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The number line may help you understand standard deviation. If we were to put five and seven on a number line, seven is to the right of five. We say, then, that seven is one standard deviation to the right of five because 5 + (1)(2) = 7.

If one were also part of the data set, then one is two standard deviations to the left of five because 5 + (–2)(2) = 1.

This shows a number line in intervals of 1 from 0 to 7.
  • In general, a value = mean + (#ofSTDEV)(standard deviation)
  • where #ofSTDEVs = the number of standard deviations
  • #ofSTDEV does not need to be an integer
  • One is two standard deviations less than the mean of five because: 1 = 5 + (–2)(2).

The equation value = mean + (#ofSTDEVs)(standard deviation) can be expressed for a sample and for a population.

  • sample: x  =  x ¯  +  ( # o f S T D E V ) ( s )
  • Population: x = μ + ( # o f S T D E V ) ( σ )
The lower case letter s represents the sample standard deviation and the Greek letter σ (sigma, lower case) represents the population standard deviation.

The symbol x is the sample mean and the Greek symbol μ is the population mean.

Calculating the standard deviation

If x is a number, then the difference " x – mean" is called its deviation . In a data set, there are as many deviations as there are items in the data set. The deviations are used to calculate the standard deviation. If the numbers belong to a population, in symbols a deviation is x μ . For sample data, in symbols a deviation is x x ¯ .

The procedure to calculate the standard deviation depends on whether the numbers are the entire population or are data from a sample. The calculations are similar, but not identical. Therefore the symbol used to represent the standard deviation depends on whether it is calculated from a population or a sample. The lower case letter s represents the sample standard deviation and the Greek letter σ (sigma, lower case) represents the population standard deviation. If the sample has the same characteristics as the population, then s should be a good estimate of σ .

To calculate the standard deviation, we need to calculate the variance first. The variance is the average of the squares of the deviations (the x x ¯ values for a sample, or the x μ values for a population). The symbol σ 2 represents the population variance; the population standard deviation σ is the square root of the population variance. The symbol s 2 represents the sample variance; the sample standard deviation s is the square root of the sample variance. You can think of the standard deviation as a special average of the deviations.

If the numbers come from a census of the entire population and not a sample, when we calculate the average of the squared deviations to find the variance, we divide by N , the number of items in the population. If the data are from a sample rather than a population, when we calculate the average of the squared deviations, we divide by n – 1 , one less than the number of items in the sample.

Formulas for the sample standard deviation

  • s = Σ ( x x ¯ ) 2 n 1 or s = Σ f ( x x ¯ ) 2 n 1
  • For the sample standard deviation, the denominator is n - 1 , that is the sample size MINUS 1.

Formulas for the population standard deviation

  • σ   =   Σ ( x μ ) 2 N or σ   =   Σ f ( x μ ) 2 N
  • For the population standard deviation, the denominator is N , the number of items in the population.

Questions & Answers

How to answer quantitative data
Alhassan Reply
what's up here ... am new here
sorry question a bit unclear...do you mean how do you analyze quantitative data? If yes, it depends on the specific question(s) you set in the beginning as well as on the data you collected. So the method of data analysis will be dependent on the data collecter and questions asked.
how to solve for degree of freedom
Quantitative data is the data in numeric form. For eg: Income of persons asked is 10,000. This data is quantitative data on the other hand data collected for either make or female is qualitative data.
Degree of freedom is the unconditionality. For example if you have total number of observations n, and you have to calculate variance, obviously you will need mean for that. Here mean is a condition, without which you cannot calculate variance. Therefore degree of freedom for variance will be n-1.
data that is best presented in categories like haircolor, food taste (good, bad, fair, terrible) constitutes qualitative data
vegetation types (grasslands, forests etc) qualitative data
I don't understand how you solved it can you teach me
Caleb Reply
solve what?
What is the end points of a confidence interval called?
lower and upper endpoints
Class members write down the average time (in hours, to the nearest half-hour) they sleep per night.
William Reply
how we make a classes of this(170.3,173.9,171.3,182.3,177.3,178.3,174.175.3)
why is always lower class bundry used
Assume you are in a class where quizzes are 20% of your grade, homework is 20%, exam _1 is 15%,exam _2 is 15%, and the final exam is 20%.Suppose you are in the fifth week and you just found out that you scored a 58/63 on the fist exam. You also know that you received 6/9,8/10,9/9 on the first
Diamatu Reply
quizzes as well as a 9/11,10/10,and 4.5/7 on the first three homework assignment. what is your current grade in the course?
the answer is 2.6
if putting y=3x examine that correlation coefficient between x and y=3x is 1.
Aadrsh Reply
what is permutation
Rodlett Reply
how to construct a histogram
Baalisi Reply
You have to plot the class midpoint and the frequency
ok so you use those two to draw the histogram right.
ok can i be a friend so you can be teaching me small small
how do you calculate cost effectiveness?
Hi everyone, this is a very good statistical group and am glad to be part of it. I'm just not sure how did I end up here cos this discussion just popes on my screen so if I wanna ask something in the future, how will I find you?
To make a histogram, follow these steps: On the vertical axis, place frequencies. Label this axis "Frequency". On the horizontal axis, place the lower value of each interval. ... Draw a bar extending from the lower value of each interval to the lower value of the next interval.
I really appreciate that
umar Reply
I want to test linear regression data such as maintenance fees vs house size. Can I use R square, F test to test the relationship? Is the good condition of R square greater than 0.5
Mok Reply
yes of course must have use f test and also use t test individually multple coefficients
hi frnd I'm akeem by name, I wanna study economics and statistics wat ar d thing I must do to b a great economist
Is R square cannot analysis linear regression of X vs Y relationship?
To be an economist you have to be professional in maths
hi frnds
what is random sampling what is sample error
Nistha Reply
@Nistha Kashyap Random sampling is the selection of random items (or random numbers) from the group. A sample error occurs when the selected samples do not truely represent the whole group. The can happen when most or all of the selected samples are taken from only one section of the group;
Thus the sample is not truely random.
What is zero sum game?
Hassan Reply
A game in which there is no profit & no loss to any of the both player.
Differences between sample mean & population mean
mohammed Reply
Not difference in the formula except the notation, sample mean is denoted by x bar and population mean is denoted by mu symbol. There is formula as well as notation between difference variance and standard deviations
Likely the difference would be in the result, unless the sample is an exact representation of the population (which is unlikely.)
what is data
Nii Avin - Data is just a simple way to refer to the numbers in the population, or in the sample used in your calculations.
what are the types of data
Data is the very pale android from the Star Trek Enterprise
Am Emmanuel from Nigeria
Am Qudus from Nigeria
am Handson from Cameroon
what is a mode?
Nii - data is whatever you are sampling. Such as the number of students in each classroom.
Handson Ndintek - the mode is the number appearing most frequently. Example: 7 9 11 7 4 6 3 7 2. 7 is the mode. In a group such as 7 9 1 4 6 3, there is no mode because no number appears more often than any other.
hi I want to know how to find class boundary
give me the two types of data
Neddy Reply
qualitative and quantitative
primary and secondary data
qualitative and quantitative
Using Cauchy Schwartz inequality,or prove that b2-b1-1=0
Md Reply
what is the ongoing probability that President Trump will remain in the position he has chosen as his viability of his cabinet as he runs for reelection in the primaries of 2020 election year

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Source:  OpenStax, Introductory statistics. OpenStax CNX. May 06, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11562/1.18
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