I'll be honest. Standard deviation is a more difficult concept than the others we've covered. And unless you are writing for a specialized, professional audience, you'll probably never use the words "standard deviation" in a story. But that doesn't mean you should ignore this concept.

The standard deviation is kind of the "mean of the mean," and often can help you find the story behind the data. To understand this concept, it can help to learn about what statisticians call normal distribution of data.

A normal distribution of data means that most of the examples in a set of data are close to the "average," while relatively few examples tend to one extreme or the other.

Let's say you are writing a story about nutrition. You need to look at people's typical daily calorie consumption. Like most data, the numbers for people's typical consumption probably will turn out to be normally distributed. That is, for most people, their consumption will be close to the mean, while fewer people eat a lot more or a lot less than the mean.

When you think about it, that's just common sense. Not that many people are getting by on a single serving of kelp and rice. Or on eight meals of steak and milkshakes. Most people lie somewhere in between.

If you looked at normally distributed data on a graph, it would look something like this:

The x-axis (the horizontal one) is the value in question... calories consumed, dollars earned or crimes committed, for example. And the y-axis (the vertical one) is the number of datapoints for each value on the x-axis... in other words, the number of people who eat x calories, the number of households that earn x dollars, or the number of cities with x crimes committed.

Now, not all sets of data will have graphs that look this perfect. Some will have relatively flat curves, others will be pretty steep. Sometimes the mean will lean a little bit to one side or the other. But all normally distributed data will have something like this...

...StandardDeviation (continued)
L.O.: To find the mean and standarddeviation from a frequency table.
The formula for the standarddeviation of a set of data is [pic]
Recap question
A sample of 60 matchboxes gave the following results for the variable x (the number of matches in a box):
[pic].
Calculate the mean and standarddeviation for x....

...StandardDeviation
objective
• Describe standarddeviation and
it’s importance in biostatistics.
Measure of Dispersion
• Indicates how widely the scores
are dispersed around the central
point (or mean.)
-StandarddeviationStandardDeviation.
• The most commonly used method
of dispersion in oral hygiene.
• The larger the standarddeviation,
the...

...question: What is the impact of the new point on the standarddeviation?
The new point has made the standarddeviation to go up to over 2.07
b) Follow the instructions to create the next two graphs then answer the following question: What did you do differently to create the data set with the larger standarddeviation.
What I did differently was to have two outliners on both ends of the outline so...

...9551/SQRT(300),1) = 0.0783
(c) A circuit contains three resistors wired in series. Each is rated at 6 ohms. Suppose, however, that the true resistance of each one is a normally distributed random variable with a mean of 6 ohms and a standarddeviation of 0.3 ohm. What is the probability that the combined resistance will exceed 19 ohms? How "precise" would the manufacturing process have to be to make the probability less than 0.005 that the combined...

...selected.
c) reasonably large due to the “cluster” effect.
d) 100 divided by the size of the population of Laramie.
Costs for standard veterinary services at a local animal hospital follow a Normal distribution with a mean of $80 and a standarddeviation of $20. Answer the next three questions.
8. Give the sample space for the costs of standard veterinary services.
a) {X ≥ 0}
b) { 0 ≤ X ≤ 80}
c) {0 ≤ X ≤ 160}...

...milligrams of tar per cigarette and a standarddeviation equal to 1.0 milligram. Suppose a sample of 100 low-tar cigarettes is randomly selected from a day’s production and the tar content is measured in each. Assuming that the tobacco company’s claim is true, what is the probability that the mean tar content of the sample is greater than 4.15 milligrams?
[0.00621]
2. The safety limit of a crane is known to be 32 tons. The mean weight and the...

...Mean and StandardDeviation
The mean, indicated by μ (a lower case Greek mu), is the statistician's jargon for the average value of a signal. It is found just as you would expect: add all of the samples together, and divide by N. It looks like this in mathematical form:
In words, sum the values in the signal, xi, by letting the index, i, run from 0 to N-1. Then finish the calculation by dividing the sum by N. This is identical to the equation: μ =(x0 + x1 + x2...

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