Chapter 2. Populations, Samples, and Study Design

  1. Robert C. Elston1 and
  2. William D. Johnson2

Published Online: 31 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470740781.ch2

Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach

Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach

How to Cite

Elston, R. C. and Johnson, W. D. (2007) Populations, Samples, and Study Design, in Basic Biostatistics for Geneticists and Epidemiologists: A Practical Approach, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470740781.ch2

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, USA

  2. 2

    Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 24 OCT 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470024898

Online ISBN: 9780470740781



  • cause and effect;
  • confounding;
  • target population, study population, study unit, census, parameter;
  • probability sample: random cluster sample, simple random sample, stratified random sample, systematic random sample, two-stage cluster sample;
  • observational study: cohort/prospective study, case-control/retrospective study, historical cohort/historical, prospective study, matched pairs, sampling designs;
  • experimental study: completely randomized, fractional factorial arrangement, randomized blocks, split-plot design, changeover/crossover design, sequential design;
  • factorial arrangement of treatments;
  • response variables, concomitant variables;
  • longitudinal studies, growth curves, repeated measures studies, follow-up studies;
  • clinical trial, placebo effect, blinding, masking;
  • double blinding, double masking;
  • compliance, adherence;
  • quasi-experimental studies


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Study of Cause and Effect

  • Populations, Target Populations and Study Units

  • Probability Samples and Randomization

  • Observational Studies

  • Family Studies

  • Experimental Studies

  • Quasi-Experimental Studies

  • Summary

  • Further Reading

  • Problems