the meaning of standard deviation

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Sandie
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Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#1
i think i know to get the st dev (good old excel) but what does that mean? i know it has something to do with the mean and normal distribution, but aprt from that im stuck. thx, xx
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lou p lou
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It a measure of the average distance from the mean of each piece of data.
for example, a low s.d. means that each value is close to the mean, but a high sd means that they are very spread out.
it's basically a measure of spread.
hope this helps!
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EddieB
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Originally posted by Sandie
i think i know to get the st dev (good old excel) but what does that mean? i know it has something to do with the mean and normal distribution, but aprt from that im stuck. thx, xx
It's simply a measure of how spread out the data is. High SD means the people are quite varied, and vice versa for low.

68% of the people in the population for whatever you're researching into will fall within one standard deviation either side of the mean in a normal distribution.

Extend it to two SDs either side, and you push it up to 95%.

99.8% of the population should fall within 3 SDs.
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Sandie
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Report Thread starter 16 years ago
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thank you both ever so much, it really helps. thanks again, xx
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