2

**( 2−5 ) + ( 6−5 ) + ( 4−5 ) + ( 8−5 )
**

σ=

=2.236

4

Frequency

**This graph of the original distribution is called a uniform1distribution
**

2

**If sample of size 2 are taken
**

with replacement and the

mean of each sample is

found, the distribution is as

shown.

Frequency

distribution

X´

f

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1

2

3

4

3

2

1

Sample

2, 2

2, 4

2, 6

2, 8

4, 2

4, 4

4, 6

4, 8

Mean

2

3

4

5

3

4

5

6

4

6

Sample

6, 2

6, 4

6, 6

6, 8

8, 2

8, 4

8, 6

8, 8

8

Mean

4

5

6

7

5

6

7

8

Mean of the sample means denoted by

μx´

μx´ =

2+3+ 4+5+ 6+7+8 80

= =5

16

16

**Which is the same as the population mean.
**

Hence

Page 1 of 4

5

Frequency 4

3

2

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

The standard deviation of sample means, denoted by

σ ´x =¿

√

2

2

2

2

σ ´x

2

2

2

**( 2−5 ) + (3−5 ) + ( 4−5 ) + (5−5 ) + ( 6−5 ) + ( 7−5 ) + ( 8−5 )
**

=1.581

16

**which is the same as the population standard deviation, divided
**

The standard deviation of the sample means is called the standard error of the

mean

σ ´x =¿

σ

√n

**The Central Limit Theorem
**

n

As the sample size

increases without limit, the shape of the distribution of

the sample means taken with replacement from a population with mean

σ

standard deviation

μ

and

will approach a normal distribution. As shown, this

**If the sample size is sufficiently large, the central limit theorem can be used to
**

answer questions about sample means in the same manner that a normal

distribution can be used to answer questions about individual values. It is

´

X−μ

σ

.

n

√

Hours that Children Watch Television A. C. Neilsen reported that children

z=

**between the ages of 2 and 5 watch an average of 25 hours of television pr week.
**

Assume the variable is n.d. and the std dev is 3 hours. If 20 children between the

ages of 2 and 5 are randomly selected, find the probability that the mean of the

number of hours they watch television will be greater than 26.3 hours.

Solution

Standard deviation of the sample mean

3

=0.671

√ 20

z

value is

´x −μ 26.3−25

σ ´x =¿

σ

=¿

√n

Page 2 of 4

Ages of Automobiles

**The average age of a vehicle registered in the United
**

States is 8 years, or 96 months. Assume the std dev is 16 months. If a random

sample of 36 vehicles is selected, find the probability that the mean of their age is

between 90 and 100 months.

Solution

z 1=

z 2=

90−96

=−2.25

16 / √36

100−96

=1.5

16/ √ 36

90

96

100

P ( 90< X´ <100 )=92.1

**The Normal Approximation to the Binomial Distribution
**

A normal distribution is often used to solve problems that involve the binomial

distribution since, when

n

is large ( say, 100 &), the calculations are too

**difficult to do by hand using the binomial distribution.
**

The formulas for the binomial distribution are

Mean

μ=n∙ p

Standard deviation

σ =√ n∙ p ∙q

Reading While Driving

A magazine reported that 6% of American drivers read the newspaper while drivin

Solution

Check to see whether a normal approximation can be used.

Since

**and , the normal distribution can be used.
**

Mean

Standard deviation

Hence, the probability that exactly 25 people read the newspaper while driving is

2.27%.

Page 3 of 4

Widowed Bowlers

Of the members of a bowling league 10% are widowed. If 200 bowling league member

Solution

Check to see whether a normal approximation can be used.

Since

**and , the normal distribution can be used.
**

Mean

Standard deviation

**It can be concluded, then, that the probability of 10 or more widowed people in a random
**

sample of 200 bowling league members is

99.34%.

Exercises

1. School Enrollment

**Of all 3- to 5- year-old children, 56% are enrolled in
**

school. If a sample of 500 such children is randomly selected, find the

probability that at least 250 will be enrolled in school.

2. Youth Smoking

**Two out of five adult smokers acquired the habit by age
**

14. If 400 smokers are randomly selected, find the probability that 170 or

more acquired the habit by age 14.

Answer: 0.166

3. Female Elementary School Teachers

**Women comprise 83.3% of all
**

elementary school teachers. In a random sample of 300 elementary school

teachers, what is the probability that more than 50 are men.

Answer:

0.4761

4. Parking Lot Construction

**The mayor of a small town estimates that
**

35% of the residents in his town favor the construction of a municipal parking

lot. If there are 350 people at a town meeting, find the probability that at

least 100 favor construction of the parking lot. Based on your answer, is it

likely that 100 or more people would favor the parking lot?

Answer: 0.9951; yes.

Page 4 of 4

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