Two Surveys Conducted by Bank of Montreal Of Canada and National Retail Federation of the US - Men Spend on Moms More than Women – Statistics Project Example

Population in the News This essay uses the articles d; Mothers Day: Men spend more on mom than women: survey published on as a basis for the discussion on population mean, confidence interval and margin of error. This article was authored by Misty Harris of Postmedia News and is dated 2012, May 7. It contains the findings of two surveys conducted by Bank of Montreal (BMO) of Canada and National Retail Federation (NRF) of United States of America. For the purposes of this paper, the NRFs survey will be used because the margin of error has been included. NRF interviewed 8700 adults to find out the amount of money they expected to spend during the mother’s day. From the analyzed data, it was established that men had budgeted an average of $ 189.74 compared to women $ 117.42.
The purpose of carrying out any form of survey is to use the results of analyzed data to make general conclusions about a bigger population. Population comprises all objects under study for instance, American voters, and employees of an organization and users of social networking sites. A population might be very large making data collection from all the individuals in a population impractical. Using NRF case, it will be very difficult to interview approximately 203 million adult Americans. To solve this problem statisticians use a representative population referred as sample in surveys. Similarly, NRF uses 8700 adults to represent the adult population. The sample was chosen through a simple random sampling technique. This method ensures that each individual has an equal chance of representing the population hence biasness is minimized (Dattalo, 2009). Once the data from the sample has been analyzed, inference about the population is made from the sample.
Surveys involve the measurement of quantities called parameters. Parameters are numerical that tells us more about a population (Moore, 2009). For this survey, the parameter under determination was average spending of adult Americans on mother’s day. The study established that men spend slightly more than women on their moms. The average spending was computed by summing up all men and women budget and then dividing each by sample size. In the end, this is taken as population mean and from it we get conclusions such as men are more attached to their mothers than women.
In as much as sample mean may be taken as the population average, there are chances that the two differs. In other words, adult men might be spending more or less than dollars $ 189.74. These deviations are recognized by including the margin of error whenever sample mean is being quoted. In the case of NRF survey, a 1% margin of error is given. This translates to ± 1.90$ and ± 1.17$ allowance for men and women average spending respectively. The confidence interval or the range of values which carries the population average spending lies between 187.84 to 191.64 and 116.30 to 118.59 for men and women respectively. Hence, the margin of error is half the confidence interval.
The margin of error expresses how close the sample data represent the population characteristics (Rumsey, 2011). Therefore, a larger margin of error means less confidence in the results. To minimize the margin of error, statisticians use larger sample as the margin of error is inversely proportional to the square root of sample size. A 1% margin of error reported in NRF survey is acceptable in most surveys. As a result, the NRF survey may be deemed to be reliable.
Dattalo, P. (2009). Strategies to approximate random sampling and assignment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Misty, H. (2012, May 7). Mothers Day: Men spend more on mom than women. Retreived fom
Moore, D. (2009). The basic practice of statistics. New York: Palgrave Macmilllan.
Rumsey, D. (2011). Statistics for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.