What is a Representative Sample?

A representative sample is when a small quanity of the population taken for a study or a survey accurately reflects the larger portion of the population. For example, if you wanted to take a survey about what people thought about the state of our country today you would want to make sure that the people you polled accurately reflected the demographics of the US as a whole. You would not want a sample where the population was overwhelmingly male, or elderly, or of one certain race since that would not accurately reflect the whole US.