(b) The Gallup Poll asks respondents how they would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in different fields. In 2005, only 8% of the respondents gave car salesman a rating of “very high or high”, while 7% of the same respondents rated telemarketers as “very high or high”. The difference between 8% and 7% is due to sampling variability.

I say False, because sampling variability is when variability is a result due to the usage of different samples and or sample sizes. However, in this poll the same respondents are used to ask two different questions rather than it being different samples of people. Therefore, respondent bias may be a potential factor which affects the differences between these percentages. But I am not sure with this answer?

  • $\begingroup$ I think by sampling variability is meant variability due to small sample size. $\endgroup$
    – seanv507
    Jan 20, 2016 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ I see nothing wrong with the statement "The difference between 8% and 7% is due to sampling variability.", except they could switch is with could be. Sample variability is the idea that different samples can give different results, although the unknown & hidden are in fact not different at all. $\endgroup$
    – Erosennin
    Apr 22, 2016 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @sean Sampling variability exists regardless of sample size. For random samples, it can be reduced to zero only by taking a complete census or if there is no variability in the population. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    Apr 22, 2016 at 14:18

1 Answer 1


Sampling variability means that, well, every poll is not made on the whole population and thus responses can vary.

Whether you ask the same people two different questions does not imply that they should answer the same.

Imagine that I am asked the question "do you like blue cars?" and I can answer 1 to 10. I answer 10. I am then asked the question "do you like red cars?" and I also answer 10. Is there a problem here ? No, I can like blue or red cars in the same way, just like I can like blue cars with a 10 and red cars with a 9.

Or did I not understand your question correctly ?


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