Chapter 4

Measures of Dispersion


After studying this chapter, you should be able to

  • provide the importance of the concept of variability (dispersion).

  • measure the spread or dispersion, understand it, and identify its causes to provide a basis for action.

There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

—Michel de Montaigne

I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.

—Bill Mauldin


Just as central tendency can be measured by a number in the form of an average, the amount of variation (dispersion, spread, or scatter) among the values in the data set can also be measured. The measures of central tendency describe that the ...

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