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Psychology Glossary

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Random Selection

Random Selection is a process of gathering (in a truly random way) a representative sample for a particular study. Having a random sample is important because the scientist wants to generalize his or her findings to the whole population without actually testing the whole population. In order to achieve this, the scientist identifies a population or group to study and randomly selects people (it could also be an item or animal, etc.) to be in the study. Random means the people are chosen by chance, i.e. each person has the same probability of being chosen like picking names out of a hat. When you have a truly random sample, you reduce the chance that the results are due to factors of the participants in the study.

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