Statement of a problem № m40512


A university wishes to estimate the proportion of its students who have used cocaine. Students were classified into one of three groups: undergraduate, graduate, or professional school (medical or law school), and were sampled randomly within the groups. Since there was some concern that students might be unwilling to disclose their use of cocaine to a university official, the following method was used. Thirty red balls, sixteen blue balls, and four white balls were placed in a box and mixed well. The student was then asked to draw one ball from the box. If the ball drawn was red, the person answered question (a). Otherwise question (b) was answered. Question (a): Have you ever used cocaine? Question (b): Is the ball you drew white? The results are as follows: Assuming that all responses were truthful, estimate the proportion of students who have used cocaine and report the standard error of your estimate. Compare this standard error with the standard error you would expect to have if you asked the sample students question (a) directly and if all answered truthfully. Now suppose that all respondents answer truthfully with the randomized response method but 25% of those who have used cocaine deny the fact when asked directly. Which method gives an estimate of the overall proportion of students who have used cocaine with the smallest mean squared error?

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