Statistical Word of the Week

May 21, 2013
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Week #21 - Consistent Estimator

An estimator is a measure or metric intended to be calculated from a sample drawn from a larger population...

A consistent estimator is an estimator with the property that the probability of the estimated value and the true value of the population parameter not lying within c units (c is any arbitrary positive constant) of each other approaches zero as the sample size tends to infinity.  For example, consider a population mean of 10 and an interval of 1 unit either side -- the interval from 9 to 11.  As samples get larger, the probability that the sample mean will fall outside that interval diminishes, and approaches zero when the sample gets large enough.  For a smaller interval, it takes longer for the probability to approach zero.

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