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Statistical Analysis of a Survey concerning A "Monorail"

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James Perry

Monorail Coursework

For this piece of coursework I am going analyse an article from The Southampton Guardian. The article has the heading “ You throw out monorail idea”. It tells us about a recent survey the paper had done and shows the results of it.

The survey asked people to write into the newspaper and give their views on the monorail. This survey was not very successful as it only attracted 48 replies. In my opinion this is a poor sampling method. I believe this as it relied on people replying to the newspaper with there views and not many people would take the time or effort to do this. Only people with very strong views on the situation would do so.

The paper uses the heading “You throw out monorail idea” which suggests that the population of Southampton rejected the idea where as only 48 people replied which is not a big enough sample.

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Systemic - this type of sampling is often used in production lines. Items are selected at regular intervals, e.g. every 5th house. This again may not guarantee a representative sample but appears to be better than random sampling.

Stratified - this type of sampling is used to ensure that the sample is representative. This means that it ensures it has the right proportions as a population, for example, a population may be divided into social class, this is done by the type of job done. This can also be done asking different age groups which can be done at random. When doing a survey using social class as the stratified sample the range of jobs can be divided up like this. Professional - engineers, scientists, doctors, Intermediate - managers, teachers, Skilled non  manual - clerks cashiers, Skilled manual - lorry drivers, printing workers,

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Overall I would say the newspaper always set out to show the monorail was not wanted. It seems a bias view of the monorail because of how they describe the results. Even though the newspaper only got 48 replies which is a number significantly lower than even half the population of Southampton, the paper states “You throw out monorail idea”. “You” suggests a whole population not merely 48 people. The sampling technique in my opinion would never get many replies as it relies on people to reply. In today’s society not many people have the time to reply or even can be bothered to reply. Only people with a very strong opinion on the situation would reply.

In conclusion I believe the newspaper provided a bias view on the situation and should have used a better sampling technique which would of provided better and clearer results.

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