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Behav Res Methods. 2007 Nov;39(4):755-66.

Sample size planning for the coefficient of variation from the accuracy in parameter estimation approach.

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  • Inquiry Methodology Program, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA. kkiii@indiana.edu


The accuracy in parameter estimation approach to sample size planning is developed for the coefficient of variation, where the goal of the method is to obtain an accurate parameter estimate by achieving a sufficiently narrow confidence interval. The first method allows researchers to plan sample size so that the expected width of the confidence interval for the population coefficient of variation is sufficiently narrow. A modification allows a desired degree of assurance to be incorporated into the method, so that the obtained confidence interval will be sufficiently narrow with some specified probability (e.g., 85% assurance that the 95 confidence interval width will be no wider than to units). Tables of necessary sample size are provided for a variety of scenarios that may help researchers planning a study where the coefficient of variation is of interest plan an appropriate sample size in order to have a sufficiently narrow confidence interval, optionally with somespecified assurance of the confidence interval being sufficiently narrow. Freely available computer routines have been developed that allow researchers to easily implement all of the methods discussed in the article.

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