The term ‘true population’ has been tossed around your average statistics course like a rag doll in a dog’s mouth. I don’t mean to be harsh but it’s interesting how we refer to the true population as if we know it. You don’t always know all the members of your population. Especially, if that number is still constantly growing by the day, minute, hour, or even second. Let’s take cancer disease for a second. People are diagnosed with cancer every year. You will never obtain a finite and true population for some scenarios. Finite is the key phrase, because it means your population is countable. If you can count all the members of the population, that you will ever have in any life-time- you have the true population. Otherwise, most statisticians work with sample data. It’s just the way things are…The truth of the matter is you rarely know the full picture when doing statistics. Outside of the classroom setting, the true population remains a mystery.
-Moore to follow-Amy