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The population standard deviation for the height of high school basketball players is three inches. If we want to be 95% confident that the sample mean height is within one inch of the true population mean height, how many randomly selected students must be surveyed?
35 students
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In this module, we learned how to calculate the confidence interval for a single population mean where the population standard deviation is known. When estimating a population mean, the margin of error is called the error bound for a population mean ( EBM ). A confidence interval has the general form:
(lower bound, upper bound) = (point estimate – EBM , point estimate + EBM )
The calculation of EBM depends on the size of the sample and the level of confidence desired. The confidence level is the percent of all possible samples that can be expected to include the true population parameter. As the confidence level increases, the corresponding EBM increases as well. As the sample size increases, the EBM decreases. By the central limit theorem,
$EBM=z\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}}$
Given a confidence interval, you can work backwards to find the error bound ( EBM ) or the sample mean. To find the error bound, find the difference of the upper bound of the interval and the mean. If you do not know the sample mean, you can find the error bound by calculating half the difference of the upper and lower bounds. To find the sample mean given a confidence interval, find the difference of the upper bound and the error bound. If the error bound is unknown, then average the upper and lower bounds of the confidence interval to find the sample mean.
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