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Descriptive statistics terms related to measuring variability in data

variability The degree to which the scores in a data set differ from each other. (syn: dispersion, spread)
dispersion The spread of scores in a data set so that they differ from each other. (syn: variability, spread)
range Distance from the highest score to the lowest score; a measure of variability.
inclusive range vs exclusive range The exclusive range is the high score minus the low score (i.e., h-l). The inclusive range adds 1 to the exclusive range, so that the low score is still part of the range (ie., (h-l)+1 for the formula).
interquartile range (IQR) The distance from the score at the 75th percentile (Q3) to the score at the 25th percentile (Q1) , computed as Q3-Q1. The range of the middle half of the cases.
standard deviation Indicates the standard or "average" distance of a score from the mean of the scores. Computed differently for data representing a sample and a population. Square root of the variance. In the original units of measurement.
variance A measure of the variability in a set of data whose unit is squared deviations of the original unit. Square of the standard deviation. Computed differently for data from a sample and a population.
deviation Deviation usually refers to the distance from a score to the mean of a data set, although a deviation can be computed around the median or any other designated number.
STDEV Excel function to compute the standard deviation of data representing a sample. Uses n-1 in the denominator.
STDEVP Excel function to compute the standard deviation of data for an entire population, using n in the denominator.
mean deviation Sum of the absolute value of the deviations. Not often used because of computational difficulties.
biased vs unbiased estimate Sample data are used to represent a larger population. If a statistical procedure puts a systematic bias into the estimate, it is less desirable than a statistic that is unbiased.
VAR Excel function for computing the variance of data from a sample.
VARP Excel function for computing the variance of data for a population.
spread The degree to which data vary from each other, how spread out they are across the range. (syn: variability, dispersion)
Created by: ebogue