David Lane

Psychology

Rice University

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activity

Simulating the Effect of Sample Size on the Sampling Distribution of the Mean part of CAUSE Teaching Methods:Teaching with Data Simulations:Examples
This activity allows students to explore the relationship between sample size and the variability of the sampling distribution of the mean. Students use a Java applet to specify the shape of the "parent" distribution and two sample sizes. The simulation then samples from the parent distribution to approximate the sampling distributions for the two sample sizes. Students can see both sampling distributions at the same time making them easy to compare. The activity also allows students to determine the probability of extreme sample means for the different sample sizes so that they can discover that small sample sizes are much more likely than large samples to produce extreme values. Keywords: sampling distribution, sample size, simulation


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