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Chapter 17 Estimating with Confidence In Lesson 16 we used to the Central Limit Theorem to determine the mean and standard

deviation of the sampling distribution. In that section, the mean and standard deviation of the population were known. But what if the population mean is not known. Can we estimate the population mean from the sample mean? If so, how close is our estimate. The objective of Lesson 17 and Lesson 18 is to answer these questions. A sample mean rarely equals the population mean. Nevertheless, we can rely on the long-run regularity of the mean to make precise statements about the unknown population mean. Our goal is to construct intervals of values that have a high probability of including the population mean. A confidence interval for a particular population parameter gives a lower bound and a higher bound that we believe will surround the parameter with a chosen degree of confidence, such as 95%. A confidence interval balances the goal of a precise statement, corresponding to a narrow interval, against the goal of a high degree of confidence that the interval contains the true value. These two goals compete in a way that we can examine. Activstats provides an example in the event that the population standard deviation is not known. To calculate the population standard deviation, apply the following steps. o We know from the Central Limit Theorem that the sampling distribution of the mean approaches the Normal as the sample size grows, that it is centered at the true mean, , and that it has a standard deviation of (the population standard deviation) divided by the square root of n. We do not know the true mean, nor the true standard deviation. We do know the sample size, n, which is reasonably large. A histogram shows that the distribution of dissolved oxygen is unimodal and reasonably symmetric. When the sample size is large and the distribution is unimodal and symmetric, we can estimate the population standard deviation with the sample standard deviation.

o o

Parameters are, by definition, fixed and true. Confidence intervals, for all their apparent exactness, are random and variable. Each sample drawn from a population is slightly different from other samples and thus will yield a slightly different confidence interval. Most of these intervals will vary, and some may even miss the true parameter value. The confidence level specifies the probability that an interval succeeds in catching the parameter.

Interpreting the Confidence interval and making a correct statement: Suppose that a 95% confidence interval is between 209 and 258. To properly state your conclusion it is appropriate to say either, 1. A 95% Confidence Interval is from 209 to 258. Confidence intervals made like this have a 95% chance of covering the true mean.



We are 95% confident that the interval from 209 to 258 covers the true mean.

To construct the confidence intervals, we can use the z-score or normal tables. We denote confidence intervals with a

X bar +/- margin of error

Margin of Error:

Usually, the margin of error depends upon 1) The confidence level ( higher confidence leads to a large margin of error) 2) The standard deviation ( more variable data lead to larger margins of error) 3) The sample size ( large samples lead to a smaller margin of error) 4) Usually takes the form of ( will be given in the class