Pilot study may refer to a preparatory investigation that is in no way intended to test the research hypotheses of interest. For example, collecting a small amount of data, per protocol, in order to assess the cost of operations addresses financial feasibility of the future full-scale study. Similarly, it is usually the case that a small sample can provide adequate, approximate information about variances and correlations needed for analysis of power and sample size for the future full-scale study.

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In mathematics and statistics, the arithmetic mean , or simply the mean or average when the context is clear, is the sum of a collection of numbers divided by the number of numbers in the collection....