selection bias

  

Definition

Statistical error that causes a bias in the sampling portion of an experiment. The error causes one sampling group to be selected more often than other groups included in the experiment. This may produce an inaccurate conclusion if the selection bias is not identified. For example, if an experiment only selects people of a certain race with similar characteristics and excludes any group that deviates from these elements. "The students at the University had to start their experiment over because they discovered a selection bias in the species gathered."

Use selection bias in a sentence

  • There may be a selection bias by some in your office and you will just have to work hard to overcome it.

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  • I knew the data was unreliable because of selection bias and the fact that they looked for people that had already done the survey.

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  • The lifestyle trends that a white, well-educated and successful large-city dwelling writer observes among her friends may not be relevant to the lives of people in different circumstances and settings; selection bias works well for targeted marketing, but not so well for Zeitgeist reporting.

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