Q:

What is the target population in research?

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The target population contains members of a group that a researcher is interested in studying. The results of the study are generalized to this population, because they all have significant traits in common.

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The "sample" is different. This is the actual group from which data is collected. It is a subset of the population and should be a typical representation of the larger group. Depending upon the size and type of the population and the type of study, different methods are available to help identify a fair sample, such as random sampling and matched sampling. Populations and samples do not need to be humans. Research can collect information on a wide range of subjects, including animals, plants and manufactured goods.

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The Hardy-Weinberg equations calculate the genetic variation and allele frequencies of a population at equilibrium. They are p + q = 1 and p^2+ 2pq + q^2 = 1 where p is the frequency of the "A" allele and q is the allele frequency for the "a" allele.

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Sampling, in statistics, is a method of answering questions that deal with large numbers of individuals by selecting a smaller subset of the population for study. One of the most prevalent types of sampling is random sampling.

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Judgment sampling is a method in statistics and quantitative research for non-randomly selecting subjects for study from a population by selecting according to the opinion of an expert. It is a biased method that is useful when some members of a population make better subjects than others. The nature of judgment sampling makes data derived by this method harder to generalize and prone to an increased chance of misrepresentation.